Under a new draft bill submitted to public consultation this week, the government seeks to clear a number of environmental and zoning hurdles from the path of “strategic investments” and facilitate the legalization of unlicensed constructions and additions by offering financial incentives.
On the issue of “strategic investments,” which have to fulfill specific criteria in order to be defined as such, developers will be able to bypass terms and limitations stipulated by law if they can prove that the investment “serves the greater public good.” While similar legislation already exists, the new bill seeks to expand its scope beyond specially designated areas.
One of the benefits of this measure is that it will speed up the resolution of zoning and construction disputes preventing major investments from moving forward. However, it will also create conditions of preferential treatment, while further undercutting the authority of zoning plans.
The bill also increases the discount offered to owners who have been fined for erecting an illegal building or making unlicensed additions to an existing property from 20 to 30 percent if they pay the fine in one lump sum and from 10 to 20 percent if they pay 30 percent of the total fine upfront and the remainder in installments.