Tbilisi City Hall Takes into Account Public Defender’s Recommendation relating to Zonal Agreement

The Public Defender of Georgia welcomes the implementation of the Public Defender's recommendation by the Tbilisi municipality and the revocation of Tbilisi Mayor’s Order N3383 of August 7, 2015 relating to a special (zonal) agreement. The mentioned decision was made by Tbilisi City Hall in favor of maintaining a healthy environment in the city.

The Public Defender of Georgia, on the basis of citizens' application, examined the legality of the planned construction of a multi-apartment building on Marabda Street in Tbilisi. The results of the examination made it clear that the administrative body had issued a special (zonal) agreement without thorough examination and proper substantiation of the case, to the detriment of the right to live in a healthy environment, which contradicts the requirements of law.

Along with other issues, the Public Defender explained in the recommendation that when making decisions on urban development, it was necessary to take into account the complex challenges that had emerged during the active, chaotic and spontaneous development of large cities, including Tbilisi, and the current situation of spatial arrangement. Thus, the relevant authorities are obliged to take the kind of decisions that will help alleviate and not aggravate situation in big cities. In this particular case, the already intensive urban planning in the vicinity of the project areas was further aggravated by the decision to increase parameters, including in terms of road efficiency and movement of vehicles.

Tbilisi City Hall considered the Public Defender's argument and indicated in the new decision that maintaining a healthy environment was a common challenge, which had not been considered in the given case. In addition, according to the City Hall, the activities of natural persons and legal entities may be restricted in the field of spatial planning if the above contradicts law, public interests or violates the rights of others.

The Public Defender once again welcomes the decision of Tbilisi City Hall to revoke the special (zonal) agreement and calls on all municipalities to adhere to universal standards of the right to live in a safe environment and to act in accordance with high public interests when making each decision.

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