City Master Plans: Unlawful Classifying

Jun 4, 2012

In order to urge the state and local authorities to ensure the implementation of the Ukrainian leg-islation on citizens’ free and ready access to the City Master Plans, the East-Ukrainian Center of Civic Initiatives (EUCCI) with support of a network of public organizations will be monitoring all 459 City Councils in-country during July-September 2012 to review their adherence to specific legislation provisions, which warrant free access to such public information.

Within the framework of UNDP-supported media grant, the East-Ukrainian Center of Civic Initia-tives has developed and established the Internet site, which offers useful information both for the citizens and the public officials on various instruments, procedures, and other regulations, which spell out the development and adoption of City Master Plans.

According to the information available from the Oblast State Administrations and the Crimean Autonomous Republic, over 20 City Master Plans are now undergoing the final stages of development or adoption. Among these cities are Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Simferopol, Cherkasy and other. Now, a series of short animation movies will explain in a simple manner to the audience what kind of document this City Master Plan is, what risks and prospects it poses to its citizens once it is adopted.

Concerned about the park in your neighborhood – check out the City Master Plan A significant part of the Plan is city zoning.

It’s devised according to the City Master Plan. It spells out the functionality areas and building requirements thereof. It also prescribes which lots are zoned for public needs, as well as residential, recreational, industrial, communal, transport, etc. In other word, if the lot is zoned as “recreational” there is no way it may be used for industrial con-struction.

The City Master Plan will tell you if the construction in your yard is legitimate

Requirements for constructing certain facilities are set out in the document under the title “De-tailed Plan of the Territory”. The Detailed plan of the territory is developed in accordance with the City Master Plan and land zoning. Hence, if the Master Plan and zoning determine the status of your neighborhood land as ‘residential’, consequently the construction of any significant com-mercial and industrial facilities should be banned.

Why residents who plan to purchase real estate need the City Master Plan?

You plan to purchase a house or apartment? Do you know what will be in your neighborhood or close proximity to your property in some 5 or 10 years’ time? Even though you are neighboring a park of a forest it doesn’t mean the local authorities will not want to build a shopping mall or a factory there. Therefore, such plans need to be clearly spelled out in the City Master Plan. Before purchasing real estate check out the Master Plan first.

Imminent domain of real estate and the City Master Plan

Implementation of the City Master Plan almost always envisages a reconstruction of the old and construction of the new residential blocks. Such process is often accompanied by the imminent domain over property and land lots. Often so, the old residential housing or cottages and gardens are turned into new residential blocks. Therefore, what compensation the owners of land and property obtain in exchange and what procedures are followed are to be described in the City Master Plans. Hence, it is your rights to request that such provisions on the City Master Plan are fair and beneficial to you.


The City of your dream and the Master Plan

The City Master Plan is the primary urban planning document of the community. It spells out the principal developmental, planning, construction, and other type of use of the municipal land. Even though the Master Plan does not describe in detail how the territory in your neighborhood should look like, it nonetheless paired with land zoning sets out functionality areas and requirements for construction on their territories. Hence, if your neighborhood areas are zoned as ‘residential’ and ‘recreational’, construction of major commercial or industrial property on its territories is banned.

In addition, the EUCCI shot a 10-minute long film about the classifying of City Plans. It tells real-life stories, where any resident can become a part of as a result of non-transparent adoption of a City Master Plan without citizen participation in the process. Some anecdotes tell a story of imminent domain, eviction, eradication of green zones, and construction of a plant next to the residential areas.

The characters on the video are civic activists, architects, journalists, and common people who tell about the problem of inaccessibility of City Master Plans through their personal experiences.

This video aims to prove the fact that there are no resident whose lives may not be affected by the non-transparent and inaccessible City Master Plans. City Plans have a direct effect over our lives, health, comfort, safety, and well-beings of our families. The films appeals to the civic and commu-nity activists to get more eagerly involved in the development and adoption of these documents while trying to ‘declassify’ the existing Master Plans, shares his vision Mr. Volodymyr Shcher-bachenko of the EUCCI.

It’s an interesting fact but shortly after the animation films were released a leading Ukrainian TV channel “Inter” used the short films in their evening news show, which aimed at raising the citi-zens’ awareness of the inaccessibility of city master plans (timing 10:00’):

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