A case has been initiated regarding the rules governing the management and protection of greenery on privately owned land in Jūrmala
A case has been brought before the Constitutional Court “On Compliance of Paragraph 3 of the Jūrmala City Council Binding Regulation No. 46 of 22 November 2012 “Management and Protection of Jūrmala City Greenery” with Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia”.
The applicant requested the Constitutional Court to declare Paragraph 3 of the Jūrmala City Council Binding Regulation No. 46 of 22 November 2012 “Management and Protection of Jūrmala City Greenery” as incompatible with Articles 90 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, and null, and void from the moment of its adoption. The contested provision was in force until 5 February 2022. It stipulated that all greenery in the territory of Jūrmala city on state, municipal and privately owned land is protected urban greenery and is of public value.
It is evident from the application and the documents attached to it, that the applicant owns a plot of land located in the administrative territory of the Jūrmala city. He has asked Jūrmala City Council to allow him to chop down several trees on the land he owns. By the decisions of the City Council, most of the trees were recognised as being of scenic value and, on the basis of the contested regulation, their chopping down was not allowed. The applicant holds that the contested provision denies him the right to decide on the disposition of his immovable property, its improvement and landscaping, as well as to prevent a potential threat to his property. Moreover, the restriction of the fundamental right – the right to property – resulting from the contested provision has not been established by a clear and in due order adopted normative act. In particular, the contested provision was adopted in breach of the scope of the authorisation given to the municipality. According to the applicant, the legislator has not granted the municipality the right to declare by binding regulations that all trees on privately owned land are protected and have public value, as well as to restrict a person’s right to chop down those trees on the sole ground that they have scenic value.
The Constitutional Court requested the institution that had issued the contested act – the Jūrmala State City Municipality – to submit to the Constitutional Court, by 25 October 2023, a written reply setting out the facts of the case and providing legal substantiation.
The deadline for preparing the case is 23 January 2023. The Court shall decide on the procedure and date for hearing the case after the case is prepared.
Linked case: 2023-36-03