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Amendments to Urbanism Law

July 30, 2019

On 29 July 2019, Law no. 151/2019 (“Law 151/2019”) for amending and supplementing Law no. 350/2001 on land planning and urbanism (“Law 350/2001”) entered into force. The amendments included in Law 151/2019 refer mainly to the regime and protection of informal establishments (in Romanian “asezari informale”) which are usually located in the outskirts of urban or rural localities, comprised of improvised dwellings made of recovered materials and / or dwellings made from conventional construction materials.

Law 151/2019 also includes an isolated provision which amends the statute of limitation term for challenging the decisions for issuance, revision, suspension or the annulment of land planning and urbanism documentation. Under the amended version of Law 350/2001, such claim may be filed within five years from the date when such documentation was approved, as opposed to the six months’ statute of limitation term (which could have been extended, for grounded reason, up to maximum one year), which lapsed from various dates, depending on the type of individual administrative deed that was challenged; land planning and urbanism documentation qualified as regulatory administrative deeds could have been challenged at any time.

According to Law 350/2001, land planning and urbanism documentation includes plans for land planning (i.e., plans for land planning of national, zonal or county land), urbanism plans (i.e., detailed, zonal or general urbanism plans) and local and general urbanism regulations.

It is expected that the amendment of the statute of limitation term referring to land planning and urbanism documentation will generate some debate with respect to the implementation thereof, considering, on the one hand, the potential conflict of the new provisions under Law 350/2001 with the entire administrative procedure included under Law no. 544/2004 on administrative proceedings and, on the other hand, the types of urbanism and planning documentations to which the new statute of limitation term will be applied (i.e., documentation that was already approved or which will be approved following the enactment of Law 151/2019).

Law 151/2019 provides the obligation of the relevant ministry to update the methodological norms for the implementation of Law 350/2001 within 120 days from the entry into force of Law 151/2019. Hopefully, the updated methodological norms will clarify this matter and we will keep you updated in this regard.