Author: Desislava Georgieva
Published On: 02/02/2024

Civil discontent after renovations for over BGN 20 million is rising in the “Apricot Garden” district in Varna. For now, its manifestations are mainly in social networks and are caused by seemingly minor urban planning misunderstandings.

The EcoVarna team was alerted by Miroslav Dimitrov, a resident of the neighborhood. “Complete absurdity.” If we have to define in two words the situation that is unfolding in front of block 212 in the district “Apricot Garden” in Varna, we will hardly find more accurate ones. While citizens protest against an improperly constructed garbage collection site in front of their block, a truck stops in front of the garbage container, picks it up and carries it to a neighboring site in front of people’s amazed looks. Only a pile of food waste remains scattered on the newly built one. “You’ve done a good job – you’ve removed the curse,” neighbors congratulated the journalists who came to learn about the problem. A few days later, however, containers for separate waste collection appeared in its place.

The signal with the signature to the Mayor of the Municipality of Varna, RIOSV and “Road Police” is to be submitted this week. He lives in block 212, entrance. 2 in the village “Vladislav Varnenchik” (microdistrict-II). People claim that Ordinance No. H-4 on the conditions and requirements that sites for storing or treating waste must meet has been violated. According to Article 10 of the regulation, the containers must be located at a distance of no less than 15 m from the windows of the nearest residential buildings or in specially designated closed rooms. In addition, “prerequisites and conditions should not be created to hinder the transportation and any other service of the adjacent buildings and the free movement of pedestrians on the sidewalks and pedestrian areas.”

The newly built site in front of block 212 is 12 meters from the entrance window. 3 and one meter from sign B1 “Let pass the road users with priority”. About 20 meters from it there is another – with two containers that are empty because they fall to the side of the entrance. While social networks are swirling with discontent from residents of the area, the controversial bucket is being moved. In its place, two colored containers for separate waste collection appear, which previously occupied almost the entire newly constructed pedestrian sidewalk. The problem for citizens has not been solved. The reconstruction plan does not envisage a separate waste collection site. If left on the pavement, they will obstruct movement. If they remain in the newly built “pocket”, they will be in violation of the regulations, they will obstruct visibility, and the wind will blow garbage into the garden maintained by the residents of the block.

It is completely impossible to cross another newly built sidewalk – the one behind the parking lot opposite entrances 1 and 2 of the block. 212. The reason – less than half a meter of width, which is occupied by parked cars (but not because of improper parking). We also have a disabled sign that isn’t clear about which parking space it refers to, curbs with obvious gaping joints in them, and a sports field behind the block whose surface has washed away since the first rain. The residents of bl. 218 are dissatisfied that two playgrounds have been built behind and in front of the residential block. Both – for basketball, and the children want – football. “There is a signature from the people living around that we have entered into a contractor to make the change… However, it turned out that immediately after the election, the audibility between us and the contractor had deteriorated to the point that they did not want any more changes to be made in view of the fact that the devices were ordered and the deadline for implementation had almost expired,” regional mayor Nikolay Kostadinov wrote on social networks. He assures that the client will still put football gates on the field, but after the acceptance of the site.

The improvement of the district “Apricot Orchard” has just been completed. Its value is over BGN 20 million. The first one starts already in 2020 with BGN 8 million allocated from the central budget. The project envisages the construction of new streets and sidewalks, parking lots, alleys, recreation areas, playgrounds, planting trees in the southern part of the neighborhood. A major renovation is planned for “Peter Dertliev” and “Asen Raztsvetnikov” streets, including the improvement of many inter-block spaces. The goal is to increase the quality of life and create an accessible, comfortable and safe environment for the residents of the area.

The second part ends at the end of 2023. It has already been realized with a municipal loan for over BGN 12 million. In February of last year, the former mayor Ivan Portnih and the district’s Nikolay Kostadinov gave a symbolic start to the construction activities for the completion of the complete renovation. It covers the square between “Treti Mart” Blvd., “Asen Raztsvetnikov” St. and “Prof. Dr. Emil Stanchev”. The project envisages the improvement of the inter-block spaces with the construction of new parking spaces, landscaping, children’s, sports and fitness areas, the allocation of recreation areas, rehabilitation and new construction of the intra-neighborhood street network, new alleys and pavements, providing an accessible environment for people in disadvantage, new energy-saving lighting.

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