Krasnodar, 14 August. The current growth of the resort cities has proved a backbreaking challenge for the Kuban region – the growing population could have become the basis for the progress, but in fact it led to public and environmental problems risking to transform into utter collapse. However, there is still hope that the crisis will not last forever, for when Governor Veniamin Kondratiev paid visits to a number of municipalities before the election campaign, everything there came into motion.
Mr. Kondratiev’s first visit was to Anapa. And on the same day, City Mayor Yuri Poliakov asked for voluntary resignation.
Although Anapa is known to be actively built over, the tourist sector and infrastructure are not evolving as they should. The non-observance of tallness of the high-rises built in the coastal zone also gave rise to unfavourable criticism. Over a short period of time, experts found 112 blocks showing signs of city-planning misconduct.
The regional authorities decided to act resolutely: as soon as problems were found in the housing development of other cities of the region, like Seversky rayon, Goriachy Kluch and Novorossiysk, they issued a ban on issuance of building permits unless order be established in the required norms. Say, the audit in Goriachy Kluch disclosed that about a thousand hectares of forests had been included into the boundaries of settlement; over 350 hectares of forests were reclassified as urban areas in Seversky rayon.
According to the regional administration’s press service, housing development is being performed in the both municipalities. The Forestry Department of the Southern Federal District stated that since 2011 Novorossiysk’s area grew by 1,000 hectares at the cost of neighbouring forests.
Experts asserted that it is of course necessary to put things in order in housing development of the seaside resorts, adding that the problem should be tackled in an integrated way, considering all interests of the region. They remind that apart from being resorts, these municipalities are first of all the places of residence for dozens of thousands of local people.
“As opposed to major international resorts like Hurghada that were founded as resort settlements with the infrastructure formed to serve the arriving tourists round the year, Anapa initially was a residential community with only seasonal inflow of holidaymakers,” Re-InvestPro Agency Director Artur Karapetyan says. “That is, our local people live at the seaside the whole year round, and they are entitled to reside in new modern houses. It is important to acquire permanent control over the issuance of building permits rather than giving a spontaneous refusal to continue selling high-rises there.”
Our interlocutors noted that it would not have been necessary to toughen the permit issuance conditions, had the existing rules been fulfilled properly.
“One could hardly imagine that a new project would start without providing it with all necessary engineering facilities – for it is a basic requirement. If it did happen in a different way, how did that project get all approvals?” MACON Consultancy Company Director Ilya Volodko asks rhetorically. “Or, first all required technical specifications were received but then it was made clear that they could not be met due to the lack of resources? Again, it is not clear – how come these specifications had been issued?”
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