Lands of topical significance

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From the beginning of the current year the article of the Federal law “Introduction of the Land Code of the Russian Federation into operation” should have come into effect. However on the 27th of December 2009 the Federal law postponed the enactment of the given article till the 1st of January 2012. Introduction of this norm could have led to cancellation of such a process as alteration of the type and category of the land lot. But the issues about the alteration of the land lot from one category into another and the change of the type of permitted use turned out to be topical for the present time.

According to the p.4 of article 9 of the RF Urban-developing Code “Appointment of the territorial planning and types of documents of territorial planning” it is prohibited to make decision regarding land reservation, collection (also by means of redemption) of land plots for government and municipal demands by the government authorities and local administration agencies, alteration of the land lots from one category into another in the absence of the documents of territorial planning, excluding the cases stipulated by federal laws. 
In other words they stipulated a prohibition for the change of a land lot category, provided there is no general plan, territorial planning scheme (plan of land-utilization and area development).  
Consequently, in the light of time displacement the issues of the alteration of the land lot from one category into another and the change of type of permitted use are staying topical. Therefore it is reasonable to point out the legal aspects of this process briefly.  

 “Categorical” lands
It is necessary to turn the attention to such concepts as “category” and “type of the permitted use”, the legal analysis of documents and land bargains, and determine the stages of the alteration.  
So, according to article 7 of RF Land Code  “Structure of lands of the Russian Federation” and according to the purposive appointment, the lands in RF are divided into the following categories: 
1) lands of agricultural purpose;
2) lands of residential area;
3)lands of industry, energy, transport, communication, radio and television broadcasting,  information technology, lands of space activity support, lands of defense, safety and lands of other purposive appointment. 
4) lands of special protection territories and objects;
5) lands of forest resources;
6) lands of water resources;
7) lands of reserves.
These lands are used in accordance with the determined purposive appointment. The legal regime of lands is fixed according to their belonging to the definite category and the permitted use in compliance with the territorial zonation. 
Thus the Land Code stipulates seven types of land lot category. The given list is considered to be full.

Obstinate classification 
Unlike the classification of land lot categories, the classification of types of permitted use is rather difficult. It is noteworthy that there is no exhausting list of types of permitted use. 
The Town-planning Code of the Russian Federation, particularly article 78 “ Utilization of lands of agricultural appointment”, consists a series of articles dealing with the type of permitted use, including: 
1) article 37 of the RF Town-planning Code “ Types of permitted use of land lots and objects of capital construction”  - permitted use of land lots and capital construction objects can be of the following types: 
– main types of permitted use;
– relatively permitted types of use;
– secondary types of permitted use that are admissible only in regards to the main types of permitted use and relatively permitted types of use and executed  осуществляемые совместно с ними.
2) Article 35 of the RF Town-planning Code “Types of territorial zones”  – as a result of the town-planning zonation it’s possible to single out residential zones, social-business, industry zones, as well as the zones of engineering and transport infrastructures, agricultural use, recreation purpose, specially protected territories, special purpose, military installation and others. 
Along with the types investigated by this article the local government body can fix other types of territorial zones, which are determined in compliance with functional zones and peculiarities of use of land plots and objects of capital construction.   
Any kind of permitted use of the territories stipulated by zonation is chosen independently, without extra permissions and coordination procedures.  
Change of one type of permitted use of land lots and capital construction objects into another one is accomplished in conformity with the Town-planning regulation on condition of complying with the requirements of the technical regulations.   Thus the list of types of permitted use is not comprehensive and can be added.

 
Transfer of lands
It is essential to point out the basic stages of change of category and type of permitted use. The legal regulation of relations resulting from the land rezoning is fulfilled by the RF Land Code and the Federal Law №127-FZ dated from December 21, 2004 “Land rezoning” etc.
Thus according to provisions of the Federal law №127-FZ dated from December 21, 2004 “Land rezoning” the stages of rezoning are as follows:  drawing up and application of the petition of recategorisation by the interested individual and consideration of the petition by the authorized agency.  
Here are the results of investigation of the petition:
– act of transfer of lands or land plots from one category to another;
– act of abjudication of the recategorisation of lands and land plots.


Face the future
As to the procedure of change of type of the permitted use, it is stipulated by the Town-planning Code of the Russian Federation (articles 37, 39), which includes:
1) application for the change of the permitted use to the local government body;
2) public hearings with participation of the residents of the territorial zone   where the land plot is located, and the owners of the neighboring land plots;
3) decision of change of the type of permitted use of a land plot or the refusal of such a change.
Notwithstanding the seeming simplicity and clarity of the process, the procedure takes rather long time that is half a year or 2 years. Furthermore the claimants face the administrative obstacles and paper chase. And the process requires immense material expenses.


Hard choice
The people that are taking the possession of the land plots first of all should pay their attention to the category or type of permitted use of the land plot, and to the limitations settle in regards to the given land plot, for instance gas-pipes, communication, water-supply, cords, etc., also it’s essential to bring to notice that all data given in the documents corresponds the aims of acquisition of the land plot.  
According to the p.2 of article 8 of the Land Code, the land category is shown in:
1) acts of the federal bodies of the executive body, acts of the agencies of executive power of RF constituent territories and the acts of agencies of local government about provision of land plots;
2) land plot agreements;
3) the state real estate cadastre;
4) documents of state registration of rights for immovable property and the attendant deeds;
5) other documents in cases settled by federal laws and laws of the constituent territories of the Russian Federation

Requirements of the purchaser. 
However, before the recommendations for purchasing one or another land plot it is essential to deal with the requirements of the client. Let’s point out a standard set of requests: a land plot for a house, a transport infrastructure, communications of gas, water-supply, electricity, sewage pipes, good ecology, and permanent record. Not all the land plots are suitable for the construction of houses and registration at place of residence.  For these purposes we recommend settlement lands, given for individual housing construction or low-height construction. 
To purchase the land plot it is necessary to undertake the range of standard actions and make the following documents:
1) passport of an individual,  or constituent documents of the legal body (seller);
2) land plot ownership certificate (original);
3) check the authority of the person, working with the power of attorney (if there is any);
4) cadastre plan for the land plot (original);
5) documents of title ( decrees of the authority bodies, agreements, certificate of inheritance right, etc.);
6) other documents confirming the honesty of the seller (e.g. note of absence of tax indebtedness, consent of the spouse, etc.) 
The list is not exhausting since each case of land acquisition is particular. 
Overall, the process of legal support of a transaction is quite difficult and long-lasting. And nobody but the highly educated legal specialist can handle it. Therefore to manage the risks it’s reasonable to take a legal advice.

25 March 2010
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