December 23, 2018 - Kotor Mayor Vladimir Jokić called on the Constitutional Court to urgently make a decision on the proposal to review the constitutionality and legality of the Detailed Urban Plan (DUP) of Kostanjica, whose implementation in Kotor and Montenegro would inflict irreparable damage. He announced it on Friday at the press conference he convened on this occasion.
On Monday, he submitted to the Constitutional Court a proposal to review the constitutionality and legality of DUP Kostanjica, explaining that this proposal was the result of the work of the legal team of the Municipality of Kotor.
"Kostanjica area is one of the most sensitive parts of the protected area of Kotor and has so far been recognized as a part of the area that is over constructed. This space was mentioned for the first time In its decisions, the UNESCO Committee mentioned this area for the first time in 2014. In 2016 UNESCO treated Kostanjica as a part of the entire protected area, and in 2018, at the last UNESCO Committee Session, it was underlined that every construction on the site which is under the protection of UNESCO should be prevented," explained Jokić.
He said that since the establishment of the new administration in Kotor there is a request for the issuance of eight building permits based on the DUP Kostanjica.
"These eight building permits refer to over 30 residential and auxiliary facilities, totalling over ten thousand square meters," Jokić said.
According to him, such construction would lead to Kotor losing status on the UNESCO list.
"Such construction would have caused the Kostanjica space to be permanently and irretrievably devastated. Such construction would lead to Montenegro and Montenegrin society knowingly and deliberately screening themselves out of the line of civilized peoples," said Jokić.
He reminded that the government, in April last year, introduced a moratorium on construction in a protected area of Kotor.
"However, since the requests for these permits are submitted before this Decision was passed in accordance with the law, all legal provisions have been argued in support of the need to comply with these requirements, that building permits must be issued," Jokić said .
Jokic, from April until today, addressed the Montenegrin Government, the Montenegrin President, ministries, citing that, in addition to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, which on several occasions replied that Kotor must act in accordance with the law, and the responses of the Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO, "we have received no response from any institution we have addressed."
"Representatives of the Kotor Municipality, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism met on several occasions in July, and this resulted in an agreement to form an interest group of these three institutions, where lawyers engaged by the three institutions will try to find a way that the issue of eight building permits is overcome. This team met once in August and until today did not manage to have any results," said Jokić.
He pointed out that the Municipality of Kotor, for the time being, tried to find a way to deal with this problem, "regardless all kind of pressure we are facing to issue these building permits."
He said that the three reasons why he believed DUP Kostanjica was illegal and unconstitutional.
"The first reason is that in 2009, when deciding on the amendments to the DUP Kostanjica, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, headed by Minister Branimir Gvozdenović, was obliged to consent to the local authority that the plan is adopted in accordance with the plan of the higher order, "said Jokić. He said that Gvozdenović did not give such consent on that occasion, but consent to the procedure being conducted in accordance with the law.
"He avoided that kind of consent, which was a legally binding element for adopting such a plan document," Jokić pointed out.
Jokić also pointed to the adoption of the Decision on the adoption of the DUP in 2009, which was passed as a modification of the 1991 decision, clarifying that by this same 2009 decision the decision from 1991 was taken out of force.
"So we have a paradoxical situation - the amendments to the basic act cease to apply this act. This means that no new act could have been valid either, "Jokić said.
He said that in 2013, the Assembly of the Municipality of Kotor, at its meeting in December, adopted the Decision on Changes of the Decision on the DUP in Kostanjica.
"These changes adopted by the Assembly extend the validity of the DUP Kostanjica to the adoption of a new planning document. On that occasion, the legal procedure for amending the law was strictly formalized," says Jokić.
He pointed out that the previous practice of the Constitutional Court, in the same cases, on the same occasion "resulted in such decisions being declared unlawful and unconstitutional."
"By acting in our opinion on the unconstitutional and unlawful detailed urban plan of Kostanjica, we would inflict irreparable damage to Kotor. Ultimately, it would inflict irreparable damage to the reputation of Montenegro in the international scene and the status of Montenegro in UNESCO and other United Nations agencies, "said Jokić.
He said that preserving Kotor on UNESCO lists issues of public interest. "It is not Kotor as a member of UNESCO, but Montenegro is a member of UNESCO," Jokić said.
He called on the Constitutional Court, noting that he did not intend to interfere in any way with its final decision, to take a proposal to review the constitutionality and legality of the DUP Kostanjica in the priority considerations.