A new ordinance alters the legal framework for authorizing construction works

An important amendment to law no. 50/1991 that governs the authorization of construction works (“Law No. 50”) became effective on June 14, 2017.

The need for an amendment emerged because of a major delay in issuing of building permits for construction works in Bucharest. The delays were caused by two factors: (i) the inaccurate demarcation of historical monuments protection areas; and (ii) the fact that under the previous legal framework, the Bucharest General City Hall had an obligation to issue urbanism certificates and building permits for construction works performed for properties located within historical monuments protection areas, which represent approximately 85% of the city’s surface.

Because of insufficient human and logistics support for the Bucharest General City Hall, the 30 days legal time limit for issuing urbanism certificates and building permits was often exceeded, which led to court actions, administrative fines, and additional expenses for the local authorities.

The Ordinance solves these issues by amending Article 4 paragraph (1) of Law No. 50 to provide that the District Halls are the authorities responsible for issuing urbanism certificates and building permits for works performed within the administrative territory of each district, including works performed on historical monuments sites and works for connecting to public utility networks, except for:
a)construction works for investments to be performed on land situated within the limits of two or more districts or located outside built-up areas;
b)construction, re-construction, extension, repair, consolidating, restoring, conservation works, and any other type of works, irrespective of value, to be performed to (i) constructions or parts of constructions registered as a “monument” under the provisions of Law No. 422/2001 on protection of historical monuments; (ii) land or constructions located within protected built-up areas, buildings having significant historical value or land or constructions located on parcels included in the historical monuments list;
c)renovating, upgrading, or extending works of public utilities networks, underground or above-ground urban transportation, transport and distribution of water, sewer, gas, electricity, heating, and communication lines performed within either public or private property in the Bucharest Municipality, as well as renovation and upgrading works performed on streets managed by the Bucharest General City Council.

Government Emergency Ordinance No. 40/2017 (the “Ordinance”) was published in the Romanian Official Gazette on 14 June 2017 and became effective that same day.

Stratulat Albulescu - Attorneys at law