Uranium mining ban must be incorporated into the land use plan of the city of Kosice
We insist on the requirement to incorporate a uranium mining ban into the Land use plan of the Košice city agglomeration as soon as possible, i.e. within the currently ongoing negotiations about the changes and amendments of the land use plan.
Negotiation about suggestions to the 2013 update of the land use plan of Košice shall be repeated
Changes and amendments of the land use plan of the Košice city agglomeration (ZaD ÚPN HSA KE) Košice 2013 are being prepared in a way, which is very typical for Košice - they are triggered by subjects that are interested in changing the functional use of the land in the affected areas.
Elaboration of a change or an amendment to the land use plan has strictly defined terms, conditions and procedures. A municipal community works out a change or an amendment of its land use plan in case the preconditions have changed or in case of a need to accommodate structures for public benefit or when it is necessary to synchronize the plan with the land use plan of the region, its changes and amendments.
In a nutshell, this means that changes and amendments of a land use plan are in the first place justified by a public interest.
In this particular case there is a strong public interest to explicitly ban mining of radioactive minerals in Košice in the Kurišková area. The public interest has been clearly expressed not only by the citizens of Košice (in the form of appeals and petitions) but also by politicians (in the form of declarations and duplicated resolutions of the city council presenting their negative opinion on the mining).
However, an appeal signed by 744 citizens to include a mining ban into the currently ongoing update of the city land use plan, has been ignored by the mayor Richard Raši, even though he declares himself an opponent of the mining. Similarly, the citizens who have asked for the same in their own suggestions submitted to the process of the land use plan update, have not been successful with their efforts either.
Only at the discussion about their suggestions they have learned the reason why: the area in question had not been included to the list of localities that the preliminary version of ZaD ÚPN HSA KE 2013 deals with.
When even such a strongly declared public interest hasn't been important enough for the land use plan update, the more insignificant it shall be in the decision making about granting mining licences.
The first attempt to cope with the suggestions of the citizens to the land use plan update has not been successful. After a turbulent discussion the only point that both parties have been able to agree on was that it was necessary to repeat the negotiation. The main person responsible for working out the changes and amendments of the land use plan promised to the attendees that they should receive a written statement explaining the reasons why their suggestions had not been accepted. It was agreed that the repeated negotiation meeting should take place on 23 August 2013.
Another unpleasant surprise was the proposal of the mayor to start additional separate negotiations for inclusion of the mining ban into the land use plan. The people who have submitted their suggestions to the current update of the plan perceive the proposal as very risky hesitation in wrong time after the earlier decision of the ministry of environment to prolong the licence for uranium geological exploration was cancelled.
They insist on the requirement to incorporate the uranium mining ban into the Land use plan of the Košice city agglomeration as soon as possible, i.e. within the currently ongoing negotiations about the changes and amendments of the plan.
Only that will allow the municipal authorities to exercise their right of veto in the new negotiations about prolonging the licence for uranium geological exploration. From the repeated negotiation about their suggestions to the 2013 update of the land use plan, the citizens expect that it will be a real negotiation of well-informed attendees with an open option to break the current disagreement with the suggestions.
On behalf of the citizens who have submitted suggestions to the land use plan
ZO SZOPK (basic unit of the Slovak association for preservation of nature and countryside) Košice 2013
19 August 2013
JUDr. Mgr. Ladislav Rovinský