Decree No. 66 of 2012 on the Establishment of Two Development Zones in Damascus
The text of Decree No. 66 of 2012, which enables the expropriation of two districts of Damascus.
Legislative Decree No. 66 of 2012
Providing for the Establishment of Two Development Zones in the Governorate of Damascus within the General Plan for Damascus City
The President of the Republic,
In accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,
Promulgates the following:
Within the Governorate of Damascus, the following two development zones shall be established, falling within the general plan for the city of Damascus, in order to develop areas of violations and informal settlements in accordance with the detailed organisational studies prepared by the Governorate of Damascus and approved in accordance with the laws and regulations in effect:
- The First Zone: Regulation of the south-eastern zone of Mazzeh from the two real estate zones Mazzeh and Kafr Sousseh.
- The Second Zone: Regulation of the area south of the southern ring, from the real estate zones of Mazzeh, Kafr Sousseh, Qanawat Basatin, Darayya, Qadam.
Contrary to any text, the regulation and distribution shall be applied to the two zones set forth in Article 1 in accordance with the provisions and regulations stipulated in this Legislative Decree.
Internal dwellings within the development zone constitute common property shared among those holding rights therein in shares equivalent to the estimated value of the property for each, and the in rem rights which they possess.
It shall be forbidden to carry out any of the following activities on property inside the two development zones after the issuance of this Legislative Decree:
- Sales, purchases, gifts, borrowing or transferring of membership, or ceding or transfer of rights, or any insurance contract, mortgage or agency, whatever its formulation, disguising this disposal;
- Unifying, sorting, or correcting descriptions;
- Granting building licences;
- Altering landmarks of the development zone real estate or its descriptions.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall ask, within a week of the date of the issuance of this Legislative Decree, the Directorate of Real Estate Interests to prepare a list of names of property owners conforming to real estate restrictions, including the indications noted on their respective records.
- The Directorate of Real Estate Interests must secure the required list within a period of 30 days.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall compose, within a month of the date of the issuance of this Legislative Decree, one or more committee to inventory and categorise the zone’s property and organise a detailed description of their contents in terms of buildings, trees, plants and otherwise. It may employ aerial photography as a reference for the work of the committee or other committees.
- The Governor of Damascus shall invite, within a month of the issuance of this Legislative Decree, the owners and in rem rights holders in the two zones, through an announcement published in at least one local newspaper and in audio and visual media, and on the Governorate of Damascus web page, as well as on the Governorate bulletin board and the zone bulletin board, to declare their rights. It is incumbent upon them, and all those related to real estate in the development zone, whether originally or through guardianship or agency, to submit to the Governorate of Damascus within 30 days of the date of the announcement, an application which specifies his elected place of residence within Damascus city, accompanied by papers and documents, or copies of them supporting his rights, if any. In the event of their absence, his application shall note the location, borders, lots, and legal type of property or rights that he is claiming.
- Relatives of rights holders in the development zone of any degree may exercise the rights stipulated in the previous Paragraph on behalf of the owners.
Estimation of Property Value in the development zone
The value of real estate in the zone shall be estimated in accordance with its current condition, including buildings, construction, trees, cultivation, and in rem or claimed rights at a fair estimate, taking into consideration the real value and rules stipulated in Article 10 of this Legislative Decree by a committee formed by the Governor, composed of:
- A judge at the rank of counsel named by the Minister of Justice, as committee chairman;
- Two experts in real estate evaluation named by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, as members;
- Two experts representing owners, as members.
Property owners in the development zone shall elect experts at the invitation of the Governorate of Damascus, issued to those whose elected location has been specified, in a daily newspaper, in order to elect their representatives. The election shall be considered valid with a majority vote from those who answer the invitation, and the time and place of the election shall be specified in the invitation. If the property owners in the development zone do not meet the invitation to elect their representatives for the value estimation committee, the Judge of First Instance in Damascus shall appoint the two aforementioned experts, and in the event that one or both of the owner representatives are absent, a replacement shall be named by the Judge of First Instance.
- It is required that the chairman of the committee and its members have no relation, by blood or marriage, up to the fourth degree, or any financial or legal tie or interest with the rights holders, with the provisions of Article 174 of the Judicial Procedure Law applied to them.
- Committee members shall swear the following legal oath before the chairman before commencing their work: “I swear, by Almighty God, to carry out my duties honestly and truthfully, and not to disclose secrets of the proceedings.”
- Meetings of the committee shall be legally valid with the attendance of the chairman and all members, and its decisions shall be taken by unanimous or majority vote.
- The decisions of the committee shall be considered final and not subject to any form or appeal or review.
- Following the issuance of a committee decision and an underestimation by the committee of a share or an omission in the account of an owner, and based upon his objection, the committee shall correct this omission and issue the decision necessary to specify the benefits accrued as a result and inform the Governorate of Damascus. The Governorate must calculate the equivalent equity value according to the ratio specified by a decision of the distribution committee and disburse it from the zone fund account or refund the equivalent income to the fund.
In estimating the value of real estate inside the development zone, the committee shall take into account that the compensation should be equivalent to the real value before the date of the issuance of this Legislative Decree, and that every rise in price as the result of the issuance of this Legislative Decree or commercial speculation shall not be taken into account, if this increase in value is not justified by a similar increase in neighbouring areas, taking into account when the value was estimated.
- The classification shall be prepared by the committee formed in accordance with Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of this Legislative Decree;
- The location of the land and what it contains in terms of buildings, construction, and its proximity to the Damascus city centre and its connection to urban development, the availability of public facilities, the regulatory classification and building regulation system;
- Classification of agricultural land and what it contains in terms of trees, cultivation, its location and its nature, characteristics, production and proximity to roads and public facilities, the city centre and irrigation sources.
The committee must comply with the fundamentals of valuation and prepare an evaluation list with the value of land, building, trees, agriculture, and other construction each listed in a separate field.
The State Council in the Administrative Judiciary Authority shall have jurisdiction in considering the decisions issued by the committee in final form if they are marred by a legal defect.
The Governorate of Damascus shall announce, within a week of the date of receiving the decisions of the evaluation committee, on its bulletin board and in the area bulletin board, and through publication in a local newspaper, the end of the evaluation committee’s work. The announcement shall contain an explicit reference to the relevant authority that must be referred to consider its evaluation list.
Dispute Resolution Committee
The Governorate of Damascus shall form, within one month of the date of the conclusion of the period specified in Article 6 for the presentation of claims of ownership or in rem rights, one or more committees with judicial specialisation with jurisdiction to review all objections and claims of ownership or in rem disputes over real estate inside the development zone. All similar existing cases related to the area, which are before the courts, shall be transferred to it, if they are pending a final judgment.
The Damascus Governor shall issue a decision to form the committees mentioned in Article 14 as follows:
- A judge at rank of counsel named by the Minister of Justice, as committee chairman;
- A representative of the Directorate of Real Estate Interests in the Governorate who holds a law degree named by the General Director, as a member;
- A representative of Governorate of Damascus who holds a law degree named by the Governor, as a member.
- The representatives, both from the Directorate of Real Estate Interests and the Governorate of Damascus, must have served the state for no less than 10 years since obtaining a law degree.
- Council members shall take the following oath before the chairman: “I swear, by Almighty God, to carry out my duties honestly and truthfully, and not to disclose secrets of the proceedings.”
- The decision to form the committee shall stipulate the period needed to achieve its mission.
The committee shall enjoy, in adjudicating claims and disputes submitted or transferred to it, all the competencies enjoyed by the court originally competent to hear the dispute.
- The decisions of the committee are subject to appeal before the Court of Appeals in Damascus in accordance with the dates and rules followed in appealing decisions of the urgent matters judge. The Court of Appeals shall decide, in chambers, on appeals with a final decision. An aggrieved party, who is not party to the conflict before the committee, may claim damages with compensation for the damage inflicted before the ordinary judiciary.
- The implementation of the committee’s decisions shall be carried out after they reach the peremptory degree:
- Through a letter directed by the committee to the Governorate of Damascus accompanied by a copy of the decision after meeting the fee scheduled in the Judicial Fees and Insurance for Implementing Judicial Decisions Law.
- Through a letter from the President of the Court of Appeals to the Governorate of Damascus, accompanied by a copy of the court decisions after meeting the legal fees.
The committee is exempt from adhering to the regulations and time frames scheduled in the Law of Judicial Procedure, and it may act as an arbitration committee based on the agreement of the litigants with authorisation for reconciliation.
Procedures to Implement the Development Zone
- The Governorate of Damascus, in partnership with the relevant institutions and companies, shall deliver and implement public facilities and infrastructure, in terms of roads, side-walks, parks, courts, squares, water, sewerage, electricity, communications, and other services to the noted plots, and implement them in an integrated fashion with the latest specifications.
- Governorate of Damascus shall bear all expenses for regulation, studies, implementing infrastructure and public facilities, compensation for evacuation, and all accrued rent payments to occupants in accordance with the provisions of Article 44 of this Legislative Decree, and similar fees, expenses from selling by auction, committee compensations, wages of experts and contracted parties, and the contracts concluded to carry out survey and technical work, bonuses and bank interest and all expenses needed to maintain the development zone, develop the city, and for it to prosper.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall establish, through a decision from the Minister of Local Administration, a special fund for each development zone to cover and fund all expenses set forth in Article 19 and to construct social and alternative housing and all expenses of the development zone.
- The fund shall be financed through the necessary annual appropriations, which are allocated in the future budget for “funding investment development projects with a yield in accordance with the provisions of Article 34 of the Local Administration Law: Loans from authorised banks.
- Revenues resulting from exchange or joint contracts signed by Governorate of Damascus in order to finance the fund with concerned companies in exchange for ownership of shares in its regulated plots, and the value of what it sells in auctions.
- Any other revenues for the development zones.
- All land necessary to achieve and implement the following shall be split off free of charge in accordance with the general and detailed master plans:
- Roads, squares, parks, car parks and public constructions, including public entity centres, schools, police stations, hospitals, clinics, medical centres, fire stations, houses of worship (mosques and churches), public libraries, cultural centres, locations prepared for public monuments, athletic fields, social care centres, electrical substations, sewage treatment stations, drinking water pumping stations, social support centres, delivered to the public entities without charge.
- Plots allocated for Governorate of Damascus to construct buildings for those notified of demolition and those of limited income and social housing, and covering the expenses noted in Article 19.
- The deductions set forth in Items a and b of this Article must not lead to a reduction in the proportion of land allocated for the owners of the development zone below 80 percent of a square meter for every one square metre of land. The Governorate of Damascus may raise the investment intensification factor to achieve this ratio.
- The development zone shall be considered a legal person taking the place of all owners and rights holders therein.
- Governorate of Damascus represents this legal personhood and shall exercise powers that ensure the implementation of the master plan and the liquidation of property in the area and its rights in accordance with the provisions of this Legislative Decree.
- All plots of the development zone allocated for owners and rights holders shall be owned commonly among them.
- The development zone works shall conclude with the issuance of a decision of a distribution committee in accordance with Paragraph 5 of Article 25 of this Legislative Decree.
The Governorate of Damascus must arrange the following two lists within a month of the date of the completion of the work of the dispute resolution committees to be the basis for the distribution process:
- A list of entitlements of rights holders for every property in the zone, including:
- The name of the entitlement holder and his share equity in the real estate, and his share of the value of the real estate or in rem right.
- An alphabetical list of the names of owners and rights holders including the full value of the rights for each in the zone.
Evaluation of Regulated Plots and their Distribution
- The evaluation of the value of regulated plots and their distribution in equity shares among rights holders in the development zone shall be completed by a committee formed by a decision from the Governor of Damascus in the following manner:
- A judge with the rank of counsel appointed by the Minister of Justice, as committee chairman;
- Two experts in real estate evaluation named by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, as members;
- Two experts representing owners, as members.
- The members of the evaluation and distribution committee shall swear the oath stipulated in Article 15 of this Legislative Decree before its chairman.
- The owners’ experts shall be selected in accordance with the provisions stipulated in Article 8 of this Legislative Decree.
- The requirements of the chairman and members of the evaluation and distribution committee are the same requirements as for the evaluation committee member set forth in Article 9 of this Legislative Decree.
The distribution committee must:
- Estimate the value of each plot within the plots of the specified zone on its divisional plan after excluding the plots withheld in accordance with the provisions of Article 21 of this Legislative Decree.
