The deputies want to give valuable land in the center of Uzhgorod (and beyond) for free
The issue of land distribution in Uzhgorod has never been transparent. Between 2000 and now, the deputies of the City Council, regardless of their party affiliation, were successfully distributing land on the outskirts of the regional center and beyond as they deemed fit and without any public control. They were distributing land for free, because the Land Code of Ukraine guarantees that every Ukrainian has the right to his own piece of land.
But, there is no more free land on the outskirts. It's time to allocate land in the historical and business center of the city. Theoretically, free plots of land could be sold or rented out - provided that the landlord does not build something ugly on the site.
But no - Uzhgorod deputies began giving away valuable land for free, citing the relevant articles of the Land Code!
Story number 1: garages on Petofi Square
Imagine Kyiv deputies allocating several small land plots near Maidan Nezaleznosti to build a garage there! What may seem unthinkable in Kyiv is quite real in Uzhgorod.
The historic city square named after Sandor Petofi. At the beginning of it, there is a Consumer Services Center built back in Soviet times. In front of the entrance to the building, there is a small site with two kiosks. They, in fact, do not bother anyone and even fit into the overall look.
On November 7, 2014, deputies of Uzhgorod city council adopted the decision 1507 "On granting and denial of permissions to develop land management projects on land allocation".
The decision contains paragraphs 2.99, 2.100 and 2,101. According to them, citizens Alla Roman, Tetyana Gotra and Anton Belya are permitted to develop documents for the future free allocation of three small plots for construction of individual garages. According to Article 121 of the Land Code, citizens have the right to receive plots of up to 0.01 ha for the said purposes.
And it would not be wrong, if it was not on Mukachivska and Mytrak streets leading to Petofi Square. This immediately raises the question - how can they build garages on streets leading to the city center?
Neither the draft decision. nor the decision itself specifies a particular location where the city officials found three potential sites for the garage. Moreover, the land commission of the City Council recommended to deny applicants in the land, as it does not meet the planning documentation. However, the majority of deputies still voted for the three odious paragraphs of the decision.
And, as this writer has found out, all three plots are on the mentioned and still free site on Petofi Square in front of the Consumer Services Center.
The relevant cartographic materials were provided by Uzhgorod city council in response to his information request.
Moreover, those three plots are adjacent - that is, it is, in fact, one allotment, which was deliberately divided so that the land could be not even sold or at least rented out, but allocated to private persons for free. Clearly, it is not for some garages for three different citizens. More likely, for the construction of a building for a certain interested person.
So here, the community of Uzhgorod is misled twice - firstly, they take a vacant piece of land in the city center; secondly - they do it even without any benefit to the city budget.
Story number 2: a garage in the middle of the pavement
Shvabska Street in Uzhgorod is a kind of business center, as there is a lot of real estate there that is rented out for offices. So, having land here, even for a garage, but free, brings profit. Of course, not for the city budget, because in this case it is free allocation under the requirements of the Land Code.
More specifically, in accordance with paragraph 2.66 of the decision 1507, citizen Petro Dariush is permitted to prepare documents for obtaining free land for a garage.
According to the municipality, the plot is situated on a vacant piece of land at the intersection of Shvabska and Konoplyana Streets - right on the sidewalk. If this plot is removed from the land of general use, pedestrians will have to walk on the roadway.
Somehow, it is hard to believe that citizen Petro Dariush just like that asked the city council for a site for garage, and they quickly found it in the middle of a busy street...
Story number three: garage in the park of residential neighborhood
Soviet planners, while making the road in the Novy neighbourhood of Uzhgorod, left a free space between the highway and residential buildings.Obviously, they did that not with the purpose of having vacant land to be distributed later.
However, members of the City Council of Uzhgorod do not think so - in fact, they divided the park into three equal sites - again, for garage construction.
According to paragraphs 2.69-2.71, "the land for garage" is to be allocated to Lyubov Aldobayeva, Volodymyr Churey and Valeria Vasylkivska.
