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Curacao Oil Products Distributors Association (COPDA) ruled against
WILLEMSTAD - The Minister of Traffic, Transportation, and Spatial Planning, Charles Cooper (MAN), and gas station owner Roberto Servage as interested third party won their legal proceedings and can continue building a gas station for boats at the fishing port at Caracasbaai.
The legal proceedings were instituted by Curacao Oil Products Distributors Association (Copda), represented by Cicely van der Dijs. Servage is affiliated with Copda’s “competitor” Asogas. Copda claimed preliminary relief within the framework of the National Ordinance administrative justice (“LAR”), because at least three gas stations that would fall under Copda would suffer disproportionate loss. It was raised that the decree for gas stations states that no other station can be built within a five-kilometer range. According to Copda, Vanddis (Gasora) at Caracasbaaiweg, the gas station at the Yacht Club at Spaanse Water and station Hanenberg at Weg naar Fuik would suffer loss on account of the new gas station. But the judge, in line with what the other parties raised, considers that there is competition if it specifically concerns the construction of new stations for motor vehicles that are provided with motor fuel. “The judge deems it decisive in this case that there is no directly clashing interest, as the building permit was granted for the realization of a gas station for boats (vessels).
The construction drawings shown in the session and the photos produced show that two pumps will be placed on a jetty protruding in the water. The jetty is not accessible to motor vehicles and explicitly meant to provide vessels with fuel. That the storage of gasoline and diesel takes place on the shore does not give rise to a different opinion, as it is adequately plausible that storage always has to take place on the shore for safety reasons.” The judge also states that this opinion will not change even if boats on a trailer would fill their tanks at the stations of Caracasbaai and Weg naar Fuik. Finally, the judge states, as also raised by the defendants, that Copda did not submit any Articles of Incorporation so that it cannot be established what interests Copda protects pursuant to its objective contained in those Articles.
Gas station owner Roberto Servage was assisted by Thies Leijsen, lawyer with VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne.