There is a shortage of housing in Germany. In order to promote new housing construction at affordable prices, the Federal Government has presented the draft of the Building Land Mobilisation Act.
The bdla is commenting on this as part of the hearing of associations.
The coalition agreement between the CDU/CSU and SPD already stipulates that municipalities should be supported in activating building land and securing affordable housing. As a result, a commission for "Sustainable Building Land Mobilization and Land Policy" was convened, whose recommendations have been incorporated into the bill now on the table.
The focus is on changes to the Building Code and the Land Use Ordinance to provide municipalities with new options for action. Components include the introduction of a new type of development plan and modifications for building in the inner and outer areas.
Intent of the law positive, but hardly any impetus for climate adaptation
The bdla acknowledges that with the draft law, the federal government is attempting to contribute to the activation of building land and to social or price-restrained housing construction. However, the bdla would have considered it just as urgent to pursue the possibilities of the municipalities in building planning law with regard to the generational task of climate adaptation with the same commitment.
Thus, it is unfortunately to be noted that no far-reaching impulses for the planning of a resilient city in climate change emanate from this draft law.
From the point of view of landscape architects, it is to be welcomed that the catalog of concerns in § 1 (6) BauGB is to be supplemented and that green and open spaces - in accordance with their importance - are to be emphasized as a component of sustainable urban development. The same applies to the inclusion of nature experience areas in the catalog of stipulations in § 9 BauGB.
Compensation: compensation money is the right step
Fortunately, the compensation regulation under building law is to be supplemented by the payment of compensation money. It is significant that the regulation correctly defines the priority of real compensation through the chosen wording ("Insofar as compensation is not possible"), i.e. the determination of the compensation money is logically determined as a subsequent part of the known test cascade of the impact regulation. This sequence should be expressed more clearly and understandably in the explanatory memorandum. In its statement, the bdla makes detailed proposals for optimization.
Extension of the § 13b BauGB is rejected
The bdla rejects the extension of § 13b BauGB. The valid reasons for the rejection of the regulation by practically all professional, planner and environmental associations are known to the Federal Government. We refer among other things to the documents mentioned in the following:
A comprehensive current scientific study by the Federal Environment Agency comes to the clear conclusion: "However, the objectives associated with the introduction of § 13b BauGB by the legislature, namely to create substantially new residential land to alleviate the existing housing shortage in growing communities with tight housing markets, are not being achieved. [...] Moreover, the procedures are in part associated with extensive interventions in the natural balance, among other things through the use of structurally rich and ecologically valuable local edge structures. In the procedures, essential elements for securing the material and procedural quality of the development planning are set aside with the abandonment of environmental assessment and impact regulation. [...] The authors of the study urgently recommend against an extension and continuation of §13b BauGB." (Umweltbundesamt, Texte 93/2020).
In order to mitigate the negative effects of §13b BauBG, at least a proper condition should be formulated to guide and limit the application of the instrument. Consequently, § 13b BauGB would have to be limited at least to areas with a tight housing market (cf. § 24 para. 1 sentence 1 no. 3 BauGB-Neu).
Avoiding incompatible densification
The proposal to specify in future only orientation values in § 17 BauNVO (upper limits for determining the extent of building use) is being critically discussed in planning circles. In this regard, the bdla points out that there is a risk of incompatible urban densification.
In this respect it is obvious to examine alternative suggestions for an appropriate extended opening clause again seriously. As a condition for the desired high urban densities, a special open space planning qualification of these districts is required.
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