Physical planning system croatia

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Physical planning system croatia

  1. 1. REPUBLIC OF CROATIAMINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, PHYSICAL PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTION PHYSICAL PLANNING SYSTEM Zagreb, August 2006 1
  2. 2. I. General information1. Statistical dataArea of the Republic of Croatia:Inland 56,542 km2Territorial sea 31,067 km2Total 87,609 km2Population: 4,437,460Population density: 78,4 inhabitants/km2Urban population: 69,08%Rural population: 30,92%Structure of inland development:a) unbuilt areas:waters 01,68%forests 34,92%agricultural areas 35,22%other 20,53%b) built areas:settlements 03,82%out of settlements 00,83 %other 01,34%c) infrastructure 01,66%Source: 2001 census2. Organization of state administrationGeneral features of the administrative organizationThe basic organization of administration in the state and in regional and local self-governmentunits, as well as the territorial division of the state, is regulated in the Law on the StateAdministration System, several ordinances issued on the basis of that law, the Law on Local andRegional Self-government, the Law on Counties, Towns and Municipalities of the Republic ofCroatia, and the Law on the City of Zagreb. State administration is responsible for direct lawenforcement, adopting appropriate operational instruments, administrative supervision and otheradministrative and professional work determined by law.State administration work is carried out by bodies of state administration that are divided into:central bodies of state administration (ministries and state administrative organizations) withtheir regional units in counties, towns and municipalities; and subordinate to them stateadministrative offices in counties, with their section offices in towns and municipalities. Countyoffices of state administration generally perform first instance state administrative work, andcentral bodies of state administration second instance work. In the territory of the City of Zagreb,first instance state administration work is performed by city administration offices (city officescompetent for certain administrative fields). However, it is not unusual for central bodies of state 2
  3. 3. administration to perform first instance state administration work directly or through their regionalunits. Bodies of regional and local self-government and other legal persons that have publicauthority may be charged with state administrative work that is regulated by special laws.The territory of the Republic of Croatia is divided into 21 units of regional self-government (20counties and the City of Zagreb that functions as a county) and each county is divided intoseveral units of local self-government (cities and municipalities), within which local committeesare formed. In the Republic of Croatia there are 546 local self-government units, whereof 123towns and 423 municipalities.The county is a unit of regional self-government whose area represents a natural, historical,traffic, economic, social and self-governing entity; it is constituted to perform activities of regionalinterest, and especially activities related to: schooling, health, physical and urban planning,economic development, traffic and traffic infrastructure, planning and developing a network ofeducational, health, social welfare and cultural institutions.A town is a unit of local self-government that is a county seat, and any settlement of over 10,000inhabitants that is an urban, historical, natural, economic and social entity. A town canexceptionally be a settlement that does not comply with the foregoing conditions if there is aspecial reason for this (historical, economic, position in the traffic network). Suburbansettlements that are economically and socially part of a town and are linked to it by dailymigration and the local needs of the citizens may be considered part of the town as a unit oflocal self-government. A municipality is a unit of local self-government. It is usually founded foran area with several settlements that represent a natural, economic and social entity and thatare linked by mutual interests of the inhabitants. The town and the municipality perform localself-government activities that directly satisfy the needs of their inhabitants, except activities thathave by the Constitution or law been assigned to state bodies. They especially carry outactivities that relate to: settlement development and housing, physical and urban planning, utilityactivities, child care, social welfare, primary health protection, education, culture, physical cultureand sports, consumer protection, environmental protection and development, fire protection andcivil defence. Units of local self-government found local committees to directly involve citizens indeciding on local activities that immediately affect their everyday life and work. A local committeeis founded for a single settlement, several small settlements or for part of a bigger settlementthat is separate from other settlements and forms a delimited entity.Units of regional and local self-government are legal persons with representative bodies (countyassembly, City of Zagreb assembly, town council and municipal council) and executive bodies(county prefect, county government, mayor and town government, and municipal prefect). Therepresentative bodies pass regulations and other acts within their scope of work. The executivebodies perform activities in the competence of the self-government unit and activities of stateadministration that are delegated to the unit, through administrative bodies (administrativedepartments and sections, and central administrative department).Special (departmental) laws regulate particular administrative fields and determine thecompetence of local self-government units, that is, the activities that the regional or local self-government unit is obliged to ensure, and the activities that it may perform if it has secured thenecessary prerequisites. 3
