Sobyanin Makes Construction Permits Easier to Get

Moskva-City gleaming on the capital's western edge. Getting a permit for construction in Moscow, from kindergartens to skyscrapers, could become simpler under new regulations. S. Porter

City Hall is cutting red tape in the construction permit process.

Developers will no longer have to agree on all projects with the city's Fish and Water Resources Department and many other agencies, and the wait for obtaining permission will be pared down by almost a year.

It was a long and arduous process, more terrifying than you can imagine, Barkli president Leonid Kazinets said, referring to the system of agreements that then-Mayor Yury Luzhkov introduced in 2000.

A state examination of blueprints (after which a construction permit is issued and work is authorized) currently requires 30 agreements not required by federal law, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

"Project documentation had to be agreed on with the Natural Resources and Environment Department, Moscow Ring Road administration, Design and Road Studies Institute, Moscow River Shipping and Canal Management Department, Fish and Water Resources Department, Moscow Railways, Moscow Metropolitan Tunnel Development Service, Moscow Gas Main Department and others," said Oleg Shakhov, head of the capital's Committee for Reviewing Construction Projects, or Moskomexpertiza.

"Often a developer would have to obtain double permissions and authorizations," Shakhov added.

Now there is only one permission that needs to be obtained, and you can get it via a window at Moskomexpertiza, the mayor has said.

The committee itself will oversee quality control of project documentation, Shakhov said. The whole process should take 45 days. "There are projects for which the permit can be obtained in 30 days, such as typical kindergartens and schools, and local road projects are planned to take only 10 days." The list of documents required for evaluation will also be reduced from 40 to 13, he said.

After documents are approved, the agreement process should be cut by at least three-fourths and last not more than six months, Kazinets said. Now the process takes 1 1/2 to three years, independent of the project's complexity.

Sobyanin will also reduce fines for builders that miss deadlines. In the future, the fine will be 0.5 percent of the area in natural terms or 0.5 percent of the market value of the completed project for the first six months of delay, and then 1 percent per year after that.

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