A government representative supports LNTPA and suggests to the Mayor of Vilnius to revoke the “greenery” recommendations

A representative of the government supports the position of non-governmental organizations and asks the Mayor of Vilnius to revoke the decree.

A government representative has addressed the Mayor of Vilnius and proposed the annulment of Decree No. 955-208/24 issued on February 12, which imposed additional obligations in Vilnius for those designing structures, especially in cases where there are concerns about preserving trees.

The Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association (LNTPA) and the Lithuanian Architects’ Association (LAR), disagreeing with the decree of the Mayor of Vilnius, appealed to the relevant institutions in early March: LNTPA appealed to the government representative for Vilnius and Alytus counties, and LAR to the Parliamentary Controller, who forwarded the appeal to the same government representative.

Algimantas Pliučas, the chairman of LAR, pointed out that the disputed decree was creating new procedures for the design and approval of structures, parallel to the existing regulations, which were not provided for in the Local Government, Construction, or Greenery Laws, or in the bylaws of these laws.

According to the assessment of the associations, the decree contradicts the principles of the hierarchy of legal acts and encourages legal particularism, where each of the 60 municipalities in the country would have a different and unique procedure for designing and approving structures.

Mindaugas Statulevičius, the president of LNTPA, notes that good goals cannot be pursued by illegal means. These recommendations approved by the mayor not only violate the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the regulatory legal acts regulating construction, the law on local government, but also exceed the mayor’s competence by imposing new obligations on developers not provided for in other legal acts.

According to the associations, the decree creates conditions for redundant procedures and increases the workload of municipal employees. Moreover, the approved recommendations increase the risk of corruption in the Vilnius municipality, as the prescribed procedures are not clearly defined and the final outcome depends on the subjective assessment of the specialist.

The community of architects and real estate developers acknowledges the goals of the Vilnius city municipality and essentially agrees that it is necessary to protect and nurture green spaces. However, in order to achieve the protection of this common interest, we cannot disregard all other fundamental principles of the rule of law (supremacy of law, equality, legitimate expectations, etc.).

The Lithuanian Architects’ Association and the Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association invite the Mayor of Vilnius City Municipality to consider the proposal of the government representative, revoke this flawed legal regulation, and together with the certified community of architects and representatives of the real estate business, implement the broad powers granted to municipal institutions in the field of greenery by the Law on Greenery and jointly shape good practices in the application of legal requirements.

After examining the complaints of LNTPA and LAR and assessing the relevant legal regulations, the government representative for Vilnius and Alytus counties recognized the arguments of the organizations as justified and, in turn, on April 10, addressed the Mayor of Vilnius City Municipality proposing to consider the question of the annulment of Decree No. 955-208/24, as the statutory norms indicated in the preamble of this legal act do not provide a legal basis for recommendations as a bylaw act establishing additional measures for tree protection.

Currently, we are awaiting the decision of the Mayor of Vilnius City Municipality regarding the annulment of the flawed decree.