It is known that many building cooperatives proceeded to purchase forest land in the 1950s and 1960s and most of them remain until today trapped without being able to use their areas for housing. These purchases were possible because in many cases these properties were described in the contracts as “fields” (plots of land). In other cases, areas were transferred as “pine forest”, (eg the formerly resinous), for which it is still forbidden to change their use.
LEGISLATIVE REGULATIONS – CONDITIONS
In order to resolve the above issues, the exchange of these (unsuitable) areas with available settlement and grassland areas of the State was provided without acreage matching, but of equal value (based on the assessment of the Tax Office) initially in article 50 of L.998 / 79 and later in par.16 of article 1 of Law 3208/2003. Below we will focus on the conditions that must be met to be a forest area – owned by a exchangeable Building Cooperative:
These conditions are:
- The property versus the public has been resolved. As is well known, forests are presumed to be public and the person concerned must prove otherwise. A forest or forest area is considered private, if there is a Final Judicial Decision on its recognition as such or there is a Legislative Regulation, which usually concerns integrated Municipalities or Geographical Units: e.g. in article 15 of L.3208 / 2003 the forests of the Island of Salamis, Skyros etc. are recognized as private. It should be noted that any divisions of these forest areas in violation of the relevant provisions (article 216 L.4173 / 29. Article 60 N.D.86 / 69) are not recognized and the area is calculated as it was in the previous state of the (invalid) division.
- Πmust have Deed of Characterization scope – article 14 L.998 / 79 – which has been finalized regarding the conditions of publicity, etc. In the 1920s and 1930s, with the law on resinous forests by individuals, large areas were granted by the State to individuals by use or ownership. For these forest areas, however, there was no prior Declaration Act, on the other hand, this procedure was established for the first time with the mentioned Law 998/79, so they are considered unofficially forest and must be classified according to article 14. We will not enter here in details such as the existence of reforestable sections, presupposes the removal of reforestation for these sections the reader of this text should compose the main and not the individual issues. The existence of temporary real estate maps and tables of L.248 / 76 for an area does not constitute an Act of Designation of area and although these tables contain information about the property, the area of the individual codes and whether objections have been submitted or not, however these are considered elements of the file of the Forest Service and not an Act of Characterization. Of course, this process, when done, will probably follow the content of the temporary maps.
Law 4178/2013 introduces the concept of “Land Bank” (articles 31 onwards). This body regarding the properties of Building Cooperatives located in forest areas, issues a title of portable building factor, which will implement in host areas that will be defined and will gather these rights.
In essence, it is again an exchange formulated in the most modern way.
Finally, the Council of State has given a positive opinion on the possibility of exchange, regarding areas before 1975, and especially in cases where building conditions had been set, but the inclusion in the plan was stopped due to Law 998/79 which was issued by requirement of the 1975 Constitution.