- Conduct a comparison between the total value of all property of the development zones estimated by an evaluation committee and the group of values of regulated plots estimated by it.
- Calculate the surplus or shortfall between them and its proportion.
- Re-distribute shares of all rights holders in the entire development zone in accordance with the rate of surplus or shortfall.
- The committee shall issue its final decision including the final list of names of rights holders in the development zone, adjusted as common owners of shares of regulated plots with their equity shares equalling the total value of regulated plots allocated to the owners.
- The share of owners shall be determined with the nominal value of a single share at a single Syrian pound.
- The distribution committee shall deliver the final list to the Governor of Damascus within one week from the date of the completion of its work, signed by all its members.
- The Governor of Damascus shall invite rights holders to review it in accordance with the Governorate of Damascus announcements and its website, if any, and on the development zone’s bulletin board.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall arrange registries of equity ownership entries, thus maintaining equity holdings and in rem rights, and shall issue nominal data of the shares of regulated plots in common and deliver them to their owners in accordance with the list prepared by the distribution committee.
- The registry or statement must contain the following information:
- Name of the development zone;
- Name of the owner of shares in the regulated plots;
- Number of shares;
- The total shares of the development zone;
- All indications placed on the equity shares transferred from real estate pages or requested to be placed by judicial rulings;
- The national number.
- Owners of shares in regulated plots in common may, within a year of the announcement of the final distribution schedule, trade the ownership of shares among themselves or others in whole or in part, with instances recorded in the registry.
- Rights associated with the shares cannot be transferred until after they are registered in the shares registry with the Governorate of Damascus, and no action against third parties is needed until the date of the recording in this registry. The Governorate of Damascus shall be prohibited from conducting this registration if it includes a violation of the provisions of this Legislative Decree.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall charge, for the benefit of the zone fund from the selling or ceding party a rate of 0.5 percent of the nominal value of all shares sold or ceded or requested to be divided upon every operation, with at least 200 Syrian pounds per request, in addition to all the taxes and financial fees accrued in accordance with the provisions of the financial laws and regulations in effect and in accordance with their nominal value.
- For those who wish to review the information of the ownership of shares of one of the owners who has registered their shares and obtained a copy of the original thereof, the request shall be granted in exchange for a fee determined by the Governorate of Damascus.
- The information provided shall be stores in the registry of shares electronically.
- The data issued by the Governorate of Damascus to register shares shall be considered officially endorsed.
- Plots shall be distributed and their ownership transferred and registered in the real estate registry within one of three options according to the desire and selection of the owner of shares of ownership plots in common:
- The first option: Allocation of plots;
- The second option: Participation in the establishment of a joint stock company in accordance with the Companies Law in effect or the Real Estate Development and Investment Law for building, sale and investment of plots;
- The third option: Sale at public auction.
- Owners of shares in regulated plots in common must, within a year of the date of the announcement of the division list, submit to the Governorate of Damascus a request to select one of the options set forth in Paragraph 1 above and in accordance with the following:
- The Governorate of Damascus shall open a registry in which is registered the requests according to the option, and shall audit the share information accompanying the request with the shares registry.
Owners of shares of regulated plots in common for whom the value of their shares amounts to the nominal value of one of the plots may submit their request to the Governorate of Damascus to subscribe to the plot they desire, containing the following:
- Number of the subscribed plot and names of the partner owners of shares of regulated plots in common and the amount of their nominal shares, accompanied by information of the shares equivalent to the value of the plot.
- No indications of mortgage, reservation or obligation of any kind on their equity shares preventing participation in a company or obtaining a building licence.
- The Governorate of Damascus must consider subscription requests within a period of no more than 15 days from the date of the application’s submission and reject any request that violates the conditions of subscription. In the event of any need to complete any shortage in the subscription request, the date of its completion shall be considered a new date for submission of the application.
- The executive office shall issue a decision assigning the plot.
- In the event that more than one subscription request is submitted for one plot, preference in assigning the owner or owners of the subscription request according to the sequence prior to the date the request is registered with the Governorate of Damascus.
- The owner of shares of regulated plots in common, in his capacity as a legal or natural person, has the right to submit his request for the allocation of one or more plots according to his ownership of shares equivalent to the value of the plot or plots requested for allocation, if his ownership of shares in regulated plots results from his previous original or inherited ownership before the issuance of this Legislative Decree in the development zone, and determined by decision from the distribution committee.
