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Feb 18, 2011

LAND FOR MAJOR MUNICIPAL PROJECTS TO BE EXPROPRIATED IN ACCELERATED PROCEDURE

The implementation of major municipal projects of high priority shall now be carried out in a simplified procedure for expropriation of private properties. This is foreseen in the amendments to the Municipal Property Act, published in the State Gazette on 18 February. They are similar to last year's amendments, which simplified the regulations, under which the state expropriates private properties for major state construction sites such as highways and roads. According to recent amendments, these rules will also apply to municipalities.

In line with new regulations, the municipality will be allowed to begin construction works on undeveloped land or forests, even before the expropriation order has come into force. This may be fulfilled under two conditions: the building permit has been issued and the land owners have been paid the relevant compensation. However, in case the due compensation has not been paid out for a period of six months, the order will be considered null and void. The order will no longer be given to the owner in person, but published in the State Gazette, on the website of the municipality and on the information board in the city-hall. In this way, the time-consuming tracking of owners will be avoided, since it has turned out to be a serious impediment to the construction of major infrastructural projects, including the construction of municipal water infrastructure and urban waste landfills.
In case the owners decide to appeal against the expropriation price, construction works will not be suspended. Construction will continue during the lawsuit and subsequently, if the Court decides that the compensation is not of equal value, the municipality will pay additional compensation as ruled by the Court.

There is a possibility that owners receive not only money as a compensation, but also land. In this case, the expropriation price will be determined by taking into consideration the average price of all business deals, including properties near the expropriated land.

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