A special development plan (plan d'aménagement particulier - PAP) can be amended using the same procedure as that by which it was adopted.
However, if the applicant filing the limited amendment request wishes, the board of the mayor and aldermen may elect to follow the simplified procedure.
Unlike the standard PAP amendment procedure, which theoretically takes 34 weeks to complete, the simplified procedure only takes 16 weeks.
The following applicants have the right to amend a PAP for a new area:
a landowner wishing to develop or change the use of their land;
the representative (proxy) of the landowner;
the commune or association of communes.
Only the commune can amend a PAP for an existing area, i.e. an urbanised area where half the plots have been built on and where all the plots of land are connected to all public utilities and infrastructures. This right of the commune is ensured without the need for it to:
- own the land affected by the amendment;
- hold an authorisation to implement the amendment on the plot or plots in question.
The simplified procedure can only be used for requests for limited amendments to a PAP, i.e. those that change a PAP in one or more specific ways without affecting the overall structure or orientation of the original PAP.
For more integral changes, the standard amendment procedure must be used.
The applicant filing a limited amendment request need not be the same one that filed the original PAP.
Filing the request
Limited amendment requests for a PAP are reviewed by the board of the mayor and aldermen, which evaluates the coherence of the request with the PAP or general development plan (plan d'aménagement général, PAG) and determines whether the request fits the description of a limited amendment.
The content of the application file for the requested limited amendment must match the content of the new area special development plan in question.
The content of the application file must be based exclusively on the plan to be amended in its current form.
Within 15 days of its receipt, the file will be delivered to the office of the Minister for Home Affairs, which has 30 days to respond.
Three scenarios are then possible:
- If the Minister for Home Affairs does not issue an opinion on the submitted file, the communal council is authorised to proceed to vote on the requested limited amendment.
- If the Minister for Home Affairs determines and informs the board of the mayor and aldermen that the proposed amendment meets the legal requirements, it is put forward for a vote by the communal council.
- If the proposed amendment does not meet the legal requirements (e.g. if it does not fit the description of a limited amendment or is not in line with the PAG), the Ministry for Home Affairs submits the file for review by the assessment committee and informs the board of the mayor and aldermen of this decision.
In this case, the standard procedure for the adoption and amendment of a PAP is followed and the communal council may decide to close the file.
At the same time:
within 15 days of its receipt by the board of the mayor and aldermen, the limited amendment request for a PAP is deposited at the town hall and published on the the commune's website, where it may be viewed by the public for 30 days;
a notice of the deposition of the file listing the website is posted for public viewing, and is also published in at least four national daily newspapers.
The costs for publication are recovered by the commune from the party that initiated the PAP, if it was not launched by the commune itself.
Once the deposition has been advertised in the national daily newspapers, the public has 30 days to submit their comments or objections to the board of the mayor and aldermen in writing.
Vote of the communal council
If the Minister for Home Affairs determines that the proposal fits the description of a limited amendment or if the Ministry issues no opinion within 30 days of receiving the file, the board of the mayor and aldermen is required to submit the limited amendment request, together with any comments and objections, for a vote by the communal council by no later than two months after the close of the window for public comment.
There are two possible outcomes:
either the proposed one-time amendment is adopted in its current form,
or the file is rejected and closed.
If the amendment is adopted, the Minister for Home Affairs is informed of the amended PAP within 15 days. It comes into force three days after being posted for public viewing in the commune.