On February 28, 2022, Decree No. 13 of 2021 was published in the Official Gazette, which amends Supreme Decree No. 47 of 1992 of the Ministry of Housing and Urbanism, that is, the General Ordinance of Urbanism and Construction (hereinafter the “Ordinance”), in order to exempt non-structural works in existing buildings and other cases indicated therein from obtaining a building permit and its procedures.
The main changes involve clarifying the scope of application of the Ordinance and simplifying the permit granting process. The most relevant changes in this regard are as follows:
New definitions are added to the regulations, which indicate what is to be understood by Change of Use, Existing Building and Change of Use or Activity.
Some of the definitions already contained in the Decree are modified, such as Alteration, Minor Work, Reconstruction of a Building and Repair.
The hypothesis of infringement subject to fine for changing the destination of a building (or dwelling) without the corresponding permit is extended.
A new cause for fine is added, consisting of the failure to submit documents for the installation of antennas to the Construction Department.
It is established that, with the urbanization or building permit, the use or destination to be given to the works will be approved, which must be in accordance with the land use established in the Territorial Planning Instrument.
Article 5.1.2 of the Ordinance is modified, adding cases in which the building permit requirement is exempted with respect to non-structural interior or front works of existing buildings, interior closings or dividing walls of properties, additional installations to those required by regulations, and the execution of gardening and ornamental works in private properties, including irrigation.
The use of a dwelling may not be changed without prior authorization, nor may the approved use or destination be modified without a new permit or authorization.
The Director of Municipal Works must corroborate that the economic activity to be implemented on the respective property is in accordance with the land use established in the Territorial Planning Instrument in force.