New conditions for obtaining construction documentation
On 3 September 2010 the new Law no. 163 of 09 July 2010 on permitting construction works came into force. The new law stipulates the procedure for permitting, coordinating and verifying design works, construction or demolition of buildings and elements of amenities in accordance with the documentation on urban planning and area development. A significant part of the provisions of the new law covers the procedures of issuing documents for construction, in particular, urban planning certificates and construction permits.
Until recently the issuance of these documents was regulated by the Regulation on urban planning certificate and construction permit or demolition of buildings and amenities (approved by the Government Decision no. 360 of 18 April 1997). And even though that Regulation has not been quashed yet, in fact the rules of the new Law that differ from the previous rules should apply.
As a general rule urban planning certificate and construction permit are issued by city halls of municipalities, towns, communes and villages. They are to be signed by mayors, as well as by local councils' secretaries and chief architects.
Urban Planning Certificate
Urban Planning Certificate used to be the basic document for elaborating construction design documentation. It contained information on real estate's regime at the respective address. The new law introduced the new notion of information urban planning certificate that differs from urban planning certificate for design purposes.
Information urban planning certificate is issued for familiarization with the regimes of the real estate/land plot established in the urban planning and territory development documentation in cases of selling, renting, splitting, consolidating, separating, inheriting real estate, etc. In other words, it is issued for information purposes only.
Urban planning certificate for design purposes is a regulation document permitting to start the elaboration of design documentation.
The new law provides for a limited number of documents that should be submitted in order to obtain an urban planning certificate for design purposes. The following documents should be attached to the application:
- The extract from the real estate registry together with the cadastral plan and/or plan of the property;
- Identity card (for natural persons) or certificate of registration (for legal entities);
- Technical expertise report (in the case of reconstruction, restoration, alteration, or reinforcement of existing real estate objects);
- Notarized consent of co-owners of the real estate property/land plot whose interests can be directly affected;
- The draft design coordinated with the chief architect (in case of placing construction of buildings in the areas of special treatment).
The new law does not allow to demand from applicants to submit any other documents except for above mentioned. Thus, the new Law relieved applicants of the obligation to prepare and gather most of the documents necessary for the development of the urban planning certificate as it used to be before. That duty has now been entrusted to local public authorities themselves. They must, within the short period of time, to coordinate all necessary documentation on urban planning with all respective institutions and public bodies. The applicant should only submit certain basic documents proving his identity and lack of disputes with real estate's co-owners and a document from the cadastral office confirming the registration of his property rights.
The 20-working days term was clearly stipulated for issuing an urban planning certificate (30 working days in certain cases).
With regard to information urban planning certificate, it may be requested by any person upon presenting personal identity documents (or documents on legal entity’s registration).
The cost of urban planning certificate shall not exceed 50 lei.
Elaboration of design documentation
In order to elaborate design documentation it is necessary to obtain a set of documents and carry out certain works, which are issued and performed on the basis of the urban planning certificate:
- Conclusion on the connection to utility networks (issued free of charge by network owners within 20 working days);
- Plan of the networks laying (provided free of charge by local architecture and urban planning authorities within 10 working days);
- Topographic surveying;
- Geotechnical surveying.
On the basis of the above documents and works the elaboration of design documentation is carried out, which must then be coordinated with the chief architect and certified inspectors or inspection agencies.
For obtaining a construction permit an application together with the following documents should be submitted:
- an extract from the real estate registry with the cadastral plan and/or real estate's plan;
- the urban planning certificate for the design;
- extract from the design documents;
- findings on the project documentation verification;
- identity documents - for individuals or certificate of registration - for legal entities;
- field supervision contract between the applicant and the designer.
Requiring presentation of any other documents is not allowed.
The construction permit must be issued within 10 working days from the moment of filing all the above mentioned documents. Moreover, in cases when within the aforementioned period of time it has not been issued without providing any denial notices, the construction permit is deemed to be automatically granted. In this case, the applicant has the right to begin performing the respective works after having notified the official body that should have issued the permit and the State Inspectorate in Construction. After that, the permit must be issued within 3 working days.
The price for construction permit shall not exceed 100 lei.
Works that can be performed without an urban planning certificate and a construction permit
Article 14 of the new Law provides for a list of works that can be performed without an urban planning certificate and construction permit. These works are as follows:
- repairing fences, roofs, surfaces or terraces if their form is not changed;
- replacement and repair of floors, internal and external joinery items, if the shape and size of apertures is retained;
- internal finishing works;
- external finishing works in case the elements of the facade and the colour are not changed;
- replacement or repair of furnaces, structures, systems, technical and sanitary equipment and devices inside the building;
- repair or replacement of the points of connection of utility networks with the object with the property;
- current repairs of communication lines, access roads, parking lots, pavements and stares;
- works on maintenance, current repair of the communication lines infrastructure if the tracing, functions, areas and volumes are kept unchanged;
- surface and underground burial works at cemeteries;
- installation of small architectural forms;
- arrangement of areas adjacent to existing buildings;
- auxiliary and accessory buildings of private houses with the built-up area up to 15 square metres situated on the land plots that are privately owned.
Meeting deadlines for beginning and performing construction works
The start of construction works is stipulated in the construction permit and cannot be more than 6 months from the date the permit is issued. If the construction works do not start within the respective period the permit is considered void and getting a new construction permit is required.
In addition to the moment for starting the works the construction permit also states their duration. It is determined basing on the construction works design and the regulatory documents.
The public authorities that have issued the construction permit and the State Inspectorate in Construction should be notified 10 days in advance before the start of construction works. If a respective notice is not submitted then the works are considered to have started on the next day after receiving the construction permit.
The new Law on permitting construction works should streamline the procedure for issuing documents for construction. There has been introduced the notion of information urban planning certificate which can be obtained by any person to familiarize with the urban planning regime of particular real estate properties.
An important feature of the law is that it simplifies the procedure for coordinating necessary documentation for construction and shifts most of the respective obligation onto local public authorities.
In addition to that, it is now clearly provided that if a respective application was submitted for obtaining a construction permit and no answer is received within the due period of time than the construction permit is deemed granted automatically. Thus, local authorities will either have to provide, within the limited time frame, a motivated denial that can be subject to a judicial contest or the applicant will have the right to start the works as the permit will be deemed granted.
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