- No natural or legal person has the right, after the issuance of this Legislative Decree to own or dispose of any shares in the development zones owned in common through trading, purchase, or concession enabling the assignment of more than one of the regulated plots. Forms of disposal include sale, gift, stripping, concession, transfer of rights, or any insurance contract, mortgage or agency, whatever its formulation, leading to ownership, and this disposal shall be considered absolutely null and void in the context of the implementation of this Legislative Decree.
- The allocation decision shall be announced for viewing in an announcement on the Governorate of Damascus bulletin board and its website, if any, and on the development zone bulletin board.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall send a copy of the allocation decision to the real estate departments to carry out registration of ownership.
Taking into consideration the provisions of Paragraph 6 of Article 30 above, and the provisions of the Companies Law No. 29 of 2011, and the Real Estate Development and Investment Law No. 15 of 2008, owners of shares of regulated plots in common may submit their requests to the Governorate of Damascus to establish a joint stock company, the “second option,” with the aim of building up the plots or investing them in accordance with what was approved in the rules of procedure.
- The request shall include the following:
- Name and nationality;
- Number of shares desired for participation;
- The elected location;
- Copy of personal identification or passport;
- Personal mobile telephone or fax number, if any;
- Authorisation for the Governorate to submit a request to establish the company to the Ministry of Trade and Economy.
- The lack of any mortgage, restriction or obligation of any kind on the equity shares and not being burdened with any indication preventing the contribution to the company or obtaining a building permit.
- The Governorate of Damascus must open a registry in which is registered the requests for participation and check the shares certificates accompanying the requests with the shares registry and check for any indications or reservations preventing the transfer of the rights of owners of shares of regulated plots in common in the plots. This must be completed within a period of no more than 15 days, during which time unacceptable requests shall be returned.
- After the completion of the allocation of all first option plots during the period specified in Article 30, the Governorate of Damascus shall carry out the following:
- Inventory the total shares to collect applications for participation in the company;
- Determine the number of the plots subject to this and the numbers of the plots remaining for the third option, “sale by public auction,” in order to achieve integration and harmony in the project of the company which it will implement, and reflect positively on the remaining plots which will be sold in the public auction, through a decision from the executive office;
- Allocate a correct number of plots for the third option. It may, in order to do this, take a final decision to transfer shares of regulated plots from the second option to the third, or vice versa, in accordance with the rules determined by the executive office, achieving the interests of the share owners;
- Announce a decision assigning plots to the company in the Governorate of Damascus bulletin board and its website, if any, and on the development zone’s bulletin board.
- A decision of the executive office shall be considered an instrument of legal proxy for the Governorate of Damascus from all owners of shares of development zones for the second option to submit an establishment request to the Ministry of Trade and Economy on behalf of a committee of the founders. The joint stock company shall be established in accordance with the Companies Law in a manner not contradicting the provisions of this Legislative Decree.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall invite owners of shares of development zones whose names are provided in an executive office decision as “owners of in rem advances for part of the capital of the company” to elect a committee of founders to develop basic regulations and to follow up on the establishment, and invite the general foundational authority to convene on behalf of the company and its administration until its final foundation and the election of the first board of directors.
- In accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law, the Governorate of Damascus shall send a copy of the allocation decision to the real estate departments to carry out procedures for registering the ownership of the name of the company within a period of 30 days from the date of the ratification of the basic regulations of the company.
- The value of plots equivalent to the share of owners of regulated plots shall be considered in rem advances comprising a portion of the company’s capital and shall be evaluated in accordance with the provision of the Companies Law.
- In a manner not contradicting the provisions of the Companies Law, the company may issue its shares for direct public subscription or in a financial securities market or by way of one or more underwriter. The underwriter must be a bank or a financial or real estate intermediary or a real estate developer licenced to practice this activity.
- Pursuant to the provisions of the Companies Law, founders shall bear all expenses of the company’s establishment if its establishment is not completed.
- In all matters not covered by this Legislative Decree regarding the establishment of the company, the Companies Law No. 29 of 2011 shall apply.
