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Laszczuk & Partners Wins Favorable Judgment for Holy Trinity Parish in Dispute Regarding Construction Near Cemeteries

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Laszczuk & Partners reports that Poland’s Supreme Administrative Court has agreed with its argument, made on behalf of firm client the Holy Trinity Parish, that a hotel with a restaurant cannot be built within a 50-meter buffer zone around active cemeteries.

According to Laszczuk & Partners, in its judgment of May 31, 2016, the court "confirmed its earlier position ... that the rules on the buffer zone in the regulation of the Minister of Communal Economy of 25 August 1959 apply not only to establishment of new cemeteries, but also to the siting of new construction adjacent to existing cemeteries. According to the regulation, the distance between a cemetery and residential construction, as well as buildings where food is stored or gastronomic services are provided, cannot be less than 50 meters. This means that it is impermissible to carry out residential construction, or construction of buildings where food service will be offered, in the buffer zone around an active cemetery."

In the case ending with this recent judgment, the construction authority had issued a decision on construction conditions in 2010 permitting the construction of a hotel building with a restaurant within 50 meters of two active cemeteries in Warsaw: the Lutheran Cemetery and the Reformed Cemetery. In the zoning plan for the area adopted a year later, the planning authority introduced restrictions on construction in the buffer zone around the active cemeteries. 

According to Laszczuk & Partners, “because the decision on construction conditions permitted a project to be carried out which was not permitted by the zoning plan in force for the site, it was necessary to seek a declaration that the decision had lapsed, which was issued by the administrative board of the Wola district of Warsaw. Following an appeal by the investor, the decision on lapse of the decision was set aside by the Warsaw local appeal board and the matter was discontinued. The parish then filed a petition against the decision of the local appeal board with the Province Administrative Court in Warsaw. The court upheld the arguments presented by the parish and overturned the decision of the local appeal board. The investor disagreed with the judgment and filed a cassation appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court. The Supreme Administrative Court fully agreed with the position of the parish and the lower court, and issued a judgment on 31 May 2016 denying the investor’s cassation appeal."

The Laszczuk & Partners team advising Warsaw’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Parish before the administrative authorities and in court consisted of Managing Partner Justyna Szpara and Senior Associate Agnieszka Kocon.