Territorial and Urban Planning

Within administrative law, one of the most important areas is that which governs zoning, land management, administrative supervision of construction and land use, and ensuring compliance with municipal laws and regulations. MENÉNDEZ & ASOCIADOS ABOGADOS possesses legal professionals specialized in providing counsel in this area, especially in relation to overlapping urban and environmental regulations.

Currently, the approach to any issue related to land use requires taking into account not only the zoning regulations and urban planning standards of application – which also includes processing the strategic environmental assessment tied to the planning document in process – but also any remaining legislation and zoning norms that affect the territory, such as those related to water management, flood zones, nature reserves, coastal areas, waste management, and so on. We approach each of the urban issues we work on while bearing these key factors in mind.

On the other hand, we also provide analyses of applicable urban planning norms in relation to the specific land targeted for the future location of some productive or service operation. This analysis works to avoid situations leading to an authorization and/or environmental or industry license being declared null or void owing to an incompatibility between urban zoning and other norms and the intended activity.

In the field of urban planning, our office provides both public administrations and private individuals a service for drafting the urban plans that are necessary for developing any type of urban land use proposal.

Likewise, our firm advises private parties and public administrations in the processing of a variety of urban planning instruments, including the processing of environmental assessments, the formulation of supporting allegations for use during public information and open hearing periods, and, if applicable, provides guidance on the preparation of any administrative appeals for which the need arises, as well as acting as defense counsel before any possible contentious-administrative judicial appeal.

During the phase of effective transformation of the land through the execution of urban construction works, we provide guidance regarding the assignments requiring approval by the public administration, in addition to the accompanying mandatory legal proceedings. This type of management is required for certain types of project and may involve reparcelling or expropriation. In the former case, the role of the parties affected varies, depending on the approach taken, involving either basic compensation, negotiated settlement, friendly pact, or agreements via concession of integrated urban management; while in the latter case, the financial compensation set by the Administration must be ensured to conform with the real value of the land or assets affected.

In addition, as part of the range of services provided by our firm, we provide legal advice regarding the various proceedings in which land owners and affected properties can find themselves immersed.

Similarly, our firm also attends to the advisory needs that may arise from actions taken by public administrations that manage and oversee such urban management proceedings.

The complexity of administrative oversight over projects modifying urban land, extensive remodeling, new construction, or demolition of works means that private parties are often presented with a pressing need for guidance by legal experts in the subject matter. Guidance that, ultimately, is also required in the case of administrative proceedings involving the legalization of irregular urbanistic situations, enforcement of compliance with norms, and disciplinary and/or demolition proceedings.

• Legal guidance in the drafting and processing of planning instruments, including strategic environmental assessments or work on studies for the network of national nature preserves (“Red Natura”), where appropriate.
• Impact of regulations, zoning ordinances and industrial policy on territorial and urban planning.
• Guidance on the drafting of urban planning accords.
• Expert legal advice on urban issues for the acquisition of land, and preparation of studies on the classification and qualification of land, uses, types and building intensity, zoning, areas of distribution, system of assignments and uses, conditions, liabilities and legal obligations relating to or assumed by the holders of land.
• Expert legal counsel in the drafting of reparcelling and urbanization projects.
• Participation in and guidance regarding decisions made by collaborating urban entities (Compensation boards, administrative cooperation associations, etc.).
• Guidance on the drafting of urban management accords.
• Guidance on the case work for obtaining licenses for urban land use, authorizations of uses and works on undeveloped land, as well as provisional licenses.
• Land use in flood zones.
• Guidance on disciplinary proceedings and bringing any matter into full legal compliance.