Effective from January 15, 2019 the draft of the spatial development plan for Aruba is available for inspection. The Spacial Development Plan (SDP) consists of a plan and explanatory notes with a (policy) zoning map. The SDP is a policy document that establishes the spatial development policy for the coming (10) years in broad outline. Although deviations are possible, this can only be done in exceptional instances.

It follows from the SDP that Aruba focuses on paying more attention to an equilibrium between economic and tourist development and nature. The protection and designation of nature areas is strengthened and the brake is put on the development of tourist accommodations. In this respect the policy intention is to, where possible, take back leasehold land and lease land and to only issue it again for high-quality tourist developments and agriculture.

In addition, effective from January 1, 2019 a system of permits required for works changing the land entered into force via a preliminary planning decision. As a consequence, this permit is required for activities and developments, which may stand in the way of scheduled developments. The explanatory notes to the SDP moreover include that applications for building permits for hotel and lodging accommodations requiring a permit are deferred.

Up to March 15, 2019 it is possible to submit opinions with regard to the draft SDP. This may be important if development possibilities appear to be limited by the SDP.

It is expected that this year a Spatial Development Plan with Regulations (SDPR) is also adopted. The SDPR offer a strict framework for spatial developments in line with the SDP. As soon as the draft of the SDPR is available, we will communicate it via our website. 

If so required, our Aruban immovable property team is at your disposal with advice about these developments and the opportunities and restrictions that derive from this. You can contact Ir Tom Peeters, LLM for this via peeters@vaneps.com or by telephone on +297 583 8464.