  4. 4. Division of competences in the field of physical planningNational levelThe Croatian Parliament (Sabor) adopts strategic physical planning documents (NationalPhysical Planning Strategy and Programme), a four-year programme of measures for improvingconditions throughout the state. Currently the enforcement of all physical planning documents(including the ones adopted by units of regional and local self-government) is within thecompetence of state administration bodies (Ministry of Environmental Protection, PhysicalPlanning and Construction for structures of state significance, and county state administrationoffices, or the City of Zagreb office, for other developments in space), and is carried out throughthe issuance of location permits, excerpts from detailed development plans, decisions on theestablishment of building plots and confirmation of parcelling studies on building landparcellation. Also granting of approvals to proposals of physical plans, in order to achievealignment of physical plans of a narrower area with those of a broader area, is under thecompetence of state administration bodies.Regional level (counties) and local level (towns and municipalities)In the context of physical planning, representative bodies of regional and local self-governmentunits adopt regional plans and four-year programme of measures for improving physicalconditions on the territory and at the level covered by the unit. They also give their opinion onphysical planning documents for a wider territory or a higher level. The administrative bodies ofregional and local self-government units monitor the state of the space, prepare documentationon monitoring of the state of the space, organize the preparation and enactment of physicalplans, and perform other professional work in this connection. County physical planninginstitutes, if they fulfil the prescribed requirements, may prepare county physical plans, whereasthe physical planning institute of the City of Zagreb may prepare the Physical Plan of the City ofZagreb.Overview of physical planning legislationThe backbone of the legislation on physical planning in the Republic of Croatia consists of thePhysical Planning Act (Official gazette Narodne novine, no. 30/94, 68/98, 61/00, 32/02 and100/04) - hereinafter: PPA, and the following subordinate regulations for its implementation:- Regulation on Determining Buildings that are Significant for the Republicof Croatia (Official gazette Narodne novine, no. 6/00 and 68/03)- Ordinance on the Conditions to be Satisfied by the County or City Institute for PhysicalPlanning for the Preparation of Physical Plans (Official gazette Narodne novine, no. 104/98),- Ordinance on Issuing Consents for Registering Legal Persons Engaged in ProfessionalActivities of Physical Planning into the Company Registry (Official gazette Narodnenovine, no. 127/99),- Regulation on Public Debate in the Procedure of Physical Plan Adoption (Official gazetteNarodne novine, no. 101/98),- Ordinance on the content, criteria for map projections, required spatial indicators and thestandards of physical planning studies (Official gazette Narodne novine, no. 106/98, 39/04,45/04 and 163/04),- Ordinance on Determining Developments in Space that do not Require Site Permits (Officialgazette Narodne novine, no. 86/04 and 138/04),- Ordinance on Spatial Standards, Urban-Planning and Technical Requirements, andStandards for Preventing Architectural and Urban-Planning Barriers (Official gazette Narodnenovine, no. 47/82),- Ordinance on Measures of Protection from Natural Disasters and War 4
  5. 5. Threats in Physical Planning and Development (Official gazette Narodne novine, no. 29/83,36/85 and 42/86),- Ordinance on the Official Identity Card of Inspectors of the Urban-Planning Inspection of theMinistry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction (Official gazetteNarodne novine, no. 1/05),- Ordinance on Granting and Withdrawing Approval for Performing Expert Tasks of PhysicalPlanning (Official gazette Narodne novine, no. 21/06 and 53/06),- Regulation on Protected Coastal Area Development and Conservation (Official gazetteNarodne novine, no. 128/04),- Decision on Municipalities Allowed to Adopt Physical Plans for the Development of theMunicipality with Reduced Content (Official gazette Narodne novine, no. 163/04).Furthermore, part of the legislation on physical planning consists of physicalplanning documents that are adopted on the grounds of the PPA.A major part of the legislation consists of special (departmental) laws that regulate specificadministrative areas and subordinate regulations adopted in accordance with those laws.The Physical Planning Act (1994) regulates the organization of the physical planning system,monitoring of the state of the space, adoption of physical planning documents, enforcement ofphysical planning documents and supervision over the enforcement of this Act.The Physical Planning Act is structured in the following