- Work with the second option shall be halted and the provisions of the third option applied to distribution in accordance with what is set forth in Article 32 of this Legislative Decree by a decision from the Minister of Housing and Urban Development based on the recommendation of the executive office of the Governorate of Damascus in the following cases:
- The company cannot be established;
- The objective of the second aim cannot be achieved for social, cultural, or economic reasons.
Sale of regulated plots in a public auction, the “third option”:
- Owners of shares of the regulated plots in common may submit their requests to the Governorate to sell their regulated shares in a public auction, accompanied by a statement of their ownership of the shares.
- The provisions of sale by public auction shall apply to all owners of shares whose requests in the first and second options are not accepted or who do not submit any of the three options.
- The executive office of the Governorate council shall issue a decision with the numbers of the plots requested for sale by auction for the benefit of the owners of shares who did not benefit from the first or second options.
- The allocation decision shall be issued to be viewed in an announcement on the Governorate of Damascus bulletin board and its website, if any, and on the bulletin board of the development zone.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall form a special committee in accordance with the provisions of the contracts regulations issued by Legislative Decree 51/2004 and its amendments, to sell the regulated plots specified in Paragraph 3 above in public auction within a period of no more than one year from the date of the issuance of the executive office’s decision.
- The Governorate of Damascus must, upon announcing the sale of plots, take into consideration the interests of the owners in terms of the number and numbers of the plots offered for sale and the timing of the announcement with expansion in the publication of additional advertisements in all available media, including internet pages, government and private television broadcast stations, local radio stations, and weekly newspapers specialised in real estate announcements and road announcements. The Governorate of Damascus shall meet all expenses of publication and advertisement and the expenses resulting from the sale, with the expense considered expenses of the development zone.
- The Governorate of Damascus may, with agreement of the executive office, purchase a plot or plots at a price higher than the referral price at a rate of five percent. The Governorate of Damascus shall adhere to the deadline for payment specified in the announcement issued regarding the sale by public auction.
- The value of sold plots shall be deposited in the account of the Governorate of Damascus with the Central Bank of Syria, and a trust account shall be opened for it. The Governorate of Damascus shall not have the right to dispose of the funds of the owners of shares of development zones that are sold.
- The value of the plots sold at public auction shall be disbursed to owners of shares of regulated plots every six months at a rate proportionate between their share of the equity and the total amounts of sold plots and after addressing all indications preventing disposal, in-rem rights, and mortgages due on their shares of real estate of the development zone.
- The Governorate of Damascus may sell one or more of the regulated plots allocated for it by public auction to finance the area’s fund.
General and Closing Provisions
In the Governorate of Damascus, an administration concerned with the implementation of this Legislative Decree shall be established and its staffing and duties, shall be determined by a decision issued by the Minister of Local Administration.
All committees whose formation is stipulated in this Legislative Decree shall be dedicated to fulfilling their tasks within the time periods specified for them.
The Governorate of Damascus may take possession public property and public constructions plots after evaluation of the development zone, with the exception of public construction plots and plots allocated for those warned of demolition which are free of buildings, whereby they take possession of it after the issuance of this Legislative Decree.
In rem rights such as mortgages, restrictions or indications owed on the real estate before it is subject to the regulation shall be transferred to the shares of the share rights holders and holders of shares in the regulated plots and the entitlements which replaced the real estate or original right.
The Governorate of Damascus shall allocate for each of the committees stipulated in this Legislative Decree a rapporteur whose task is to secure needed information and data and to edit and record minutes and proceedings of its sessions and to regulate its work and to follow up on it, and to preserve all its documents. The rapporteur shall not enjoy voting rights and shall place at the disposal of the committees all that is needed in terms of documents, papers, information, and technical or legal expertise.
A committee shall be formed headed by the Deputy Prime Minister for Services Affairs and the Minister of Local Administration and membership for the following:
- The Minister of Housing and Urban Development.
- The Governor of Damascus.
- A legal expert named by the committee chairman.
It shall address all sub-issues that are not provided for by this Legislative Decree and shall take all necessary measures to carry them out in a manner not conflicting with its provisions.
The evaluation of real estate in the zone shall be conducted on the basis of leaving rubble to the owners, to be demolished and removed after the end of the period determined by the Governorate of Damascus for the owners to take the rubble of their properties.
