The Construction and Physical Planning Ministry has okayed proposed amendments to the Zagreb city plan, Hina learned from sources at the ministry, which means that the city authorities have complied with the ministry's objections to the amendments and that the amended city plan is to be put to a vote in the city assembly.
After last week the ministry sent back the proposed amendments to the city plan to be completed, the city authorities complied with the ministry's suggestions, after which the ministry issued a positive opinion on the city plan. The city authorities have thus committed themselves to complying with the Physical Planning Act, ministry officials have said.
This means that a minimum 51% of what is now a racecourse facility near the Zagreb Trade Fair Centre will have to be used for sports and recreational purposes, as envisaged by the city plan, which is one of the regulations the ministry's expert services have warned about.
Construction and Physical Planning Minister Predrag Stromar confirmed that the ministry had made sure that the city authorities fully complied with the law and that the decision to approve the amended city plan had been made by experts.
"We have ensured full compliance with the law, but the city's development and the content of the city plan are decided by local politicians, not by national authorities. Thousands of objections to the city plan were submitted during public consultation on it and it's up to members of the City Assembly to decide on them. Personally, I would never vote for a document to which professionals and members of the public have submitted so many objections," said Stromar.
As regards the changes made, the city has committed itself to involving professionals and members of the public in future projects. As the ministry said at the time when it asked the city authorities to align its amendments to its suggestions, in the locations for which the city plan does not determine conditions for possible transformation, new construction work will not be possible before an urban development plan is adopted.
This amendment ensures mutual compliance of regulations and the city plan's graphics, introduces the obligation to make urban development plans for areas where urban transformation is planned, and thus ensures the participation of the public in the process of making and adopting those urban development plans.
This refers to all locations from Article 82 of the city plan, or 37 locations and urban development plans, including the Zagreb racecourse and the Zagreb Trade Fair Centre. If the city plan for those specific locations fails to define conditions for urban transformation and the planned changes are not defined by an urban development plan, it will not be possible to issue a permit for a new structure but only for the renovation of the existing one.
The city plan was finally approved today after it was first rejected in July and then on November 15, due to non-compliance with a higher-level urban plan, specifically the racecourse and the failure to precisely define the location's purpose as being predominantly recreational.
Stromar said at the time that his ministry had not rejected the city plan but had sent it back for completion.
The amendments to the city plan, which would enable the so-called Zagreb Manhattan development project, have been opposed by numerous associations, town planners and architects, opposition city councillors and most councils of city neighbourhoods.