way:I. GENERAL PROVISIONSII. ORGANIZATION OF THE PHYSICAL PLANNING SYSTEMIII. DOCUMENTS OF MONITORING THE STATE OF THE SPACE (Four-year reports on the state of the space and four-year programmes of measures for the improvement of the state of the space in the territory of the State, counties (regional level) and towns and municipalities (local level))IV. PHYSICAL PLANNING DOCUMENTS (1. Physical Planning Strategy and Programme of the State; 2. Physical plans: physical plan of a county and the City of Zagreb, physical plan of an area of special features, physical plan for the development of a municipality and a town, master urban development plan, urban development plan, and detailed development plan)V. ENFORCEMENT OF PHYSICAL PLANNING DOCUMENTS (1. Location permit, 2. Enforcement measures)VI. SUPERVISIONVII. PENALTY CLAUSESVIII. TRANSITIONAL AND CONCLUDING PROVISIONSII. Content and procedures of physical Planning according to current legislation1. Basic features of legislation and physical plansBasic featuresThe basic purpose of the physical planning system in the Republic of Croatia is to plan anddevelop the territory of the state in order to create conditions for managing, protecting and 5
  6. 6. administering it as a specially valuable and limited national resource, thus laying the ground forsocial and economic development, environmental protection and rational use ofnatural resources.Physical planning is based on the following principles: integral approach to planning, eveneconomic, social and cultural development of the entire state, while caring for and developingregional features, sustainable development and rational use and protection of the environment,protection of integral environmental values and environmental protection and development,protection of cultural monuments and specially valuable natural areas and features, ensuringbetter living conditions, coordinating the interests of the users of an area with priority activities inthe area, harmonizing the environmental development of individual parts of an area, inking stateterritory with European environmental organization, openness to the public and free access todata and documents significant for physical planning, in accordance with these and other specialregulations, establishing a database about the environment, for planning, using andprotecting the environment.The system of physical planning includes and regulates:- the organization and obligations of actors in the planning and plan implementation processes,- monitoring of the state of the space, resulting in a four-year report on the state of the spaceand a programme of measures for the improvement of the state of the space, on the State,regional and local levels,- preparing and adopting physical planning documents (National Physical Planning Strategy andProgramme, and physical and urban development plans),- preparing physical and urban development plans and doing other professional work of physicalplanning,- implementing physical planning documents through location permits and detailed developmentplanning,- administrative and inspection supervision over PPA implementation.The physical planning documents are:− Physical Planning Strategy and Programme of the State;− Physical plans: o physical plan of a county and the City of Zagreb; o physical plan of an area of special features; o physical plan for the development of a municipality and a town; o master urban development plan; o urban development plan; and o detailed development planPhysical planning documents have the force and legal nature of subordinate regulations.Physical plans consist of a textual and a cartographic part, implementation provisions and otherelements of relevance to plan implementation. By the decision on the adoption of a physical plan,the constituent parts thereof and implementation provisions are determined. The decision ispublished in the Official Gazette or the official bulletin of the local self-government andgovernment unit adopting the physical plan. A physical plan of a closer area shall conform withthe physical plan of a wider area. In case of their non-conformity, the plan of a wider area applies.The necessary finance for the preparation of physical planning documents are secured by thestate budget, the budget of local self-government and government units and from other sources. 6
  7. 7. The necessary finance for the preparation of physical planning documents adopted by theParliament of the Republic of Croatia are secured by the state budget.The Physical Planning Act determines a protected coastal area consisting of all islandsand a 1,000-m wide mainland and a 300-m wide marine belt measured from the coastlineand representing an area of special interest to the Republic of Croatia. By the Regulationon Protected Coastal Area Development and Conservation special conditions are laiddown for the planning, development and utilization of the protected coastal area for thepurpose of its conservation. All physical plans within the protected coastal area and planswhose parts are within this area are adopted upon obtaining approval from the Ministry ofEnvironmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction.Planning at the national levelThe Physical Planning Strategy and Programme of the State set out long-term objectives ofspatial development and physical planning in conformity with the overall economic, social andcultural development. The Strategy contains the essential elements for harmonization andorientation