The local authority that issues illegal land use permits may face sanctions and legal action, in accordance with the new law on territorial planning, land use, and human settlements. The initiative was passed into law last Tuesday, Dec. 20, in the Senate amidst questions from senators regarding the most recent amendments made in the Chamber of Deputies, where despite the fact that a bicameral commission had studied the measure for two years, a separate commission was established for your study, said reports.

On Dec. 22, President Luis Abinader announced the bill. The deputies assessed the proposed regulations in a month and a week, from Nov. 8 to Dec. 19, when the emergency piece was authorized in two discussions after senators and deputies had studied them for two years.

The Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development (MEPyD) or any other person with a legitimate interest may challenge the issuance of a land permit in question before the contentious-administrative jurisdiction under article 88 of the law if it violates the subsidiary regulations established in said regulation.

According to the paragraph of the cited article, until the Contentious Administrative Courts of First Instance is created, the courts of First Instance in their civil attributions will be competent to hear in a single instance and in accordance with the contentious-administrative procedure, of the contentious-administrative appeals against the decisions made by the local governments to which the capital part of that article refers.

A violation of the law may be reported to the local government's executive authority under the provisions of articles 90 and 91, and that authority may then take official action in response.

The urban planner Marcos Barinas and architect Erick Dorrejo Medina, who were briefed on the matter, emphasized that the law represents a step forward in organizing the territories.

According to Dorrejo Medina, this law is extremely significant because, although certain elements of the current legislation are still in place, their application is now possible thanks to clear compliance requirements and sanctions.

He emphasized that, as established by Law 176-07 of the National District and municipal districts, the control over land use currently rests with the municipalities. The Chamber of Deputies, according to him, did nothing more than set a population range so that municipal districts with more than 15,000 residents may implement land use planning.

Dominican Republic
Representation image. Shutterstock/ Maciej Czekajewski

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