Illegal construction has been taking place since the spring 2020 on the community-owned land near 10 Margaryan Street, Yerevan, Ajapnyak Administrative District. The municipality suspended the construction, however, the developer not only did not bring the area to its original appearance, but also “managed” to complete the construction of the building.
Since the very beginning of his term of service, mayor Hayk Marutyan has been quite sharp about the legalization of illegal contractions “…I do not tolerate any type, any sort of illegal construction. Whatever it is, whoever is behind it, I don’t care at all… absolutely no one can be above the law and the people,”- stated Marutyan in February 2020.
About 10 Margaryan Street
The community plot on which developer Marine Simonyan started construction was once a green area (lawn).
In that part of the street currently there are other kiosks that have been legalized.
Yerevan municipality informed Fip.am that the protocol on illegal construction on community land was drawn up by the municipality on May 16, 2020.
Two days later, on May 18, the municipality demolished the half-built building. Leaving the construction residues on the construction site, the developer resumed work some time later.
On May 26, during the city council meeting, the head of Ajapnyak administrative district, Telman Tadevosyan said that the developer had applied to buy the area by auction more than a year ago, but the municipality has not yet proceeded with the case.
“After just waiting, she saw that there was no process going on, so she had to start that illegal construction.”
During the meeting, the members of the Council of Elders mentioned that the appearance of a new building in the area may cause dissatisfaction of the residents as well, as the first floor windows of the building will look at the new building, and the distance between the residential building and the new construction is very small.
The obligation of the community authorities to legalize illegal structures is regulated by Government Decision No. 912-N adopted in May 2006.
The exceptions are the territories enshrined in Article 60 of the Land Code of Armenia. Thus, citizens are not given the right to own common land in settlements: squares, streets, roads, rivers, public gardens, parks, gardens, beaches, and other public areas.
That part of Margaryan Street, where the land is located, was a public area. However, according to Telman Tadevosyan, the other kiosks in this part were legalized during the previous government, and the plot of land that is in a short distance from the residential building can be of no use. According to him, the administrative district was not against legalizing the area, but without a construction permit.
Referring to this case, Mayor Marutyan said that he was against the legalization of illegal buildings, even if there was a space between the kiosks. However, according to the mayor, it is necessary to understand what the area is used for: if the area serves as an entrance to the residence building or has other significance, it should remain.
“If it will not be used for anything, we should think about it. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be viewed that since the other areas were used, this one also should be put up for auction, because it would mean we automotically agree that there will be construction there …”- stated the mayor instructing to bring the area to its original appearance before a decision is made.
The head of the administrative district also announced that the developer had promised to bring the area to its original appearance.
Not only was the illegal building not removed, but it was completed
On June 17, 2020, Marine Simonyan again applied to the city hall, asking to legalize and alienate the half-built building on Margaryan Street, as well as to provide her with an architectural plan task to complete the half-built building.
However, the municipality rejected the appeal, arguing that Government Decision No. 912-N, which refers to the legalization of unauthorized structures, does not establish a provision on the alienation of lands that are not encumbered with buildings.
The developer, however, was not constrained by this decision of the municipality and she continued the illegal construction on the site of the already demolished half-built building, making it almost complete.
In August, the exterior of the building at 10 Margaryan Street was almost ready and only on August 3 did the municipality draw up a protocol on the construction of a community-owned plot of land without the relevant urban planning documents.
Litigations and court issues
The next day, on August 4, Simonyan himself filed a lawsuit in the Administrative Court against the municipality. The developer demands to oblige the municipality to legalize the building, to give an to give an architectural plan task to complete the half-built building.
The lawsuit was accepted, and the Administrative Court ruled on August 5 to secure the claim, thus prohibiting the Yerevan Municipality from demolishing the unauthorized structure built by Marine Simonyan on a community plot.
At the same time, the municipality applied to the Administrative Court to eliminate the security measure. The court has not yet made a decision.
In fact, despite the assurances of the head of the district that the illegal building will be demolished and the original appearance of the area will be restored, the developer not only failed to do it, but also managed to complete the building “under the nose of the district municipality” within a month, creating new problems for the municipality.