The way in which the excessive municipal bureaucracy operates as a “plug” in the development of private works in the city is a problem that the development sector has been demanding to solve for years.
Now, to that difficulty the pandemic context is added: a good part of the municipality, including the CPCs, does not work due to the quarantine and the union conflict between Suoem and the Martín Llaryora administration.
One piece of information illustrates the impact of this scenario: CPCs manage 82 percent of the construction permits received by the commune. The rest goes through the central administration, the only one active today.
In this context, the developers put the request back on the table to speed up the authorization of works. It was during a virtual meeting organized by the Business Chamber of Urban Developers (Ceduc) with the municipal urban development secretary, Daniel Rey, along with part of his team.
In this context, they also provided an overview of their activity: operations are almost 25% above pre-quarantine levels.
In a cordial climate and joint work, businessmen did not stop being emphatic about the need to eliminate bureaucracy: for example, that it does not take more than a year to obtain authorization to start a project or to start getting out of the neck of bottle caused by pandemic.
“At Docta we have demand from many professionals who want to start their works, they are duplexes or houses, they have the resources to do so but they are unable to get the permits,” said Lucas Salim CEO of Grupo Proaco, summarizing a sector demand.
Daniel Rey admitted that the atypical panorama adds many difficulties, but assured that the administration works to carry out the largest number of projects. And he anticipated some regulatory and structural changes in which he works in order to streamline and favor the performance of private works.
1,600 works in progress
Rey highlighted the work that was done to obtain the CEO’s permission to rehabilitate private construction in the city. “That allows that today there are 15,000 people working in the sector.”
With the green light, some 1,600 works that had the official pre-pandemic permit could be rehabilitated. “There are 1,100,000 square meters authorized in the Center,” said the official.
Private Works works today with a window enabled in the central administration that requires a previous shift; and with a good part of the work in charge of the officials. It also manages ongoing inquiries and procedures by mail, they have between 700 and 800 answered.
Rey graphed the magnitude of the bottleneck with one piece of information: only for cooperatives, his management assumed with 13,000 plans to be approved.
Now or never
“Take advantage of the political moment they are experiencing to release a little that bureaucratic pressure they have and lean on the professional associations to do it,” urged José Luis Acevedo, president of Grupo Canter, also referring to the changes that the Llaryora management is applying to expenses and human resources.
Rey assured that this is working: “In no way are we letting the moment pass. The first thing we did was open the works. But we have also relied on the sectoral chambers and we are making agreements with the schools to help us with the visas and we can give the building permits as quickly as possible. ”
The official admitted that the practice “brings union problems” indoors.
Urban development agreements with new capital gains
The head of Urban Development provided definitions regarding various topics that interest developers.
Regarding urban agreements, he confirmed that the tool is valuable and will continue to be used, although in principle for projects located within the urban area, since the idea is not to further extend the city but to densify it.
Regarding the more than 30 agreements “inherited” from Ramón Mestre’s administration, he said: “They will be absolutely respected, but the mayor asked us to create a commission in the Deliberative Council to review them: we will see if they were fulfilled. The capital gains to be captured by the municipality will also be updated ”.
They destroy green terraces
Regarding the green roof ordinance sanctioned during the Mestre administration (12548), Rey questioned whether it has been sanctioned with “retroactive effect” (for works already approved at the time of its sanction); and advanced changes.
“We were able to determine that the retroactive application was unconstitutional and that allowed unlocking files awaiting the end of the work,” he said.
And he anticipated that they will work on a new ordinance that repeals the current one, and that is propositional: consider the application of sustainable systems as optional and with incentives.
Streamline infrastructure works
Rey assured that the commune works to streamline processes such as the authorization of works for the connection of services and infrastructure. For this, the plan is to merge the Municipal Entity for the Administration of Public Space (EMAEP) with the Cortes Commission.
At the same time, the municipality maintains working tables with the companies that supply energy, water and gas.
Vehicle restriction in the Center
Rey assured that the changes in the streets integrate a global mobility plan, that seeking to manage the central area does not harm it.
According to what he said, there is an urgent need to stop the damage that vehicular traffic (especially bus traffic) is causing to high-value buildings such as the Cabildo or the Cathedral.
“We are not pedestrianized streets, but restricting some, putting bicisendas, widening sidewalks. Of course, tourists can drive to hotels. In this matter we are in permanent dialogue with all the aforementioned business chambers ”.
The aim is to review the catalog of protected properties and ordinances, and activate tools that allow, in the words of the commune, to have property with patrimonial value in this city “not be a punishment” but rather a benefit.