Eastpoint Planning Study
Oostpunt and Willemstad, Curacao
Ministry of Public Works, Government of Curacao
Oostpunt is the largest remaining undeveloped piece of land in Curacao, an independent nation since 2011 and formerly part of The Netherlands Antilles. Oostpunt is a 14,000 acre property that has been assembled and owned by a local family beginning in the mid-19th century. Several years ago the family decided to sell much of the land and, due to its likely redevelopment as a destination tourist resort, this caused the government to initiate a planning and zoning process to develop site specific zoning for the property.
Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc. teamed with EcoPlan and Langan International and competed for the assignment, which was awarded in early 2010. The project had three major phases: 1) Development of the zoning plan, 2) Drafting of the legislation to amend the island’s overall zoning plan, and 3) Participate in an “objections and appeals” phase whereby citizens, civic groups, and other interested parties could review and critique the plan, file objections, and, if they were not satisfied with the responses to the objections, file legal appeals. The planning study included site visits, site inventory, site analysis, interviews with the landowners, local experts, environmental and civic groups, and stakeholders, and preparation of a summary plan of developable and preservation areas.
These summary plans led to preparation of alternative development sketches or conceptual master plans, which were evaluated for upsides and downsides, i.e., development potential and positive economic impact as well as negative and other environmental impacts. The final draft of the planning study was completed early in 2011. After several months review the Government authorized work on Phase 2, and the draft legislation was approved in July 2012.