There are 12 families living in the middle of a taxiway under construction for the Juan Santamaría airport. The owners and MOPT have been unable to reach an agreement on the value of the property, leading the administrators to have to change the design of the works.
The land was divided into five plots each with multiple houses. Most owners want to leave but need to be paid a fair price. They have been offered just ¢55,000 a square meter, while other nearby land goes for between ¢130,000 and ¢150,000. They would not be able to get other homes anywhere in the metropolitan area with the amount offered.
The residents live on La Candela Street. They suffer from the noise of machinery 24 hours a day. Among them are seniors battling diseases who are unable to get rest and young kids with asthma from all the pollution caused by the construction. They have also had to deal with floods when construction materials washed through the mesh fence. They are preparing a writ of amparo to request a precautionary measure to stop the work.
Their land is separated from the taxiing strip by only a mesh fence. A wall is now being built for safety reasons. Still, they fear the planes will be too close to their roofs when landing.
Legal impediments are many, for example, there are some homes with mortgages, one being paid for a telecommunications tower that was put there without proper permits, minors involved, one of the land owners has passed away, and there have been changes in expropriation laws since this all started years ago.
A well known restaurant, La Candela, was expropriated through a judicial process that took 15 years end ended with a ¢700 million payout.