of the spatial development, spatial organization of the State, priority developmentactivities and planning entities of common spatial and development features for which physicalplans or other physical planning documents will be adopted. The Physical Planning Programmeof the State lays down measures and activities needed for implementation of the PhysicalPlanning Strategy of the State. The Programme contains basic objectives of the development inthe space, criteria and guidelines for the development of spatial and other entities and proposedpriorities in the accomplishment of physical planning objectives. Based on natural, economic,social and cultural starting points, the Programme provides a base for organization, protection,use and purpose of the space, environmental protection and improvement, the system of centralsettlements and the development infrastructure system of the State. The Physical PlanningStrategy and Programme of the State are adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia.Planning at the regional levelThe county or City of Zagreb physical plan contains the spatial and economic structure of thecounty and the City of Zagreb respectively, the system of central settlements of regionalimportance, the regional infrastructure development system, starting points for the developmentand protection of the space, criteria and guidelines for economic development, for preservationand improvement of natural, cultural, historical and landscape values, environmentalimprovement and protection measures, including other elements of relevance to the county andthe City of Zagreb respectively. These physical plans are adopted by the county and the Cityassembly respectively upon obtaining the approval of the Ministry confirming the conformity of theplan with the Physical Planning Strategy and Programme of the State and with the provisions ofthe PPA. A common physical plan may be prepared for the area of two or more counties.The physical plan of an area of special features is prepared for areas of common natural, culturalor other features and shall be obligatorily adopted for the area of a national and nature park andfor areas for which this has been made obligatory by the Physical Planning Programme of theState or the county physical plan. The physical plan of areas of special features is adopted by thecounty and the City assembly respectively. Physical plans of a national and nature park and forareas for which this has been made obligatory by the Physical Planning Programme of the Stateare adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia. 7
  8. 8. Planning at the local levelThe physical plan for the development of a municipality or a town lays down the conditions for thedevelopment of a municipal and urban area and determines the appropriate use, purpose,shaping, rehabilitation and restoration of the building and other land, environmental protectionand protection of cultural monuments and specially valuable parts of nature of a municipality anda town respectively. The physical plan includes essential elements for the development in space,physical planning objectives, intended use of the space, criteria, guidelines, measures andconditions for the use, protection and development of the space, as well as other elements ofrelevance to the area of the municipality and the town respectively. The physical plan may imposethe obligation to prepare detailed space development plans for narrower areas in the territory ofthe municipality and the town respectively. The physical plan for the development of amunicipality or a town is adopted by the municipal and the town council respectively uponobtainment of the approval of the county institute confirming the conformity of the plan with thecounty physical plan. For islands with several local self-government units a unique physical planis prepared.The master development plan sets forth the basic organization of the space, the protection ofnatural, cultural and historical values and the use and purpose of the land, proposing priorities inthe development thereof. The master plan includes the method and forms of protection and use,conditions and guidelines for the development and protection of the space, measures forenvironmental improvement and protection, areas of special spatial and other features and otherelements of relevance to the respective area. The master plan may also impose the obligation toprepare detailed space development plans for narrower areas within the range covered by theplan. A master development plan is adopted for settlements with a registered seat of countybodies, for the City of Zagreb and other settlements with more than 15,000 inhabitants. Theboundaries of areas covered by the master plan are determined by the physical plan for thedevelopment of a municipality or a town, or by the physical plan of the City of Zagreb. The masterplan is adopted by the municipal or the town council or the City assembly.The urban development plan is adopted for settlements or parts of settlements with registeredseat of towns, for settlements or parts of settlements that are registered as historical urbanentities, and for settlements as determined by a county physical plan or the physical plan of theCity of Zagreb, or by the Programme of measures respectively.By this plan the essential conditions are determined for the use and purpose of public and otherareas for the settlement or part of settlement, the transport or street and utility network, anddepending