Division of land into categories has no reason to be canceled in Russia

9 june 2014

The Analytical Center held the discussion of the draft federal law № 465407-6 “On amendments to the Land Code of the Russian Federation and certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation regarding the transition from the division of land into categories, to territorial zoning”.

Participants analyzed the changes included in this draft law and discussed the proposals to amend the existing legislation in terms of improving the legal regulation for canceling the land categories and transition to territorial zoning.

“Land legislation changes without any system or certain concept but only when an issue needs to be addressed. Last year alone there were 2 draft laws in this sector”, mentioned the Head of Directorate for Legal Groundwork for Land and Property Regulations of the Analytical Center, Natalia Zhavoronkova. According to her, the last draft law on canceling the land categories “practically nullifies the entire land legislation, making it part of the urban construction sector”. “I don’t understand the ideology of the law, - sais Ms. Zhavoronkova, - because changing the word “category” with “zone” does not make any practical difference”. She added that the only two things that got modified were the responsible authorities and the fact that designers and architects were given more job opportunities, because all issues regarding the land will be solved by urban construction regulations.

The Adviser to the same Directorate Galina Vypkhanova, considers that changing the “categories” with “territorial zones” is explained by the attempt to draw an analogy with the foreign legislation. According to her, in Europe and USA the land is divided into zones and legislation in this sector is well developed. “In contrast to the Soviet approach, in foreign countries the territory is viewed from the position of the landscape, both natural and anthropogenic, urbanized”, - pointed out Ms. Vypkhanova, adding that the landscape approach was used in Russia also, but failed to develop.

During the event experts remarked that some CIS countries kept the law which divides the land into categories and modified its provisions according to their preferences. Among these states are: Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan.

Participants to the discussion came to an agreement that Russia doesn’t have any global, economic and social grounds, requiring urgent cancellation of land division into categories, and that modifications in the land sector will take a lot of work.