The Municipality of Vari – Voula – Vouliagmeni decided the expropriation of 288.7 acres without compensation in the area of Vouliagmeni that it claims from the Church, intensifying the controversy that has broken out between the two sides.
According to the municipal authority, this is a historic decision for the preservation of its character as a green suburb and the restoration of the environmental balance of Vouliagmeni, but also to prevent a wave of anarchic construction that would irreversibly alter the current character and character of the city.
The decision was taken unanimously by the Municipal Council of Vari – Voula – Vouliagmeni, with its decision No. 199/2021, on July 21, 2021.
“After 5 years of technical and legal preparation in which leading university lawyers and engineers participated, the Municipal Authority proposed the re-imposition of street expropriation, in a total of 28.87 hectares of property allegedly owned by the Church of Greece, without compensation.”
It is recalled that the Archdiocese of Athens earlier this year issued a call for expressions of interest for about 40 of its plots with the obligation that the urban planning – settlement burdened the investors, as explicitly stated in the announcement.
What the Municipality maintains
The sole purpose of the will of this city is to compensate and restore the now overturned environmental balance, as determined in 1951 with the first road plan of Vouliagmeni (Katsafaropoulos contract).
As analyzed in his presentation by the Mayor Grigoris Konstandellos and then specialized by the head of the legal team that elaborated the proposal, Professor of Administrative Law and Environmental Law at the Law School of EKPA, Mrs. Glykeria Siouti, the area of buildable spaces in Vouliagmeni with successive modifications of the road plan increased from 1,120 acres in 1951 (37%) to 1682.38 (53%) while today it is 1,393.68 acres (46%).
Any acceptance of the Church’s positions and the pending declassification applications will increase this percentage to 55%. This increase in the buildable private plots of the Church was made exclusively at the expense of the spaces for public purposes and free from construction provided by the Katsafaropoulos contract, which shrank from 33% (100.8 hectares) in 1951 to 15% (46.371 hectares) today . That is why, after all, the Mayor of Vari, Voula, Vouliagmeni, Grigoris Konstandellos, has always stated that “the Church of Greece has received more from Vouliagmeni than it deserved.”
The administrations of the former Community and Municipality of Vouliagmeni, under the mayors Patrikios Karageorgos and Grigoris Kasidokostas, as developed by Grigoris Konstandellos, stopped this reduction of the free spaces with a successive declaration of expropriations. However, the inability of the Municipality to compensate for these areas, has led in recent years to the declassification of the areas, although the administration of the former Municipality of Vouliagmeni and today of the Municipality of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni firmly refuses to regulate these areas. defining building conditions and land uses. The new decision of the Municipal Council is based on the established case law of the Council of State and the Constitution, which defends the principle of environmental balance and emphasizes that “the Church of Greece has already been compensated in kind, ie in land for the disputed expropriations in question.”
Mayor Grigoris Konstandellos, asking for the unanimous support of the Municipal Council, characterizing the decision as the most important decision taken by the Municipality of Vari Voula Vouliagmenis since its establishment, underlined that “our goal is to balance the environment, protect the natural Vouliagmeni and the preserve the quality of life for the inhabitants of our city “. In addition, he thanked the Legal Service, the Building Service and the partners of the Municipality for the perfect work and expressed the optimism that this great battle will be for the benefit of the city.