Local July 22, 2016 | 9:19 am

Dominican Republic beach access law promises showdown

Santo Domingo.- The bill that aims to ensure access for allcitizens to rivers, lakes, lagoons, beaches and coasts will likely spur heated debateamong lawmakers, tourism business leaders and hoteliers, with fines as high as RD$1.0million for those who violate that law.

The bill, still under study by a Senate committee, list asinfringements hindering access to coasts, charging for entry, the physicaldestruction of easements and the illegal occupation of the maritime zone by aprivate property. Repeat offenders face a fine twice as much as the previousviolation.

The business sector however has noted potential inherent risksthat "violate security and business operation in the tourism sector."

"Nothing prevents an adjacent private owner from chargingfor the use and enjoyment of their facilities," says a document from the NationalHotels and Tourism Association and the Real Estate Tourism Association, quotedby diariolibre.com.

As for private properties, the bill specifies that it doesn’trecognize those which go beyond the "inalienable area or areas of themaritime zone," registered after the 2010 Constitution took effect.

It also notes that the stipulation over the coastal strip doesn’tapply when the respective property has been registered prior to 1938, when the swathwas 20 meters from the high tide mark.

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