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Czech Republic: Ostrava ghetto landlord appeals demolition order

Ostrava, 27.8.2012 19:23, (ROMEA)
ilustrační foto

Oldřich Roztočil, the owner of the buildings in the locality on Přednádraží street in Ostrava, has appealed a decision by the Building Works Authority instructing him to demolish building no. 19 there. The building is one of the most damaged. Roztočil told the Czech Press Agency that in his view the instruction cannot be carried out. A second inspection which he commissioned shows that the building could be preserved under certain circumstances. The Construction Administration Department of the Ostrava town hall, which is the oversight body, should now become involved in the dispute.

Roztočil was instructed to demolish the building by last Saturday, 25 August. He has not yet done so. "The Building Works Authority will not be taking any steps for the time being to see the instructions carried out and will wait for the results of the appeals proceeding," Jana Pondělíčková, spokesperson for the Municipal Department of Moravská Ostrava and Přívoz, told the Czech Press Agency today. However, she did say the municipality would insist on the landlord securing all possible entry points to the building.

Roztočil said the demolition process called for by the authorities could not have been carried out within the time limit specified. "In my opinion, they didn't base that instruction on the facts needed," Roztočil said, adding that the authorities demanded that he disconnect all utilities networks in the building. "They gave that instruction to me alone, they didn't inform the utilities suppliers at all, but by law those suppliers get 30 days to respond to such an instruction and stipulate conditions," Roztočil pointed out.

The Building Works Authority says the building is in disrepair and in danger of collapse, but the second inspection says it is possible to preserve it. The Nemopas company, which produced the second inspection, estimates the cost of demolishing the building and rebuilding it at CZK 26 million. Preserving the building would cost CZK 28 million.

Andrea Vojkovská, spokesperson for the Ostrava town hall, told the Czech Press Agency today that the town would be filing a motion with the District Court in Ostrava on Wednesday seeking a declaratory judgment as to who owns the broken sewer lines in the locality. Those lines were the start of the problem on Přednádraží street. It is unclear who actually owns the lines, whether Czech Railways, the Czech state, the municipality, or the owner of the properties. Roztočil reiterated today that he believes the town hall should have addressed the disrepair of the sewer lines and then asked whoever actually owns them to reimburse the town for the cost of the repairs.

More than 100 people are still living in the locality. The Building Works Authority has instructed them to move out because it believes their continued occupancy of the buildings is life-threatening.

There were originally 11 buildings in the locality. One belonged to the Municipal Department of Moravská Ostrava and Přívoz, which demolished it because it was not cost-efficient to renovate. The authorities have called on the owner of the remaining 10 buildings to repair the defects in six of them, five of which are still occupied.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, Czech Press Agency, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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