on specific spatial features, guidelines for shaping, utilisation and development of thespace. The urban plan contains the modes and forms for the use and development of public andother areas, the modes for the development of the transport or street and utility network, as wellas other elements depending on the coverage area. The urban plan may also impose theobligation to prepare detailed development plans for narrower areas within the range covered bythe plan. The boundaries of areas covered by the urban development plan are determined bythe physical plan for the development of a municipality or a town, or by the physical plan of theCity of Zagreb or the master urban plan of the City of Zagreb. The urban development plan isadopted by the municipal or the town council or the assembly of the City of Zagreb..The detailed development plan sets forth the detailed purpose of the land, land developmentmodes, the method of providing the land with the utility, transport and telecommunicationinfrastructure, conditions for building construction works and performance of other activities in thespace, including other elements of relevance to the area covered by the plan. The obligation ofpreparation and the procedure and method of adopting a detailed development plan are defined 8
  9. 9. by a physical plan of a wider area, by other physical planning documents or a programme ofmeasures for the improvement of the state of space respectively. The detailed development planis adopted by the municipal or the town council or a town assembly responsible for the area inwhich the settlement covered by the plan is situated.2. Obligations of parties involved in physical planningIn order to implement the physical planning policy, the Croatian Parliament and representativebodies of regional and local self-government units have the obligation to adopt physical planningdocuments, each for its own territory and level. In accordance with the above, the state, thecounties and the City of Zagreb, and the towns and municipalities commission physical planningdocuments.National levelPhysical planning documents enacted by the Croatian Parliament are prepared (or theirpreparation is taken care of) by the Institute for Physical Planning, which is part of the Ministry ofEnvironmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction.Regional levelThe county physicalplans, and the physical plan for the City of Zagreb, are prepared by the County or City PhysicalPlanning Institute if they fulfil certain prescribed conditions. These institutes, which act as acounty or City of Zagreb administrative body, may also prepare municipal and town plans andmaster urban development plans, if the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planningand Construction, or the county or City of Zagreb governments, charge them to do so. This,however, happens very rarely.All physical and detailed plans are prepared by specialized legal persons that are given suchauthority by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning. These legal personsmay also prepare county regional plans for counties whose institutes do not comply with theprescribed requirements for plan preparation. Detailed development plans can also be preparedby a physical person who is a “certified architect” independently performing professional tasks ofphysical planning from his or her own office, subject to approval obtained from the Ministry.Local levelAt the local level, administrative departments are operating that provide for the preparation andadoption of physical plans and other physical planning affairs, however they do not preparephysical plans.3. Environmental impact assessment in the planning processThe obligation to assess the environmental impact of an individual development in the space,modelled on the American standard, was introduced into the Croatian physical planning systemby the Law on Physical Planning and Regional Development of 1980 (that went out of forcein1994). It was not until the Rule Book on Preparation of an Environmental Impact Study of 1984became legally effective that these assessments of environmental impact started to be made on 9
  10. 10. the basis of that law. According to the mentioned law and rule book, environmental impactassessment was a specific procedure within the framework of implementing physical plans(laying down area development conditions in order to determine environmental protectionmeasures for certain categories of predetermined facilities “whose building, use or worktechnology may damage the values of the human environment or which may have an adverseeffect on the development of other activities, or human health”). This assessment was made onthe basis of an environmental impact study made by a professional and technically qualifiedlegal person. An expert commission appointed by the municipal executive council evaluated thestudy after a public discussion.By the Environmental Protection Act of 1994 and subordinate regulations adopted under thisAct, the implementation of environmental impact assessment has become mandatory for anenlarged number of building works and environmental impact assessment has become thesubject of a separate administrative procedure which has been singled out from the physicalplanning department and is concluded by a special decision (administrative decision) granting orwithholding consent for the planned development in the environment. When consent to adevelopment is granted, environmental protection measures