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The government Medvedev has decided to cancel the public hearing on the urgent urban planning issues

The state Duma with the filing of the government intends to eliminate the intramural mechanism of public hearings on urban Affairs, replacing it with “public comment” on the Internet. Public hearing, obviously, become very uncomfortable for the authorities — after all, too many controversial projects at the citizens managed to block.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The bill prepared by the Ministry of construction (the head — Mr. Men) to the Duma in late March, has made the Russian government decree on the introduction of the document to the state Duma Dmitry Medvedev has signed. The document proposes to “move from the procedure of public hearings the public hearings procedure that can conduct on the Internet”.

The authors of the bill believe that thus it will be possible to inform much more people saving their time.

In order to start to operate the new procedure will have to edit the town planning code (more than 80 of his articles!) and a large number of Federal laws “On principles of local self-government” (edits to hundreds of articles), “On promoting housing construction development” (8 items), and 12 Federal laws. The full text of the bill can be found in the database of the state Duma.


photo: kremlin.ru
Mikhail Men, Minister of construction, which prepared the bill.

Recall that under current law, public hearings may be conducted only in intramural form — still they were very effective tool in the process of making urban planning decisions throughout Russia. Citizens were able at the beginning to stop the many attempts to the point of building, and so on.

Update: the town-planning code now implies that public hearings are held on draft General plans, rules of land tenure and building of municipal entities, the draft documents on territory planning, permissions to use land, “the deviation from the limiting parameters of permitted construction,” reconstruction of objects of capital construction.

Replacing a public hearing for public discussion, authorities suggest that the projects on different urban issues will be posted on the sites, where will be discussed. Those who have problems with the Internet, will be able to come to the exposition of the project and to provide comments in writing.

The government’s initiative was discussed at the meetings of the committees of the state Duma. In April, the Committee on the Federal device and questions of local government, headed by Lproblem Alexei Didenko, spoke against the bill. Senior Advisor office of the Committee Natalia Ivanova said: “of Particular concern is the complete exclusion of the Institute of public hearings on questions of town-planning sector of the Federal law on General principles of organization of local self-government.”

Ivanov said: “the constitutional court in 2010 in its determination stated that the Federal legislator, by defining the public law Institute the public hearing provided an opportunity for civil society to Express collective opinion which not only expresses proposals on the issues under discussion, but in the discussion identifies the differences and allows the dispute to come to a collective, more or less a consensus that the e-institutes of public discussions in principle exclude”.

But the profile Committee of the state Duma — transport and construction, which is also relevant in relation to the so-called “bill’s renovation” — on the contrary, recommended to deputies to approve the bill in the first reading (it is scheduled for June 24). The Committee is chaired by United Russia Evgeny Moskvichev.


photo: youtube.com
United Russia Evgeny Moskvichev, head of the Duma Committee on transport and construction, which recommended the adoption of the bill.

The government bill sparked outrage among activists who in different cities of Russia protesting against the controversial town planning decisions. According to many citizens, mass edit of Federal laws and the town planning code in order to understandable and not time-tested mechanism of public hearings was replaced by a confusing and opaque process Internet discussions, it is not justified. And it took the authorities only in order to avoid the “uncomfortable” full-time communication with the Russians on key issues.

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