Sectoral Committee on Town Planning and the Environment - First Meeting

Sectoral Committee on Town Planning and the Environment

Report on Meeting No 1

17th February 2012
(English version of an article written by Guiomar Ramirez-Montesinos in XAD. See link below. Translation by Chris B-Jones)

The Committee for Town Planning defined the first issues to be addressed, among which include bye laws on the occupation of public roads, planning regulations and road re-organisation.

Following its formal establishment, the Committee on Planning and Environment  met for the first time this week. It is an advisory body composed of representatives of professional associations, business and Agenda 21 , as well as various municipal groups. In this first contact, each representative gave a list of demands and issues which the respective groups thought important for the advisory body to address. Of the many issues raised, there were several about which the majority agreed. These will be treated thematically and sequentially in the following meetings, which will be fortnightly. There will be no specific meetings regarding the General Plan at this time, until the the preparation of the Sustainability Report and draft plan is more advanced.
Thematic meetings

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 1 March in the afternoon in the Chapel of Santa Ana (next to the Municipal Technical Office). It will address the issue of municipal bye laws concerning the occupation of public roads .

Lawyer Raul Bover, representing technicians and professionals on the committee, explained that this is a priority, since it is important to have proper regulations adapted to reality providing uniform standards before the high season and that businesses have made an investment. These bye laws detail and define not only the occupation of space by tables and chairs, but they also affect businesses that use the pavement or parking spaces, and the use of public space by works containers etc.

The second issue that the Planning and Environment Committee wants to address is that of planning regulations. These need to be more flexible, coherent and simple to avoid legal uncertainty. The rules are so hard follow even the Town Council does not require them and ambiguous ones need to be more detailed.

For example, the law states that there must be a minimum of 2 metres between a swimming pool and the boundary of a property. But it is not clear if this means the edge of the water or the coronation stone.

Also a good urban image of the whole municipality is essential for a quality town. There is a need for uniformity in housing estates as well as in street furniture and signage.

Thirdly Committee members considered it important to address the occupation of the coastal public domain with Costas, especially after seeing how the Natioanl agency had fenced off two areas next to the Parador and at Granadella. The groups want it to be clear what one can and cannot do in Xàbia.

The fourth issue, which particularly affects residents' groups, is related to road management. It has therefore requested a comprehensive traffic study , revision of the traffic direction in all roads in the municipality, the planning of parking areas, and more specifically called for the Carretera del Pla and the Avda. del Puerto to be two way again.

Other topics covered include the closed landfill in Ramblars. This is pending the development of a project to regenerate the area and the implementation of a garden refuse treatment plant, which is needed in a municipality that generates lots of garden waste. The professional groups indicated that the current situation should be regulated and, if possible that the management of this area should be undertaken by a local company.
Meetings open to all citizens
The decisions of the Committee are not binding, nevertheless, since it represents groups of residents and professionals from all sectors and all political parties on the Town Council, it is logical that what is agreed through consensus should then be approved by a full Council meeting.
Bover remarked that he left the meeting with optimism and a sense of being heard.

Meanwhile, the Town Planning Councillor, Pere Sapena was pleased by the large participation at the first meeting, highlighting the accord between the many suggestions which were pretty much matters of matters of common sense.

Sapena proposed that together with the convening of the next meeting, the draft bye law of the future occupation of public roads will be forwarded to committee members so they can review the document with their associations and thus be prepared for the next session, which will be on March 1 in the afternoon in the Chapel of Santa Ana .

The Councillor also stated that although the representatives had voting rights, the committees were public bodies, and anyone could attend meetings as a listener.
From XAD El Consell...

For the current bye laws governing occupation of public roads: Click here (PDF in Google Docs in Castilian)

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE on the same meeting

The Advisory Council on Planning and Environment prioritises the occupation of public roads

Representatives of associations put forward their demands to the Town Hall

Javea. Friday, 17th February 2012.

The Advisory Council on Planning and Environment of Javea met for the first time on Thursday evening, 16th Febuary. In this first contact, the representatives from business, professional and neighbourhood associations, as well as representatives from the municipal groups, put forth a list with the demands and issues they thought important for this advisory body to address.

Of the many issues raised, there were five on which the majority agreed should be addressed as a priority in the forthcoming sessions. The first of these is the issue of municipal bye laws concerning the occupation of public roads and finding a solution to reduce the conflicts arising from the presence of chairs and tables from bars and restaurants, structures or work containers that reduce parking areas or hinder the passage of pedestrians in certain areas.

It was also decided to address the planning regulations at the first meeting. It was suggested by many that these needed to be more simple and flexible on issues such as the height of stone walls.

Another issue of great concern among those represented in the Council is the overall image and appearance of the town of Javea and the need to unify criteria with regard to street furniture, pavement or have better signage. The Local Council was also asked to exercise greater control over vacant plots and create ordinances that obliges them to be fenced and kept tidy.

Another of the issues to be debated in the Advisory Council on Planning and Environment has to do with the Costas department, specifically the recent fencing in Primer Montañar or the Granadella, as well as the boundary issues which affects the coastal strip between Calablanca and the border with Benitatxell.

The last of the five priority points of to be included in the debate was the need to carry out a comprehensive study of the traffic system in Javea and review the direction of circulation in overall terms and plan small parking areas. It was specifically requested that two-way direction of traffic be restored to Avenida del Puerto and Pla.

The Javea Councillor for Planning, Pere Sapena, expressed his satisfaction with the high turnout at this first meeting and pointed out that the associations agreed on several points because they are full of common sense. Sapena has also indicated that together with the request for the next meeting, a draft of the future Ordinance of Occupation of Public Thoroughfare will be sent to the members of the Council so that they can review it with their associations and prepare a list of their suggestions for the next meeting, scheduled for the evening of March 1st in the Capilla de Santa Ana. The Councillor for Planning stressed that although only the chosen representatives have a right to vote on the Advisory Council, the meetings are open to the public.

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