and a programme for monitoringthe state of the environment are laid down that pursuant to the Physical Planning Act (throughlocation permits and detailed development plans) are mandatory in the implementation of thedevelopment in space, both for the investor or owner, and their implementation is supervised bya special environmental inspection. The methodology applied for the development of theenvironmental impact study is in conformity with the generally accepted methods on which theEU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment is based. Amendments of EU regulations, inthis specific case amendments to the EU Directive on EIA, aimed at the improvement of theprocedure, i.e., of the evaluation and decision-making, were mostly followed also by Croatianregulations. The Republic of Croatia is currently preparing amendments to the nationallegislation in order to fully harmonize it with the respective EU regulation on EIA.As physical planning is based on principles of sustainable development and rational use andprotection of the space, protection and improvement of the environment, and bearing in mindthat when preparing and adopting physical plans the sensitivity of the environment hasparticularly to be taken into account, it may be concluded that elements of strategicenvironmental assessment are already taken into account in the procedure of physical planpreparation.In order to introduce the strategic environmental assessment procedure and to approximate theenvironmental impact assessment procedure with EU regulations, Croatia is currently usingCARDS projects. Strategic environmental assessment shall apply to plans and programmes ofsectors as prescribed by the EU Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment, whereas itsmandatory implementation will be regulated by the new Environmental Protection Act, whosepreparation is underway.4. Cooperation between different departments and public participationAll the departments whose activities are related to the environment in any way should and havethe duty to work together, and with the public at large, in the procedure of creating and adoptingphysical planning documents. This stems from the very principles that underpin physicalplanning, and especially from the principle of an integral approach to planning and the principleof coordinating the interests of the users of an area with the priority activities in the area. 10
  11. 11. These principles are implemented in two ways. The first are prescribed by the PPA and consistof the obligations of state administration bodies (certain departments) and legal persons withpublic authority. They must provide data for physical planning documents, participate in theprocedure of creating the documents, and, in accordance with the Decree on Public Discussionin the Procedure of Adopting Physical Plans, they must organize a public discussion for eachproposal of a physical and town plan. Any interested physical and legal person may participatein this public discussion by giving their remarks, proposals and ideas, regardless of whether theyhave a personal interest, and everyone has the right to an explanation of the reasons why theseremarks, proposals and ideas were rejected. The second group of methods is contained in, orstems from, a majority of special (department) laws. It mainly consists of prescribing certaincriteria and expert foundations (department plans, strategies and similar) which represent astarting point, or which need to be considered, while creating the physical planning document; ofthe obligation of a particular body of state administration to participate in the preparation of aparticular physical planning document; and of the obligation to secure the opinion or (rarely) theconsent of such a body about the proposed physical planning document before it is adopted.It is important to note that the cooperation of different departments and the public does not endwith the procedure of creating and adopting the physical plan. It continues during itsimplementation, by determining special conditions or giving opinions by the bodies of stateadministration and legal persons with public authority, in the procedure of issuing site permits,and through approving the main project which is a necessary precondition for issuing a buildingpermit. The breadth of public involvement in this phase is significantly smaller and is as a rulereduced only to immediate neighbours, but their rights are greater, including the right to asuspensive appeal. Court protection is provided in the case of dissatisfaction with the decisionon the appeal.5. Coordination of physical planning documentsProvisions of the PPA lay down the obligation to vertically coordinate physical planningdocuments with one another. This means that a physical planning document of a smaller areamust be coordinated with the physical planning document of the wider area. The above rule, andsimultaneous control of the horizontal harmonization of physical planning documents and theirlegality, is implemented and supervised through the opinions and consent of specific bodiesabout the proposed physical planning documents, which must be secured before the plan can beadopted. This means that the county, or the City of Zagreb, cannot adopt their physical planwithout securing the necessary approval of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, PhysicalPlanning and Construction that the plan complies with the provisions of the PPA, the NationalPhysical Planning