Romanian Legal Update - Amendments to the urbanism and construction legislation

by Allen & Overy LLP
Contact

Allen & Overy LLP

New rules have been enacted in order to amend Law No. 350/2001 on urbanism and territorial planning (the Urbanism Law) and Law No. 50/1991 regarding the authorisation of the execution of construction works (the Construction Law). The above mentioned legislation was amended by the Emergency Government Ordinance No. 100/2016 (the Ordinance).

In a nutshell, the Ordinance brings clarifications to some of the previous legal provisions, provides new rules aimed at creating more efficient procedures for issuing urbanism documentation needed for investment projects and also increases the sanctions applicable in case of non-observance of the statutory obligations.

The main amendments brought by the Ordinance are summarised below.

Entering into force

The Ordinance entered into force on 27 December 2016. However, the administrative procedures which were initiated prior to this date in order to obtain various urbanism or administrative documentation will continue to be governed by the previous legal provisions.

Amendments to the Urbanism Law

A series of provisions regarding urbanism and territorial planning have been modified in order to provide more predictable construction regulations and to limit variations between the applicable construction regimes of neighbouring areas.

Restricting the circumstances when a Zonal Urbanism Plan (PUZ) can be prepared by the interested investors

The Ordinance limits the situations when the investors can initiate the elaboration of a PUZ in order to set forth the applicable urbanism parameters, such as the height level, the land use coefficient (CUT) and the land occupation rate (POT).

For areas located intra-muros (Romanian, intravilan), the investors could initiate the drafting of a new PUZ only if the area covered by the PUZ is bordered by at least three (3) public roads or by other natural elements.

Furthermore, in order to avoid the creation of isolated intra-muros areas, the Ordinance provides that a PUZ can be elaborated in order to change the classification of the land from extra-muros (Romanian, extravilan) to intra-muros only if the area covered by the PUZ: (i) has at least 5,000 sq.m. and (ii) is located in the immediate vicinity of the intra-muros area. However, these restrictions are not applicable if the infrastructure needed to access the extra-muros area is already in place or it will be built at the same time with the development of the investment envisaged for the respective area.

Further limitation of the circumstances when the Land Use Coefficient (CUT) can be increased

As a general rule according to the Urbanism Law, the CUT applicable for a given area can be increased only once and with no more than 20%. Before the enactment of the Ordinance, “areas of economic interest” were excepted from this rule, although this concept was not clearly defined by the legislation.

The Ordinance clarifies this matter and expressly provides that the CUT could be increased with more than 20% only in the following limitative circumstances: for industrial, technological or commercial parks, as well as for supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Clarifying the validity term of the urbanism documentation

The Ordinance clarifies what are the consequences when the urbanism documentation does not include a validity term. Although, according to the previous regulation, it could have been argued that in such case the urbanism documentation could be invalidated, the Ordinance now expressly mentions that the urbanism documentation which does not include an express validity term will be deemed valid until new documentation is enacted to replace or to modify the former one.

The current regulation also clarifies another issue which was debated in the past, namely the extension of the urbanism documentation’s validity term for investment projects that were commenced during the initial validity term. As the “commencement date” was not clearly determined or defined under the previous regulation, opinions varied in practice regarding the interpretation of such norm. The Ordinance settles this dispute, providing that, once the urbanism certificate is issued for the purpose of obtaining the building permit, the validity of the existing urbanism documentation is extended for the duration of the authorised works.

Reducing bureaucracy, encouraging e-governing and public access to urbanism documentation

The Ordinance assumes as objective reducing the actual intricate administrative procedures for obtaining urbanism documentations, as well as encouraging public access to building permits, urbanism plans and other urbanism documentation.

Modifications to the actual procedures involves creating single offices (Romanian, ghisee unice) within the administrative units, where the interested persons can submit all requests and file all documents that are necessary for the issuance of the urbanism documentation. As an exception, the requests and the documentation for the issuance of the environmental endorsements must be submitted with the competent environmental authorities.

Currently, single offices have been organised in large cities (Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, Timisoara etc.) and organising such single local offices for all administrative units throughout the country will still take time.

Another measure aiming to reduce bureaucracy involves the obligation of the public authorities to create and ensure within the next three (3) years the infrastructure required in order to receive online all requests and the documentation necessary for issuing urbanism certificates and/or building permits.

The public’s participation in the urbanism decisional process is also facilitated by introducing the authorities’ obligation to upload on their websites all the approved urbanism documentation.

Increased fines

The fines for breaching the obligations provided by the Urbanism Law were significantly increased from between RON 1,000 and 10,000 (approximately EUR 220 to 2,200) to between RON 10,000 and 50,000 (approximately EUR 2,200 to 11,100).

Also, the State Inspectorate for Constructions has now the obligation to suspend the construction works if it identifies irregularities, while previously the Inspectorate had only the right, and not the obligation, to suspend the works.

Main amendments to the Construction Law

The amendments regarding the authorisation of the construction works bring clarifications to a series of debatable previous provisions, as well as a significant increase in the limitation period for applying sanctions.

Increased limitation period for applying sanctions

The limitation period for identifying any breaches to the Construction Law and for applying sanctions for such breaches has been increased from three (3) years to five (5) years starting from the moment such breach occurred.

Limitation of the categories of constructions that can be erected on extra-muros areas

According to the Ordinance, building permits for projects located on extra-muros land can be issued only for infrastructure works, such as railroads, roads, electricity lines, gas and oil pipelines, agricultural constructions or other similar constructions. For clarification purposes, the Ordinance expressly provides that, building permits for extra-muros areas will not be issued for residential or touristic buildings, garages or other permanent constructions.

Specific purpose of the urbanism certificates issued for building permits

Given the previous unclear legal provisions, it was a common practice to use the same urbanism certificate that was obtained when elaborating a PUZ, in order to subsequently obtain the building permit.

According to the Ordinance, a separate urbanism certificate must be obtained with the specific purpose of obtaining the building permit, irrespective if a previous urbanism certificate was issued when approving the PUZ for the same project.

However, as an exception from the above, the Ordinance provides that the urbanism certificate used for the elaboration of a Detail Urbanism Plan (PUD) could also be used in order to obtain the building permit.

Source: Emergency Government Ordinance No. 100 of 15 December 2016 was published in the Official Gazette No. 1052 of 27 December 2016

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Allen & Overy LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Allen & Overy LLP
Contact
more
less

Allen & Overy LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.