If you have any questions in regards to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices so that we may explain the amendments to the provisions of the Code in more detail. Our address is:
Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.
We welcome your questions and comments.
Juan Carlos Gómez Escarce
María L. González Hernández
Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni
On June 27, 2014, the Planning Board will hold public hearings on the proposed amendments to the Joint Permits Regulation for the Construction and Land Use (the Amendments), and on the adoption of the Regulation Governing the Audit of Final Findings and Permits Issued. The Amendments and the new regulation will implement Act 151-2013, which amended the Permits Process Reform Act, Act 161-2009.
The Amendments rename the title of the regulation to the “Joint Permits Regulation for the Evaluation and Issuance of Permits Related to the Land Use and Development”. As part of the proposed amendments, references to the Permits General Inspector’s Office, the Adjudicative Board, and the Permits and Land Use Review Board are eliminated and their powers are transferred to the Permits Management Office (OGPe for its Spanish acronym). The enforcement powers of the Inspector’s Office will now be exercised by OGPe. The Amendments authorize OGPe to grant discretionary and ministerial permits, as well as variances formerly issued by the Adjudicative Board. OGPe’s decisions will be subject to reconsideration proceedings before OGPe’s Office of Reconsideration of Final Determinations, which may hold hearings.
Pursuant to the Amendments, the Planning Board will have exclusive authority to evaluate and adjudicate all site consultation proceedings, while OGPe will have authority to evaluate and adjudicate construction consultations. The Amendments introduce modifications to the site consultation requirements and their term of effectiveness. The Amendments also reinstate the application of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (Act 170-1988) to the evaluation and adjudicative proceedings of all final permit decisions and enforcement actions of the Planning Board, OGPe and the Autonomous Municipalities.
The proposed Regulation Governing the Audit of Final Findings and Permits Issued regulates the Planning Board audit powers, formerly exercised by the Inspector’s Office, to inspect final determinations and permits issued by OGPe, Autonomous Municipalities and the authorized professionals. The Planning Board may, among others, conduct inspections, require production of documents, summon and depose witnesses. Based on the audits’ findings, the Planning Board may impose penalties, file administrative complaints and refer the matter to the Department of Justice.
The Planning Board has granted a thirty (30) day period after the publication date of the public notice to submit written comments. The notice was published on June 12, 2014; thus, the comment period ends on July 12, 2014.
If you have any questions regarding this matter or would like to know more of our Firm’s experience in this area please call us. If you know anyone that would like to read the FGR Environmental Watch, please feel free to forward this article. Stay tuned for further updates of FGR ENVIRONMENTAL WATCH.
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