Strategy and Program and the physical plans of neighbouring counties, or theCity of Zagreb, and without securing the opinion of the representative bodies of municipalitiesand towns in the county area. The physical plan for the development of municipalities and towns,master urban development plan and detailed development plan can be adopted only afterobtaining the approval of the state administration office in the county, or the City of Zagreb,authorized for physical planning activities, that the plan is in harmony with the plan of theimmediately broader area. This approval is given after obtaining the opinion of the county, orCity, physical planning institute. Pursuant to a special Regulation, for areas within the protectedcoastal area, approval to all physical plans covering partly or entirely this protected area isissued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction. 11
  12. 12. 6. Supervision of physical planning documentsThe legality of physical planning documents is supervised through several different proceduresin the formal sense, but only the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia can repeal aphysical planning document against the will of the representative body that adopted it, if itcontravenes the Constitution and Law.The first, most common and most qualified supervision of the legality of physical planningdocuments is carried out by the urban planning inspection, which is part of the Ministry ofEnvironmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction; its inspector is authorized toorder the local or regional self-government unit by decision to remove, within an appropriate timelimit, irregularities and/or illegalities in the physical planning document (physical plan), in theprocedure of its preparation and adoption, as established during inspection control.If the local or regional self-government unit fails to proceed in accordance with the indicateddecision, the urban planning inspector is authorized to request the Minister competent forphysical planning, i.e. the person authorised by him/her, to issue a decision suspending thefurther implementation of the physical planning document. When such a decision is adopted, theMinistry competent for physical planning shall without delay propose to the Government of theRepublic of Croatia to institute the procedure of review of the constitutionality and legality of thedocument before the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia. If the Government of theRepublic of Croatia fails to institute the procedure of review of the constitutionality and legalitywithin 30 days from receipt of the respective proposal, the suspension of the implementation ofthe physical planning document will cease. Otherwise, if the procedure is instituted, thesuspension will be maintained until the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia adopts aruling on the Government’s proposal.Furthermore, the head of the county state administration office is bound to supervise the legalityof the physical plan, and where he/she deems that the planning document is contrary to theConstitution and law, he is bound to pass within 15 days a decision on the suspension of planimplementation and to inform thereof without delay the Ministry responsible for physical planningfor legality assessment and implementation of the prescribed procedure. The procedureimplemented by the Ministry when it receives such a decision on plan suspension, if it assessessuch a decision to be justified, is the same as when such decision is passed by the Ministryitself.Also the municipal prefect, mayor and county prefect may issue a decision on the suspension ofthe implementation of the physical planning document, for the unit of regional or local self-government which they head, if they find it in breach of a law or some other regulation, and theyhave the right to request the representative body to remove the detected flaws within fifteendays. If the flaws are not removed by the representative body, the obligation is prescribed toinform the head of the state administration office in the county and of the Minister responsible forphysical planning affairs in order the institute the above procedure.Finally, it needs to be pointed out that in accordance with the Constitutional Act on theConstitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia, anyone may propose the institution ofproceedings to review the constitutionality and legality of any regulation, and therefore also ofphysical planning documents. 12
  13. 13. 7. Entry into force and validity of physical planning documentsAll physical planning documents, except the National Physical Planning Strategy, enter force onthe date given in the decision of the representative body that enacted them, and this is usuallyon the eighth day after the date of their publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic ofCroatia (Narodne Novine), if they are passed by the Croatian Parliament, or from the date ofpublication in the Official gazette of the regional, or local self-government body, if they arepassed by the representative body of that unit. The physical planning document has no legalforce unless the decision on adopting it is published and contains provisions for itsimplementation.No physical planning document has a predetermined date of expiry, and all are valid until theyare put out of force, which can be done by a separate decision or by adopting a newcorresponding document. Of course, a physical