16 July 2024
Децентралізація
New Spatial Planning Gives Mizhhiria a Second Wind in Development
New Spatial Planning Gives Mizhhiria a Second Wind in Development

The Mizhhiria community is one of the largest in the Zakarpattia Oblast. However, 72 percent of its territory consists of forests, while the remaining 28 percent is occupied by modern buildings, rivers, gas pipelines, and power lines. There is no free land left that could attract investors—at least on planning documents. This has prevented the community from fully developing, explains Vasyl Boshota, Head of the Urban Planning and Architecture Department of the Mizhhiria Village Council:

"We have old master plans and district schemes from the Soviet era. For example, there are five kolhosps [Soviet collective farms] and other production areas on our territory, which have not been working for a long time. It covers about 100 hectares, but we can't do legally anything with this space because the development of the territory did not does not foresee external investments. An investor comes to the community, analyzes the urban planning documentation and finds only outdated information and development plans for enterprises that no longer exist».

Therefore, it is crucial for the Mizhhiria community to develop a Comprehensive Spatial Development Plan—urban planning and land management documentation—not only because a comprehensive plan will be a compulsory government requirement for all communities beginning on January 1, 2025.

 

During the HOVERLA strategic session with the Mizhhiria residents for developing Comprehensive Spatial Development Plan

 

Thus, since the end of 2022, the community has been actively working on the document with the USAID HOVERLA Activity support. One of the most important tasks was to involve residents. So, people from all walks of life—teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, youth, homemakers, and other community representatives—were invited to the working groups.

During several dozen formal and informal meetings the community generated over a hundred ideas: from arranging river beaches and restoring a quarry to creating an ambitious tourist complex with a helipad and a ski lift. These proposals were analyzed, documented, with specific locations and required areas for each project marked on the map.

 

The Mizhhiria residents present their ideas for developing Comprehensive Spatial Development Plan

 

"Among the best ideas is the Wild Produce Hub. This is a special space where residents can sell mushrooms and berries they collect in the forests and meadows to visiting entrepreneurs. Currently, this process is unorganized: people search for buyers themselves, and entrepreneurs often buy goods illegally, without permits. Such a hub, located in a convenient place, will help residents sell their products more easily and store them in good conditions, while entrepreneurs can buy already taxed goods, and the community will receive income. We have planned several such hubs," says Vasyl Boshota.

After its Comprehensive Spatial Development Plan is approved, the Mizhhiria community will update an investment portfolio. The residents are optimistic that the number of tourists will increase significantly, giving the community a second wind in its development.

 

 

For its responsible approach to developing this important document, the USAID HOVERLA Activity recognized the Mizhhiria community for Best Practice in Territorial Development.

 

 

HOVERLA supports the Ministry of Restoration's efforts to enhance the communities’ institutional and investment capacity and improve the quality of public services.

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