Real estate developers and architects are joining forces in the fight for quality legislation

During today’s meeting of the Lithuanian Real Estate Developers Association (LNTPA) board and the Lithuanian Architects’ Chamber (LAR) council members, it was agreed to combine the organizations’ efforts to achieve tangible changes in the state’s legislative processes. LNTPA and LAR agreed to collaboratively create a list of proposals and arguments for the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) committees regarding the new Construction Law project presented to the Seimas by the Lithuanian Government.

The organizations identified that the Ministry of Environment had prepared a draft Construction Law that, if approved by the Seimas, would further extend construction deadlines and increase state inspections. According to the members of the organizations, the project was developed without taking into account the feedback from industry practices and expert organizations, and the consultation process with them was formal.

LNTPA and LAR have committed to taking action, which includes presenting a clearly formulated package of proposals to the Seimas Environmental Protection Committee during an in-person meeting with representatives of the organizations. The media will also be informed about the organizations’ joint initiative to amend the proposed amendments to the Construction Law presented by the Ministry of Environment.

Another important common issue for LNTPA and LAR is the importance and impact of public participation in urban development – where are the limits of its responsibilities? Evaluating the current urban situation in Vilnius, it seems reasonable to conclude that the functions of urban development have been taken over by the public rather than the local government, to which such an obligation has been delegated.

Representatives of LNTPA and LAR acknowledge that there is little voice from the academic community on this topic, and there is a lack of research and analysis on the impact of proposed legislative changes on the city and the country’s economy and housing affordability. Often, decisions are made based on public outcry or the entire legislation is changed due to one or a few violations, without delving into why they occurred.

The real estate industry supports and encourages community involvement in the city’s development process, but notes that the dialogue must occur in a much broader context, involving specialists from relevant fields, the mentioned academic layer, professionals, and local government, which must take leadership and effectively moderate the city’s development discussions.

It was agreed that in order to achieve tangible results, LNTPA and LAR will jointly initiate a dialogue with the Vilnius City Municipality and offer their expert assistance.