Giving Land For Building Shelters
As it is often the case, that the local government does not have a land to buld a shelter on, and that it is a real problem which makes the law enforcement more difficult, during the work of the Commission for amendments to the Animal Protection Act 2015/2016, we supported the suggestion of the representative of the Zagreb City Office for Agriculture and Forestry.
The suggestion of the City representative: it has been suggested that ,in the Amandment 56, a new paragraph (6) is added which would be:
In the case from the paragraph (4) when the local (regional) government or a big city investor for animal shelters building, Croatia gives an appropriate land without charging the local (regional) government or a big city due to the following conditions:
- that the same is provided by urban planning documentation,
The local (regiona) government assume the obligation that the shelter works at least 10 yeard since the day of obtaining a use permit.
The explanation of the City representative: the presented suggestion is based in the following reasons:
1. According to the principle of subsidiarity, the central government cannot interfere in what is in charge of the local authorities. The local and regional governments have a right to their own incomes, and the central government is obliged to help the local governments (counties and big cities are the main components of the local government). With the modifications in the past, there was placing of new responsibilities to the local governments, but the necessary financial resources were not provided for that.
2. Giving/Donation of the land (and usually it is a farmland which is, on the base of Law on agricultural Land, the property of Republic of Croatia) Croatia helps the regional government, which, thus, gets also a concrete help from the central government.
As part of the development and work of the shelter, the question of land is very important, but it represents only a part of the local government's expenses (i.e. the construction documents expenses, building and all the supervision, communal equipping plot – access road, electricity, gas, water; equipping with the equippment for carrying out activities, etc.), it is important that the future investor (the local government) also gets help from the central government, leastways in this natural shape.
In the suggestion, the help is exclusively intended for the local governments with establishment of certain conditions for donation. In my opinion, that, in this way, the possibilities of speculation about the land (reselling, downtime of the shelter, and its "conversion" to another purpose, etc.) are avoided, given that the land on which the future shelter is built does not (mostly) have a communal infrastructure, and that it is actually a ploughland, grassland or barren land (cadastrally). For a planned construction and putting into operation, a series of substantial financial investment in communal infrastructure is necessary. With the communal infrastructure, the surrounding land become suitable for use and for other purposes (economy, mixed uses, residential uses). For these reasons, I also noted in the suggestion a kind of a 'fuse' for land use in accordance with the contract by which property relations are regulated.
The deadline and its length can vary. If we take a bulding warranty as a criterion, then the deadline is 10 years, the same are the warranties (construction) on important elements of a bulding (a roof, walls, etc.), but it would not be a mistake to set a deadline of 20 years, taking into consideration that, accountingly, buildings are depreciated at a rate of 5% annually.
3. The existing storage system in the Republic of Croatia mostly has one significant problem - private sector, if it is decided to invest the resources for building shelters, if the return on investment is expected (for this reason, trade companies are formed). At the same time, the existing regulations (Budget Act, Public Procurement Act) prescribe to the public client (cities, counties) that (if the value of a service is not more than 200 000 kn) an open public procurement procedure of small value is announced for the services. For these reasons, it is hard to believe that the private enterpreneurs would invest significant resources in the equippment, infrastructure and staff, if aware that they do not have to necessarily provide the service the next budget year, and thus, their investment represents a negative management with a significant financial loss.
Because of that, I think the suggested solution by which the local governments have the land provided, is actually a measure to facilitate the shelter constructions (financed with budget funds, public-private partnership or other sources of financing), regardless of whether the local governments would lead them through NGOs (institutions) or their own trade companies (the exemption is then possible in a sense of the Law of Public Procurement) or the service provider would be provided, through public procurement, to the best bidder.
We support the above suggestion and consider important to include it in the Act. Building shelters means big expenses for the local governments, taking into consideration the costs of building infrastructure and the necessary construction documentation. Therefore, a government assistance by giving land would mean a lot.
Providing thw land, the government would facilitate the animal shelters building, and prompt the local governments to build the shelters on their own land, instead of signing the contracts with the veterinary stations. Such a possibility would be long-term financially more favorable and effective for the Law enforcement.
The organization, as a member of Commission to amend the Animal Protection Act, supported this suggestion during the commision work 2015/2016.