Under current laws, two permits are required for a construction project: a zoning permit (which must be obtained first) and a building permit. Applications for both permits are made to the relevant district office of state administration, part of the Ministry of Environment. A regional office and a central ministerial office, respectively, will serve as appellate bodies in the case of application denials.
A zoning permit application may be submitted by the landowner or by a person acting with the landowner's written consent. Certain required documentation, such as zoning plans and descriptions, must accompany the application.
The district office will then conduct formal investigation proceedings or oral hearings to obtain objections or comments from state authorities or others whose rights may be affected by the requested zoning permit.
Objections may be made only within the time period established by the district office, which may not be less than seven days. Zoning permits are usually issued for a two-year period, unless a longer period is requested and approved. Extensions may be granted upon submission of a written request.
A building permit application must include evidence of the applicant's title to or other right to use the land. A district office may issue a building permit only after considering all reasonable objections, and potentially affected parties must be given at least seven days (if personally informed) or fifteen days (if a public announcement is made) to submit their objections. Building permits are normally issued for a two-year term, unless a longer period is requested and approved, and they may be extended. Upon an applicant's specific written request, a district office has discretion to permit certain small construction to proceed without a building permit.
As a general rule, the process of securing zoning and building permits can be time consuming as well as frustrating.
Julian Juhasz and Kevin Connor are attorneys with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Their column appears monthly. Send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. May 2000 at 0:00 | Julian Juhasz