Neighborocalypse, or Residential Environment Gone Private
Citizens will be able to acquire possession of inter-block spaces in neighborhoods after taking care of them for 10 years, under a revised version of an ordinance prepared by Sofia Chief Architect Petar Dikov.
Under the draft ordinance, owners of condominium units who wish to cultivate the public spaces between blocks of flats will be able to conduct a range of activities, including construction works, advertising, etc.
The proposed piece of legislation does not provide restrictions for changing the way the terrain is used.
If a decision is taken by the people living in the apartment blocks, a representative will have to inform the respective municipality.
The existing regime mandates citizens wishing to cultivate inter-block spaces to obtain a permit from the respective mayor's office or else face a fine for taking liberties.
"It used to be a major criticism that the municipality is only transferring obligations and no rights. Now here come the rights to the citizens," Dikov said.
"Everybody determines the environment they wish to live in. If we are ready to spoil our surroundings in exchange for BGN 5, to build a supermarket, for instance, or a pig sty, then this is our problem," Sofia's Chief Architect added.
Authorities ought to be proud of the way they are twisting the story to the extent that it seems that citizens shall be given a gift, while the municipalities will actually be shedding responsibilities they are failing to handle.
If the municipalities cannot take proper care of the public space between the blocks of flats, neither can the inhabitants
To find proof of this statement, one need look no further than the typical 'neighborly relations' in Bulgarian apartment block, where there is constant bickering over a variety of issues from leaking roofs to the (timely) payment of bills for common services.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely for neighbors who are either fighting over something or gossiping about something else to come to an agreement about the layout of the inter-block space.
Or, in the miraculous event that they do reach a consensus on the matter, they will be given immense leeway to abuse the right to dispose of the no-longer-public space, for instance by placing a billboard in a children's playground.
No good will come from the initiative to make residential environment a private concern.
The 'gift' that Bulgarian municipalities plan to start handing out is an actual ticking bomb.
Whether you like it or not, what makes it a bomb are the irresponsible or corrupt hands it is likely to fall into.
"If the municipalities cannot take proper care of the public space between the blocks of flats, neither can the inhabitants"
This is nonsense. People are not used to a high enough degree of responsibility. The gov't doesn't do its job well, and that's the way it is, people say. "Nothing will ever change".
That mentality is a self-fulfilling prophecy and Bulgaria's number one problem. Maybe if Bulgaria didn't have a government for a few years, it would be a good lesson for people to take responsibility for their own destinies and environment.