About BGN 29 million are needed to compensate private owners in the Saltanat area, with which the territory can be turned into a municipal park. The locality is a natural continuation of the Sea Garden, after the end of its historical core – the Zoological Garden of Varna. The amount was calculated on the basis of 147,000 sq m of private property, about 42% of the territory, and 200 euro/sq m compensation. The calculation was made by experts during a round table on the future of the Sea Garden with the participation of the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria – RK Varna. (For comparison, the municipality paid BGN 43.2 million to the Plovdiv businessman Georgi Gergov for the so-called Dupka in the center of Varna).
In the Plan for Integrated Development of the Municipality of Varna (2021-2027), a project of the Chamber of Architects for the establishment of “Green Fund”
in which to gradually accumulate targeted funds for the transformation of the urban environment into a more sustainable and greener one. The amount pledged for the establishment and operation of the fund is BGN 150,000. According to arch. Julian Nachev, it is this fund that can accumulate funds to compensate the owners of private properties in Primorski Park. Part of the investments, according to experts, should come from the fee for issuing construction permits in Varna. Last year, permits were issued in the municipality for 100,000 square meters of residential buildings and 38,000 square meters of mixed use. The architects motivated the need for a significant increase in the fee, which is currently BGN 2.70/sq.m. m and has not been updated for more than 10 years. In Romania it is 10 times higher. In Western Europe it is between 3 and 6 percent of the construction cost of the building, and in Varna – 0.3-0.6%. The purpose of the fee is to improve the infrastructure that is damaged during construction with the collected funds.
The Chamber of Architects in Varna proposes that the public “Green Fund” be used by the municipality for expropriation procedures of properties in Primorski Park, for which no detailed development plans have been developed or implemented. The already built properties should be checked to see if they are being used in accordance with the issued building permits, according to arch. Hristo Topchiev.
In the specific rules and regulations of the OUP, there is a list of all building permits in the area of Saltanat, Gorchivata Cheshma and Dolna Traka. Recommendation to the future mayor of arch. Marin Velchev is to check how these buildings are used. They must have a public function and there must be no changes in their geometry. Solid fences are also not allowed.
The lack of PUP-PRZ of the entire Primorski Park
also puts the owners who bought or acquired properties in the park at a disadvantage. Although they pay building tax and garbage tax for their land, they cannot use it.
In the summer of 2019, the Expert Council on Territorial Planning of the Mayor of Varna proposed to commission the creation of a Detailed Development Plan for the Sea Garden and the “Saltanat” area. Five years earlier, a task was also accepted for the development of a PUP-PRZ for a park for wide public use (Historical core of Sea Garden, Saltanat, Gorchivata Cheshma, Trakata – Varna). So far, however, one is missing.
In the current OEP of the city there is a contradiction according to which Saltanat, Gorchivata Cheshma and Trakata are both a public park (in the graphic part of the plan) and a resort park (in the text part). This is also one of the reasons for its upcoming update.
According to the Chamber of Architects, the main goal of the plan should be to protect the public interest to the greatest extent by preserving the green area from the historical core of the park to Euxinograd. This also includes compensation for private property owners in the park.
A similar proposal was submitted to the Municipal Council of Varna three years ago, but was rejected.
According to Ordinance 7, the minimum required green area per resident must be 20 km. m. In the General Development Plan (GDP) of the city it is written that for Varna it is 10.5 sq. m. This means that the management of the city is necessary to double the green areas to reach the minimum, commented arch. Velchev.
The adoption of the entire territory – from the historical core of the Sea Garden to Euxinograd, as a park, took place after unprecedented pressure and civil protests in the summer of 2012. Dissatisfaction then began immediately before the adoption of the specific rules for the General Development Plan. A year later, non-governmental organizations and experts finalized the preparation of the Marine Garden White Paper. A local referendum was also initiated on whether the park should include the entire coastal area from the cliff to the seashore. After a long legal and administrative saga, its implementation was rejected by the Municipal Council of Varna.