III. CURRENT SITUATION AND MAIN PROBLEMS IN PLANNING
Preparation of the National Plan started on March 17, 1998.
- The report on use of the territory of the country has to be ready before July 31, 2000;
- Development perspective of the territory of the country shall be prepared before December 31, 2000.
- The plans for areas of national significance as well as best practices and different pilot planning projects that can be included in the national planning guidelines, are under preparation.
At present all 26 administrative districts of Latvia are working on preparation of their physical plans, but according to the information provided to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, four district plans are already enforced.
Local comprehensive plans (general plans).
22 local municipalities (cities, towns and rural municipalities) have enforced local municipal plans (general plans) prepared anew (the plans prepared in the soviet period and re–enforced by the municipalities after re-independence of Latvia not included). 19 local municipalities have draft plans. More than 200 municipalities are working on preparation of their comprehensive (general) plans.
Main problems in implementing of planning legislation and in planning practice.
There are several problems in legislation related to planning both directly and indirectly, and in planning practice:
- Insufficient co-ordination between land reform and physical planning has resulted in a number of incompatibilities between land use legislation, on the one hand, and physical planning on the other, which have to be eliminated;
- Strategic environmental impact assessment is not yet incorporated into physical planning legislation;
- Physical planning needs are not enough integrated into the EU accession strategy of Latvia;
- Due to inadequate human, technical and financial resources, preparation of plans is proceeding comparatively slowly;
- As a result of the on-going administrative territorial reform, municipal plans would need revisions;
- Local governments still use plans as tools for decision making inadequately;
- Co-operation between different actors involved in planning (municipalities, state institutions, developers, and society in general) is insufficient;
- Planning control and monitoring system is not developed enough;
- Education programmes integrating all planning aspects are not advanced enough in higher education establishments.
Envisaged changes in planning legislation.
At present the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development is preparing changes to the Regulations on Physical Plans with an aim to harmonise the Regulations with the requirements of the Law on Spatial Development Planning and the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment.
The Latvian contribution was prepared by Lolita Cace and Elita Mihailova
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia
Regional Development Department
Tel.+371 7 026486; +371 7 026488