GRP Rainer LLP

BverwG: Housing Development in Weekend Home Area Potentially Admissible

A housing development for the purposes of portfolio security in an area designated in the building plan as a weekend home area is potentially admissible.


Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/21/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart explain: In its judgments of July 11, 2013 (Az.: 4 CN 7.12 and 4 CN 8.12), the German Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG) ruled that a housing development in a weekend home area may be admissible for the purposes of preservation of the status quo, provided that it is guaranteed that the building zone in question does not appear to be a mixture between a weekend home area and a residential area. Accordingly, the housing development must be qualitatively and quantitatively subordinate in comparison to the weekend development to such an extent that the area appears to be weekend home area.

The instant case concerns an area in which constructions during the thirties and post-war period were likely carried out unplanned and also frequently illegally. There is a seemingly wide variety of developments in the area, i.e. both rural and residential houses or weekend and summer houses, tool sheds and shelters. Ultimately, the plan should regulate the building zone and end further illegal building use.

In the development plan, residential homes are not likely to be designated as admissible. A new development with residential houses is only likely to be admissible in a small part of the area. An exception exists for the rest of the area to the effect that residential houses that are already present and used in a legally permissible way may continue being used uninterrupted. This is supposed to serve to secure the portfolio. A property is permissibly utilized if the construction supervisory authorities grant authorisation or provide written approval. The Higher Administrative Court (VGH) declared that these determinations were invalid.

The BVerwG only partially followed it to the effect that the Federal Land Utilisation Ordinance does not in principle permit a mixed development as a weekend home area and as a residential area. However, it went on to state for the purposes of portfolio security that the result would be different if the residential development were subordinate on qualitative and quantitative levels and the image of the area characterised by weekend houses. Additionally, the area could not appear to be a mixed zone. This must now be examined by the VGH.

Construction law is a particularly multi-layered and complex area that is often difficult for laymen to comprehend, especially because of the distinction between public and private construction law. The relevant rules are found in various statutes, which presents laymen with a particular difficulty. A lawyer can help you stay on top of things and remove any ambiguities.

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