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  • Παναγιώτης Γαλάνης

Residential Control Zone • Legal dimensions

The legal framework of construction

With Law 1337/1983 (see article 183 of the Civil Code) it was possible to create Residential Control Zones (ZOE). With this institution, the control of land uses is achieved in areas outside the city plan that consist of properties not intended for construction. It is a preventive institution. ZOE are not urban planning, but are a key means of state intervention in the area. However, it appears from their content that they contain elements from all three levels of planning: Spatial plans (control of area activities), regulatory plans (determining land uses) and town planning plans (determining building conditions and restrictions). It differs as an institution and conceptually from off-plan construction.

The cities and settlements around the boundaries of which a Residential Control Zone (ZOE) is defined are defined by PD issued at the proposal of the Ministry of the Interior. With them, the width of the ZOE is determined in each specific case of a settlement or its location, or the limits of the ZOE are determined on a map of an appropriate scale that is published with a reduced size together with the PD. The width of the ZOE is calculated from the respective extreme limits of the approved city plan or settlement before 1923.

With the ZOE determination deed, areas/elements/nature groups are characterized and building conditions and land uses are imposed. Sometimes, for the protection of sensitive ecosystems, the terms of the ZOE apply by way of derogation, e.g. for the islands.

The information referred to in paragraph 1 of article 420 of the Civil Code shall be attached to the foreclosure deeds for real estate in the ZOE. Deeds drawn up in violation of the prohibition of partition below the limits defined by the PD are (automatically) void. Agents, brokers, those who mediate in such transactions, notaries and mortgagees who draw up or transcribe such contracts, are punished with the penalties of paragraph 8 b of article 382. It is prohibited, i.e. the division of land within ZOE under the limits area provided.

The validation of the Justice of the Peace cures the nullities of the agricultural legislation only, and the related legal actions entered into in violation of these provisions are absolutely invalid even after their validation by the competent Justice of the Peace, since the latter's decision only cures invalidities from the violation of relevant provisions of the Agricultural Legislation. For this to happen, the division should have been made at a time when the ZOE was created and therefore, the corresponding presidential decree was in force, and the relevant prohibition also covers the division of an already non-even property into even smaller territorial sections, in terms of its purpose legislator with the adoption of this regulation is the improvement of environmental conditions and living conditions, by preventing the fragmentation of real estate into small properties and the anarchic construction in them


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