Informative Note

Never ending story - A new extension for the adaptation of the municipal plans to the (new) RGJIT rules

13/07/2022
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The list of extensions for the adaptation of municipal and inter-municipal plans to the (new) rules on land classification and  ualification contained in the Legal Framework for Territorial Management Instruments (Regime Jurídico dos Instrumentos de  estão Territorial - “RGJIT”) 1 has been joined  by a new one, with the publication of Decree-Law 45/2022 of 8 July. 

Decree-Law 25/2021 of 29 March extended the adaptation period initially set at five years and established that municipal or inter-municipal plans should include the classification and qualification rules provided for in the RJIGT. It also provided that the first meeting of the advisory committee2 or procedural conference3 should take place by 31 March 2022.

However, once again, there were difficulties in the incorporation of the land classification and qualification rules by municipalities and municipal associations - around one third of the municipalities did not meet the deadline for the first meeting.

In this context, Decree-Law 45/2022 was published on 8 July to extend the deadlines set out in the RGJIT to allow municipalities and associations of municipalities to comply with the duty to incorporate land classification and qualification rules into municipal and inter-municipal plans by 31 December 2023.

This Decree-Law came into force the day after its publication, that is, on 9 July 2022 and it maintains the consequences for non-compliance with the obligation to hold the first meeting of the consultative committee or of the procedural conference 4, which must now be held by 31 October 2022.

Along with this change, to take advantage of the alteration procedures that have already started, Decree-Law 45/2022 makes it possible to get around the limit of the single extension in the preparation of municipal plans, as well as the determination that failure to comply with the established deadlines will cause the procedure to lapse. Under the new paragraph 7 of article 76 of RJIGT, it is now possible, in situations where the procedure lapses due to failure to comply with the legally stipulated deadlines, for the competent municipal council to decide whether to use of the acts and formalities carried out in the lapsed procedure. These provisions even apply to procedures that would have already lapsed prior to the entry into force of Decree-Law 45/2022.

In a second line of action, the legislation now published has amended Decree-Law 130/2019 of 30 August, which establishes the principles and rules that govern cartographic production in Portugal. Now, the periods to be taken into account in the cartography to be used in municipal and inter-municipal plans do not apply to their adaptation to the (new) land classification rules.

It remains to be seen whether this is the last extension to a process of updating municipal and intermunicipal plans that has already been long, and whether the measures now adopted to ensure its speed will be sufficient to allow the compatibility of land management instruments with the respective legal rules, amended in 2015.4

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