The Law Today

Contraloría General de la República pronounces on the granting of building permits for new construction on previously built-up land, in relation to the land occupation coefficient.

09 Abr 2021


On 26 March 2021 and through ruling No. E89540, the Office of the Controller General of the Republic responded to a request for a statement made by the Fundación Defendamos La Ciudad, regarding the legality of building permit No. 35 of 2019, issued by the Directorate of Works of the Municipality of Providencia, which authorised the construction of two residential buildings on a site that would already have buildings on it.

The Comptroller’s Office notes that, according to the Providencia Communal Regulatory Plan, the land is located in the UpR and ECr (Preferential Residential Use and Restricted Commercial Equipment) land use zone and in the EAL/pa (Free Isolated Building/Allowing Adosamiento) building zone, admitting a land occupation coefficient for the first floor in isolated building of 0.2 and a constructability coefficient of 2.9.

The Sheraton Hotel is currently built on the land in question, with a floor occupation coefficient for the first floor of 0.3 (a value that complied with the urban planning regulations at the time of its construction, as the coefficient was set higher than the current one, which is 0.2). Thus, the Comptroller found that there would be no basis for admitting new construction on the site, since any other construction would mean exceeding the land occupation coefficient currently contemplated by the planning regulations.

The Comptroller’s Office determined that the building permit in question does not comply with the urban planning regulations in terms of land occupation coefficient, and will therefore have to take steps to correct the irregularity. Regarding the allegations raised about the project and the assumption that it would exceed the constructability coefficient allowed in the Communal Regulatory Plan, the Comptroller’s Office dismissed these allegations.

On the other hand, the Comptroller added that one of the underground levels of the projected buildings to be constructed would not meet the definition of article 1.1.2 of the General Ordinance of Urbanism and Constructions to qualify as an underground itself.

Subsequently, the Comptroller’s Office made a statement on the allegations made with respect to the Impact Study on the Urban Transport System of the project (approved by official letter No. 4015 of the Metropolitan Regional Secretariat of Transport and Telecommunications, hereinafter “SEREMITT”), indicating that it only contemplated the car parks to be built and not those that were already previously constructed. The Comptroller’s Office determined that SEREMITT must inform and accompany the background information to prove that the approved mitigations considered the impact of the car parks already built at the Hotel.

Finally, the Comptroller dismissed the allegation that the project should enter the Environmental Impact Assessment System, considering that this entry was not mandatory for the implementation of the project.


If you require further information on this matter, please contact Sven Herlin ( and/or Julio Trucco (