Ukraine introduces priority urban planning measures to overcome the consequences of the war

On June 9, 2022, Law No. 2254-IX of May 12, 2022 on Amendments to Certain Ukrainian Laws on Priority Measures for the Reform of Urban Planning Activities (the “Right“) entered into force in Ukraine, which aims to reform the rules of urban construction applicable during the period of martial law and thereafter to overcome the consequences of the Russian invasion and war.

Settlement renovations

The law provides for the main conceptual steps in the reconstruction of settlements and territories destroyed as a result of Russian armed aggression. In particular, a new special type of urban planning program, the “Comprehensive Reconstruction Program for Settlements (Territories)”, has been introduced, which defines the essential spatial and socio-economic priorities as well as priority measures to ensure the reconstruction of establishments and territories of victims of hostilities, terrorist acts, etc. This program includes the following elements:

  • the general description of the establishment or territory;
  • damage caused by military, terrorist, subversive actions or emergency situations;
  • the general approach on how to renovate the territory;
  • information on the technical capabilities and economic viability of the ongoing renovation, capitalization or repair as well as new construction;
  • suggestions for changing the designated land use;
  • suggestions for the relocation of industrial objects;
  • a preliminary feasibility study; and
  • sources of financing for the renovation.

The law provides that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine will adopt regulations stipulating the procedure for drafting this document. The responsibility for preparing and approving the program rests with the local councils.

Once approved, the program should be considered and used with other local planning documents.

Planning documents for temporary accommodation

The law also establishes regulatory procedures for the placement of temporary settlements, complexes designed for the livelihoods (eg, temporary residences and service facilities) of displaced persons and the engineering networks necessary for the operation of these facilities. These structures are not considered buildings or real estate. These temporary residential and service facilities may be set up on land of any category (with the exception of land in the nature reserve fund and other nature conservation land with historical and cultural use and land with forest) without changing their destination under the legal regime of martial law, state of emergency in Ukraine. In addition, the regulations also include procedures for developing a temporary facility layout for residential accommodation.

The head of a settlement council or a military administration is the authority empowered to initiate the development of the layout plan for temporary installations. The plan must be approved by the competent local architecture and town planning authority and adopted by decision of the head of the local council or the head of the military administration.

In order to speed up the completion of temporary accommodation, the law allows local authorities to start construction work immediately after the adoption of the planning decision. If the result differs from the approved scheme, the location of the defined structures must be aligned with the layout.

Changing public land uses

To allow the relocation and construction of essential infrastructure, the law simplifies the rules for establishing or modifying the use of state and municipal lands.

Ukrainian regulations provide for exhaustive lists for the designation of land plots that correspond to and can be established in a particular type of functional development zone defined by the planning documentation. However, the law establishes that during the legal regime of martial law in a respective territory, the establishment and modification of the designation of land is permitted without respecting these rules (except for nature conservation and landscape areas and recreational lands, historic and cultural lands, waterbed lands) for the following:

  • construction (both new construction and reconstruction) of buildings for the temporary accommodation of internally displaced persons;
  • hosting the production facilities of companies relocated (i.e. evacuated) from combat zones;
  • construction of river ports or terminals on the Danube;
  • location of objects of road and transport infrastructure (except road service facilities), power supply networks, gas distribution, water supply, heating, sewage, electronic communication networks, objects of main gas pipelines ;
  • placement of temporary storage of waste resulting from destruction caused by military operations, terrorist acts, diversion or for the demolition of seriously destroyed installations;
  • placement of multimodal terminals and production and reloading complexes.

Local planning authorities should confirm the requested destination by issuing a relevant conclusion. Such a conclusion is considered a special type of planning condition and limitation, which exempts developers from certain mandatory steps within a standard design and construction procedure. Exemptions allow:

  • developers must draw up design documentation and organize construction work without technical conditions for the network and other connections (these conditions must be obtained before commissioning); and
  • proponents must draft design documentation before completing and approving land management documentation to establish or change land use.

In addition, the law improves procedures for inspecting damaged real estate by giving the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction of Ukraine the power to develop a methodology for inspecting damaged buildings and structures and record the results.

Legislation: Law of Ukraine No. 2254-IX of May 12, 2022 “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Priority Measures for Reform of Urban Planning Activities”