The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Councils Dispute Reallocations in the Agricultural Zone

The Swiss Parliament is in the process of revising the Space Planning Act. The Council of States (Ständerat) has come to an agreement with the National Council (Nationalrat) on Thursday, but there are still many differences between the two chambers. One of the main points of contention is the conversion of no longer needed agricultural buildings into residential buildings in the agricultural zone. The small chamber wants to allow such conversions under certain conditions, while a majority of the National Council rejected this in the summer session, fearing the creation of "island building zones". Other differences concern exceptions to regulations on odour emissions when an area is rezoned from agricultural to building zone, as well as the construction of mobile phone antennas outside of building zones. The Council of States also wants to allow the demolition and reconstruction of restaurants built before 1980, as well as their expansion, while the National Council only wanted to allow this for hotels. The main point of the revision is a stabilization goal, which requires the cantons to specify in the development plan how they intend to keep the number of buildings and the extent of sealing outside of the building zone stable. Incentives are to be used to ensure that unused buildings disappear from the landscape. The Council of States wants cantons to be able to pay demolition premiums for such buildings, even if a replacement building is built. The National Council does not want premiums to be paid if a new building is built after demolition. The proposal serves as an indirect counter-proposal to the Landscape Initiative, which seeks to write the separation of building and non-building areas into the constitution. The matter will now be returned to the National Council.nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn


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