The Constitutional Court terminates legal proceedings in the case regarding apart of the spatial plan of the Amata Regional Council

17.03.2020.

On 17 March 2020, the Constitutional Court has adopted the decision in case No. 2019‑14‑03  “On Compliance of the Binding Regulation by the Amata Regional Council of 19 December 2018 No. 12 “The Rules on the Use and Construction in the Territory and the Graphic Part of the Spatial Plan of the Amata Region for 2014–2024 (with Amendments of 2018)” in the Part Regarding the Borders of Anna Village of Zaube Rural Municipality and the Type of Territory Use of the Immovable Property with Cadastre No. 4296 009 0047 with Article 115 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia”.

 The Contested Legal Act

The Binding Regulation by the Amata Regional Council of 19 December 2018 No. 12 “The Rules on the Use and Construction in the Territory and the Graphic Part of the Spatial Plan of the Amata Region for 2014–2024 (with Amendments of 2018)” in the Part Regarding the Borders of Anna Village of Zaube Rural Municipality and the Type of Territory Use of the Immovable Property “Kalna Cerēni” with Cadastre No. 4296 009 0047  (hereafter – immoveable property “Kalna Cerēni”).

The Norm of Higher Legal Force

Article 115 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia (hereafter – the Satversme): “The State shall protect the right of everyone to live in a benevolent environment by providing information about environmental conditions and by promoting the preservation and improvement of the environment”.

The Facts

The case was initiated on the basis of Uģis Lapiņš’ application. The applicant owns immovable property, which is located in Amata Region, Zaube Rural Municipality and is adjacent to immovable property “Kalna Cerēni”.  It is alleged that, by the contested legal act, immovable property  “Kalna Cerēni” had been included within the borders of Anna Village of Zaube Rural Municipality”, changing the type of its use; i.e., defining that it is “territory of public construction”.

The applicant holds that the contested legal act violates several norms of regulatory enactments that regulate the planning of spatial development and principles of planning spatial development.  Allegedly, no substantiation for changing the borders of Anna Village of Zaube Rural Municipality or the type of use for immovable property “Kalna Cerēni” can be found in the preparatory materials for the contested legal act. Hence, the contested legal act is said to be incompatible with Article 115 of the Satversme.

The Court’s Findings and Decision

The Amata Regional Council has requested termination of legal proceedings in the case since the contested legal act has become void. [2.]

In examining, whether there were grounds for terminating legal proceedings in the case, the Constitutional Court established: 1) whether the contested norm had become void, and 2) whether circumstances requiring continuation of legal proceedings did not exist. [7.]

On 4 September 2019, the Amata Regional Council issued the Binding Regulation No. 7 “On Recognising the Binding Regulation Amata Regional Council of 19 December 2018 No. 12 “The Rules on the Use and Construction in the Territory and the Graphic Part of the Spatial Plan of the Amata Region for 2014–2024 (with Amendments of 2018)” as being Void in a Part” (hereafter – Binding Regulation No. 7). Following the adoption of the Binding Regulation No. 7, the amendments with respect to the borders of Anna Village of Zaube Rural Municipality are no longer in force and the borders of the village and the functional zoning defined in the Binding Regulation of the Amata Regional Council of 26 February 2014 No. 6 “The Spatial Plan of Amata Region for 2014-2024” is applicable to this territory. I.e., in accordance with this regulation immovable property “Kalna Cerēni” is no longer part of Anna Village of Zaube Rural Municipality and the type of its use is “agricultural territory”. [8.]

In assessing whether no circumstances existed requiring continuation of the legal proceedings, the Constitutional Court took into account the fact that the contested legal act had been recognised as being void as of the date of its adoption – 19 December 2018. Moreover, prior to adopting the Binding Regulation No. 7, the Amata Regional Council had not started implementation of the contested legal act. [9.]

The Constitutional Court decided:

to terminate legal proceedings in the case “On Compliance of the Binding Regulation by the Amata Regional Council of 19 December 2018 No. 12 “The Rules on the Use and Construction in the Territory and the Graphic Part of the Spatial Plan of the Amata Region for 2014–2024 (with Amendments of 2018)” in the Part Regarding the Borders of Anna Village of Zaube Rural Municipality and the Type of Territory Use of the Immovable Property with Cadastre No. 4296 009 0047 with Article 115 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia”.

The decision is not subject to appeal.

The text of the decision in Latvian is available on the homepage of the Constitutional Court: http://www.satv.tiesa.gov.lv/web/viewer.html?file=/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-14-03_Lemums-par-tiesvedibas-izbeigsanu.pdf#search=

Linked case: 2019-14-03