They can receive "garages" right in the green zone.
So, in the future, there may be a conflict with residents of apartment blocks - it is unlikely people will agree to give away a piece of land with trees. By the way, somewhere in 2007, there was an attempt to take away this park for construction, but citizens repelled the attack.
Story number 4: Pogorelov Street will be entirely built up
Members of Uzhgorod city council always say that there is no more vacant land for individual housing construction in the city, thus hinting that it is not worth to submit applications with such request to the authorities. But it turns out that for some people officials can make effort and find some vacant piece.
For example, in paragraphs 2.98, 2.97 and 5.37 of the decision 1507, the City Council officials "found" three plots to give them for free with the purpose of the construction and maintenance of residential buildings. Lucky recipients are citizens Valentina Sakal, Vasyl Stan and Inna Voronich.
Those plots, according to the City Council, are situated at the beginning ofPogorelov Street - in the direction from Kapushanska Street to the territory of "Zakarpathaz" PJSC. Even the courtyard (!) of the former abandoned book warehouse is up for distribution.
The construction of private homes in this area is hardly possible - it is too noisy. But to re-register the land for other purposes in the future is quite possible. And once again, deputies and officials of the City Hall allowed the pieces of land, that could be sold at auction and bring money to the budget, to be given for free on the grounds that the law guarantees that everyone can have free land.
Story number 5 - where was a green area there will be a private construction
The City Council officials and deputies found as many as 7 plots of 0.1 ha each on Elektrozavodska Street. It was also free allocation of land for housing construction under section 118 of the Land Code of Ukraine. The names of people lucky enough to appeal to the City Council and receive free plots are mentioned in paragraphs 2.86-2.92 of the decision: Nadia Kutsyna; Alla Ollhova; Volodymyr Tertychny; apparently, father and son Ruslan Futornyak, Yevhen Futurnyak; Andriy Holovey; Liliya Surma.
But where did they find land for individual construction on Elektrozavodska Street? According to the municipality, the land plots are located in the green zone.
If you look at the cadastral map of Ukraine, among the already allocated plots, you will see a "piece" of the territory, planted with trees. It is currently owned by the city.
As the saying goes, a holy place is never empty - the City Council promptly prepared and approved the decision to distribute the land there.
Given that there are only factories and warehouses in this area, it is unlikely that they are really are going to build private houses there. And even if they are, why did those particular 7 persons receive land? Why, after all, wasn't that land reserved for participants of the ATO, who are entitled to it?
Who is responsible?
All those land plots were allocated by the same decision. Its legitimacy is being challenged by social activists - especially in terms of whether it was published 20 working days prior to the consideration by the deputies as required by the laws.
The draft decisions were prepared when the City Council was headed by the Secretary Victor Shchadey. The draft decisions were prepared by the head of the land use department Oleksandr Chepky.
Almost a record majority of deputies of the City Council - 54 - voted for those draft decisions
The decision was signed and thus enacted by the then City Council Secretary Vitaliy Semal, who later resigned and hinted that he would not be attending the City Council meetings.
The author appealed the current Secretary of Uzhgorod city council Bogdan Andriyiv asking for his opinion regarding the potential allocation of all the above mentioned land plots. Mr. Andriyiv promised to find out all the facts and to give us his comments and ideas regarding the future of the plots.
Now the reality is as follows: land managements projects are not yet developed and, of course, not approved. So all of the mentioned land is currently still a common property of citizens.
Therefore, Uzhgorod residents still have a chance to save the "free land" in the center of the city and in the park of the Novy neighborhood. To do this, they simply have to make their deputies deny the approval of land management projects.
The City Council of Uzhgorod can still demonstrate a constructive attitude and approach the issue of allocation of these other sites, at least in terms of their official auctioning to make money for the budget. Unless, of course, the money in the pocket for a particular decision does not overshadow common sense of some of Uzhgorod deputies.
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