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rezoning of Varosha / Famagusta.....

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

rezoning of Varosha / Famagusta.....

Postby Oneness » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:30 am

Nikitas I read in one recent post you expressed a wish that Varosha plots be rezoned such that the hotel plots on the beachfront become zero percentage building density for public use ie beach / promenade / gardens perhaps. Then owners of those plots get compensated I presume.

Anyone got any opinions about this?

Personnally, Im not sure it will become a reality cause of the people who own those plots (Kounas, Lordos etc) having influence. But then again, I heard Louis lost out recently on land allocated for a hotel in Protaras losing its building density allowance! The fact is you could rezone Famagusta, redesign the place to make it fit for 21st century but that would mean quite radical changes. The bigger and better hotels could be moved out of town like they are along Dhekelia Road in Larnaca. And building density increased in the central city area to allow for modern commercial buildings. Some roads may need widening and a few open spaces allocated here and there. Then residential zones would have to be shifted to the periphery of the city. But I doubt any politician has the vision to make such changes unless it is for personal enrichment.
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Postby Nikitas » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 am

Oneness,

You touch a sensitive spot. I grew up in Famagusta justbefore the onslaught of the hotel behemoths. I remember that beach from the Alasia all the way to Ayios Memnonas empty!

Rezoning is possible not because Cypriots and the families you mentioned will agree. This time there is the EU and its environmenta regulations which might come in to lend weight to the rezoning lobby. The sand dunes might even be declared an area of Special Scientific Interest.
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Postby Oneness » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:15 pm

:shock: Really!?! No disrespect, but is the sand on the Famagusta beach of any more scientific interest than the sand on the beaches of Benidorm or Tenerife?! Or than at Alasia, for that matter!?! Perhaps there are there the fossilised remnants of 1960's Wrigleys chewing gums! :)
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Postby Nikitas » Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:55 am

Oneness,

Sand dunes in several places in Europe have been declared areas of special scientific interest or areas of outstanding natural beauty (SSI and AONB in English). So it is not incoceivable that a wide and long stretch of sand, one of the few on the island, to be given such a status. In any case, the hotels should be removed and the beach left as natural as possible. That would benefit both the tourist industry and the character of the new Famagusta.
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Postby Oneness » Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:09 pm

Thanks for your reply nikitas. nikitas, I wonder what is your opinion about the recent rezoning in paralimni protaras?

For treating the area, one moment, as a touristic and residential zone, (making a big contribution to Cyprus' economy) and, the next moment, deciding that it should step down to having the same planning status as a National Park....... do you think it is connected with a larger issue or does it reveal the incompetance (or, dare I say it, corruption!?) of the current government?

Could another u-turn be imminent due to pressure from louis and other land owners?
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Postby Nikitas » Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:57 pm

Oneness,

I have been living in Greece and been professionally involved with the environmental changes brought on by EU membership (albeit from an unexpected direction!).

In the old days member nations would declare the areas they considered eligible for inclusion in the various categories, such as Protected Areas under the Wild Birds Directive etc. Then the EU court said that it is not up to the member states to select areas, they are under a duty to nominate ALL areas which fulfill the criteria.

Cyprus having buckled under pressure to protect the ambelopoulia (migrants in the Protaras area), now cannot backtrack and say their habitat is not eligible for protection. I am speculating that the national park thing was to pacify the EU by showing that something is being done to protect the habitat of this bird. The same has happened in the Larnaca Salt Lake, and the Akamas region which was put in the Natura 2000 scheme.

Once the EU comes into the game it is almost impossible for any vested interests to reverse the ruling.

Corruption does exist in the EU, that is why it has a special anti corruption unit, OLAF, to fight it. However on these environmental things it is a one way deal once an area is earmarked. The other factor that is intersting in a place as small as Cyprus is the problem of finding space for environmental schemes and for business. Most EU countries, the ones who promote these schemes, have already wring every once of economic benefit from their habitats and want to protect what is left and sometimes to protect the habitats of other countries to ease their conscience for past misdeeds. We had an interesting show of this over the wolf. Holland wiped out its wolves over a century ago, Greece hosts thousands of wolves who eat sheep. The Greeks, pressed to protect the wolf, offered to export wolves to Holland and the horrified Dutch stressed the need to protect species "in their natural environment today"!
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