New Ordinance shall regulate the easements of water supply and sewerage facilities
20 May 2020
On March 27, 2020, Ordinance No. РД-02-20-1 of March 5, 2020 on the conditions and procedure for determining the proportions and location of the easement strips and the special regime for the exercise of easements over water supply and sewerage pipelines (networks) and facilities outside towns and villages (the “Ordinance”) entered into force. Тhe relations connected to the easements over the water supply and sewerage facilities are being regulated for the first time with the Ordinance, thus bridging a gap in the law, which poses many practical problems in the construction and maintenance of water supply and sewerage facilities. The Ordinance shall apply to the sites for which the permit for designing a parcel plan has been issued after its entry into force. The assignors shall also have the opportunity, at their own discretion, to apply the rules of the Ordinance in the cases where the permit for designing a parcel plan has been issued before the entry into force of the Ordinance, i.e. before March 27, 2020.
The Ordinance applies when determining the easement strips in the construction of new, as well as in major repairs and reconstruction of existing water supply and sewerage pipelines and facilities, which are public state or public municipal property in unregulated territory – i.e. outside the nucleated settlements and dispersed settlements (the Ordinance introduces the definition “Linear water supply and sewerage site”). These are distinguished from the water supply and sewerage networks, which fall within the regulated territory of towns and villages, the construction of which continues to be determined by the general and detailed development plans.
Underwater linear water and sewage sites located in the sea areas, inland waterways and ports of the Republic of Bulgaria are also excluded from the scope of the Ordinance.
The Ordinance contains detailed rules regarding the determination of the proportions and location of the easement strips, the regime for exercising the easements, as well as the rules for the locating additional (alternative) pipelines for water supply and wastewater disposal.
The requirement for the location and proportions of the easement strips for construction of new, as well as for major repairs or reconstruction of existing linear water supply and sewerage sites, when changing the route, scope and boundaries of the easement strips shall be determined by a parcel plan approved in accordance with the Spatial Development Act. The Ordinance explicitly introduces criteria which comply with the design of the preliminary draft of the parcel plan and the final one. A parcel plan is not required only if the easement of the new water supply and sewerage networks falls entirely within the easement of the existing water supply and sewerage pipelines or facilities.
The requirements for the easement strips proportions, for the location, reconstruction or repair are in accordance with the type of the site, the method of laying, the technological requirements, and the location of the easement strip.
The special regime for the exercise of easements is focused on the restrictions on the ownership right, which are imposed on the parts of the land properties in which the linear water supply and sewerage sites are located.
Easements are exercised by the persons who build and operate water supply and sewerage pipelines and facilities and relate to the construction, operation, passage, repair and restoration activities of networks and facilities. Proportionate obligations have been established for these persons in connection with the restoration activities and the maintenance of the easement strips. Reflecting the easement strips in the cadastre and the photographed linear water supply and sewerage sites and the facilities with them in the specialized maps under the Cadastre and Property Register Act have been established in addition to the obligations of the said persons and at their expense.
Also, the Ordinance contains obligations for the owners of the affected properties, which include refraining from active works within the easement strips of the linear water supply and sewerage sites, which would affect the integrity of the linear water supply and sewerage sites, such as construction, excavation works, etc.
The provisions regarding the special regime for exercising the easements shall also apply to the water supply and sewerage pipelines (networks) and facilities existing before entry into force of the Ordinance.
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