On May 14, 2013, the decision of the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine came into force and documented the lease agreement for the part of Solomianskyi Landscape Park. The projected purpose of the land plot is a housing construction. So, in the near future we will see another high-rise in place of the green area. Why did this happen, what role Kyiv City Council played in this story, and more details are in the UA-Times article.
All plantings and no land plot…
The undeveloped land area on the slopes of Kuchmyn Yar, formed here right after the creation of the landscape park, in accordance with the decision of Kyiv City Council (also known as Kyivrada) №806/3381 on July 19, 2005, was included to the public green areas of Kyiv.
However, later (in just a month) the position of the city authorities on this issue changed. The investment-attractive area on the slopes of Solomianskyi district was included in the land stock of residential and public buildings. Nevertheless, de facto the slopes have remained part of the green areas, as a separate decision to exclude them, as well as the rationale for its adoption, did not take place.
Therefore, on August 8, 2005, “green plantings” were formed into a separate plot and got a new purpose – “for the construction of a residential building with an underground parking”.
“Cadres Decide Everything”
Nevertheless, the lease-holder company LLC “Realt Invest” was unable to start the planned construction. The reason was trivial: the city authorities in Kyiv simply changed. The news was good, because the new authorities would definitely spend all the allotted time to overcome all the negative consequences of the predecessors’ work, so there would be a green area for Kyivites!
And indeed, at first it looked like that. For a long time, no one even mentioned the land plot, whose lease term was overdue. Formally – the developer did not start the development of a land plot within the period specified in the agreement. Therefore, the agreement could be fully considered invalid, and all its legal consequences – null and void.
However, by Decision №788/2857 on November 27, 2009, Kyiv City Council suddenly recalled the existence of “green plantings” again. This time the deputies of the team of the then mayor Leonid Chernovetskyi strongly supported the idea of amending the land-lease agreement, and Denys Komarnytskyi, not so well-known at that time, was among them. With a sweep of the arm of the pro-mayor majority, the lease term of the land plot in Solomianskyi Park easily increased from three, as before, to 15 years at once! And the developer got the almost lost opportunity to build on the land plot again.
Community and Prosecutor’s Office Against Construction
Having received a second chance, the construction project, however, was in no hurry to be realized. Kyiv City Council, where there were the right people at the right time, was playing the capital the last and most sophisticated dirty trick.
The point is that in 2011 the request of local residents from the BSP (Body of Self-organization of Population) “CM “Batyieva Hora” drew attention of the Prosecutor’s Office of Kyiv to the case of green plantings for the construction of a residential building. The Deputy Prosecutor of Kyiv then filed a lawsuit to the advantage of the state to overturn the decision of Kyiv City Council and declare the land lease agreement invalid.
The disposition of the opposing forces looks curious in this case. The prosecutor’s office sided with the community (BSP “CM “Batyieva Hora”), which actually filed a lawsuit to return the land, illegally eliminated from the use of the territorial community, while the body, delegated to represent their interests – Kyiv City Council – took the side of the developer.
Construction on four stumps
Nonetheless, it is not over yet. Sure, it is possible to appeal to the fact that Kyiv City Council, in this case, so to speak, protected its “reputational interests” as a body that actually approved the construction in this area – [it isn’t possible to sue themselves, is it?]. But the key role in this case was prepared not for the council itself, but for its various structural units.
As the case was on its way up in the courts, the volumes of the case were becoming weighty by the conclusions of the organizations accountable to and controlled by the local government.
So, at first the Municipal Enterprise on the Maintenance of Green Plantings of Solomianskyi district of Kyiv came to the conclusion that in case ofconstruction only 4 trees (!) will be removed, while the majority (670 trees) remains in place.
Later, the need to build a residential complex instead of green plantings was confirmed by the State Department of Environmental Protection in Kyiv, concluding that: “…the negative impact on the environment is expected within the permitted levels.”
“…finds common ground with everyone”
Thus, one after another, all the arguments of the prosecutor’s office and Kyivites were shattered by the opposite conclusions of the organizations authorized to represent the interests of the territorial community of the city. However, if municipal organizations act against the interests of Kyivites, then whose interests do they represent? And most importantly, how did the conglomerate of municipal authorities, politically separated and divided by spheres of influence, at once show such a consensus, which is difficult to imagine under the usual conditions?
The answer to all these questions was given by the event that happened in July 2020. Then law enforcement officers conducted mass searches in the offices of the company “Eco-Bud-Trade”, related to already mentioned Denys Komarnytskyi, and in October of the same year the found materials were leaked to the Internet, among them – the above documents of the developer of the Solomianskyi Landscape Park – LLC “Realt Invest”.
According to the People’s Deputy of Ukraine Geo Leros (“Servant of the People”), the content posted by him (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6feVxVT7nc&feature=youtu.be) was stored on the laptop of one of the lawyers who ran Komarnytskyi’s affairs in the capital and is just the tip of the iceberg of corruption mechanisms of the “grey eminence” of Kyiv. Leros himself called Komarnytsky: “a friendly capybara who finds common ground with everyone.”
Translated by Alla Sydorova