Saturday, February 07, 2004

The LRAU law

The LRAU law

(Valencià)

This law was passed in 1994 with the intention of facilitating the development of the Valencian Community in terms of construction. It has been successful in many respects. However, especially in recent years, it has been abused by some developers and has caused huge distress to people who have had their land expropriated with little compensation and/or have been obliged to contribute large sums to neighbouring urbanisation infrastructure costs.

The problems to which the current administration of the land laws have given rise were the subject of a large gathering on November 26, which inter alia was addressed by His Excellency, Sir Peter Torry , the Ambassador of Great Britain. The legal, non-profit, action group, Asociación Valenciana de los Derechos Humanos Medioambientales y en contra de los Abusos Urbanisticos (Abusos Urbanisticos No), was formed and registered to provide a coordinated voice to those affected by and concerned about the application of Valencia’s land laws. This includes Valencianos and other Spaniards, and European Citizens as well as residents who originate from many other parts of the world.

For an explanation in Castellano of this law click here, and for more details of the problems related to the role given of the "Agente Urbanizador" in this law click here. Examples of how the law has recently been applied to Golf course developments can be found here.

Background brief on Valencian Land Laws : February 2004

For some horror stories, click here

RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE EVENT OF BEING AFFECTED BY THE LRAU

A Valencia Life article of Saturday, March 08, 2003 (www.ValenciaLife.net) is giving some hope that the legal front may start to shift:

COURT DECISIONS

The Valencian Superior Court of Justice yesterday handed down a decision that in effect nullifies the first action by Valencia Town Hall under the Valencian land laws known as LRAU. It involves a Town Hall decision taken in 1997 over the creation of a large block of dwellings in Orriols. In a reaction to the court findings, the company who appealed the sentence and won the case yesterday – but lost the urbanizing contract in 1997 – now has expressed the belief that the court decision affects all local infrastructure plans as a result. The Urbanizing department of Valencia Town Hall stated the belief that the court decision would not affect any further plans the department has.

The decision of yesterday pointed out that the criteria of adjudication should be under the State Contracts Law and not under the LRAU. This decision goes radically against previous decisions handed down by the same court, and adds to the question of the unconstitutionality of the LRAU. The debate could continue should Valencia Town Hall decide to appeal this latest sentence.

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