planning document may also be put out of forceif so determined by law, or if the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia repeals it.8. Legal force of physical planning documentsIn the legal sense, physical planning documents have the character and relevance of asubordinate regulation that is equally binding on all legal subjects and government bodies, andwhich they must abide by and apply. While implementing physical planning documents, bodiesof state administration cannot refuse to apply them even if they are contrary to the law. However,in the case of disharmony between the physical planning document of a narrow area and thephysical planning document of a wider area, the body of state administration shall apply thephysical planning document of the wider area. Courts shall not apply physical planningdocuments that are contrary to the law and Constitution.9. Compensation for damage caused by plan-generated restrictionsThe legal system of the Republic of Croatia does not recognize the institute of compensation tolandowners for damage deriving from plan-generated restrictions, in the sense that they prohibitbuilding on a particular land, decrease the value of the land by restricting construction, or modifythe purpose of the land. In view of the indicated, the Republic of Croatia is considering modelsas applied worldwide, PARTICULARLY IN EU MEMBER STATES, for the compensation ofdamage deriving from plan-generated restrictions and the possibility to integrate the institute ofcompensation into the provisions of the new Physical Planning Act that is currently underpreparation.10. The obligation to amend physical planning documentsPhysical planning documents on all three levels (state, regional and local) have to be amended.For this purpose the Physical Planning Institute in the Ministry of Environmental Protection,county institutes or the City of Zagreb Physical Planning Institute, and administrative bodies oftowns and municipalities continuously monitor the state of the space. Based on the results ofsuch monitoring, a report is submitted every two years about the state of the space in the State,county, City of Zagreb, town or municipality. The report contains an analysis of theimplementation of physical planning documents and other documents, an assessment of theimplemented measures and their impact on purposeful spatial management, on area and 13
  14. 14. environmental protection, and other elements of significance for the area the document refers to.On the basis of this report the Croatian Parliament, or representative bodies of units of regionaland local self-government, adopt a four-year program of measures for improving environmentalconditions. The programme is used to assess the need to prepare new documents or amendexisting physical planning documents, the need to collect data and professional foundations fortheir preparation, and the need to take other measures important for the preparation andenactment of those documents. We should also mention that this programme may determine thenecessity, scope, financing sources, the deadline for land development etc.11. Building right in rural areasThe Croatian Physical Planning Act differentiates construction in settlements (building area ofsettlements) and construction in areas outside of building areas of settlements, regardlesswhether this refers to urban or rural settlements; however, for the purpose of spatialdevelopment in a settlement of urban character, including also construction in such space, inprinciple the obligation of adoption of more physical plans is prescribed as compared to spatialdevelopment or construction in a rural settlement.1. In settlementsThe basic rule is that settlements can be built only on building areas determined by a physicalplan for the development of a town and municipality, or the physical plan of the City of Zagreb.This is done to separate the built areas of those settlements and areas in which theirdevelopment is foreseen, from other areas intended for developing agriculture, forestry andother activities that may take place outside the building area.2. Outside of settlements Facilities that can be developed outside the building area are infrastructure (transport, powerand utility facilities, etc.), health and recreation facilities, defence facilities, facilities for researchand exploitation of mineral raw materials, as well as residential and commercial buildings forpersonal needs and the needs of village tourism, which are used for purposes of agriculture.Physical planning, that is, construction outside the building area is carried out according to theguidelines and criteria of the physical plans for municipalities and towns, or the physical plan ofthe City of Zagreb.III. Conditions and problems in physical planningIn view of all the previously indicated, and since in the part of the legislation governing physicaland urban planning and the implementation of physical plans certain problems have beenidentified and their causes considered, the preparation of the previously mentioned new PhysicalPlanning Act has been initiated; this Act is to regulate in a different way the types of physical andurban plans, the issuance of appropriate permits for construction (location and building permits)and to resolve urban land reallocation.Prepared by:Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and ConstructionFor further information see web site:http://www.mzopu.hr 14

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