The Governorate of Damascus shall be obligated to deliver the land of vacant plots to their owners within a period of at most 90 days from the date they obtain a building permit for it.
Internal property within the zone is exempt from fees recorded in the real estate registry.
The zone funds shall be obtained in accordance with the Law on Collection of Public Funds and its amendments.
- The rights of offenders who have built on state property land, public or private, are limited to collecting the rubble of their buildings. No right shall be recognised for them but that. By a decision from the executive office, it is permissible to allocate them alternative housing from the surplus of what is available to the Governorate of Damascus.
- A dispute resolution committee shall review cases arising from buildings and occupant violations committed on private real estate in the zone. The committee shall determine the ownership of the buildings and constructions in violation among the owners and what affects both in terms of ownership of real estate property.
- The active tenant occupant has the right, in accordance with the provisions of Law 111/1952 and its amendments, to an equity share equal to 30 percent of the estimated value of the occupied portion for residential occupants and 40 percent for commercial occupants. The committee shall resolve disputes in this respect.
- The occupants of residential buildings in violation are not entitled to any compensation except the compensation for rent stipulated in Article 44 of this Legislative Decree.
- Occupants not entitled to alternative housing shall be granted the equivalent of rent compensation for two years, disbursed from the zone fund within a period of no more than one month from the date of the notification of eviction.
- Those entitled to alternative housing shall be granted the equivalent of annual rent compensation until they are delivered alternative housing, disbursed annually from the zone fund and paid within one month from the eviction notification.
- Rent compensation the last year shall be granted partially, commensurate with the date specified for delivery of the alternative housing.
- The payment of rent compensation shall be halted if the reason for the delay in delivery of alternative housing results from the one entitled to alternative housing. The Governor of Damascus has the right to demand any disbursed amount that is not due in accordance with the Collection of Public Funds Law.
- The annual rent compensation will be determined at a rate of five percent of the estimated value of the residential unit that much be evacuated.
The Governorate of Damascus shall comply with the following with regards to the two development zones:
- Secure alternative housing for occupants of the development zone who are entitled to alternative housing within a period of no more than four years from the date of the issuance of this Legislative Decree.
- Give preference to occupants of the development zone who are not entitled to alternative housing by allocating them housing when available after the completion of allocation of all housing to those entitled to alternative housing.
- Give preference to commercial store owners who are evicted in the development zone to purchase and rent commercial stores which are adopted by the Governorate of Damascus by way of public option and limited among them.
The bases for allocation of alternative housing shall be authorised by a decision from the Minister of Housing and Urban Development in accordance with what the development zone supplies in terms of social housing plots and buildings notified for demolition and according to the distribution of housing quality within the approved detailed master plan.
The Governor of Damascus has the right to sign contracts with licenced banks enabling it to finance construction of housing for those notified for demolition and social housing plots and procure the housing value and instalments, and to transfer the procedures for payment of due loans and their interest to the bank based on the contracts which are agreed between these banks and the beneficiaries of housing.
The beneficiaries of alternative housing may cede their homes after payment of the value of the homes and accrued interest.
The Governorate of Damascus shall develop a plan to evict occupants according to the requirements of implementing the provisions of this Legislative Decree in accordance with the timetable for implementation of the development zone.
The value of compensation owed for damaged plants and fruit trees shall be paid when appropriate and similar replacement fees from the zone fund account.
If the development zone includes agricultural land, it shall entail rights to the farmer or owner for participation or compensation, and the contract between the two parties shall be considered severed, in whole or in part, depending on whether the zone includes all or part of the land. The aforementioned rights holder shall be paid from the zone fund account what he is entitled to in terms of the compensations stipulated in the Agricultural Relations Law.
The Minister of Justice shall name, based on the recommendation of the Governor of Damascus, a number of judges for the evaluation committee, dispute resolution, and distribution committee work, and the judge named to any of these committees shall be committed to working and completing the committee’s tasks within the specified time frames.
The executive office of the Governorate of Damascus council may change the category of public constructions to other public constructions according to need and for planning purposes in accordance with the procedures stipulated in Legislative Decree 5/1982 and its amendments.
- The Governorate of Damascus may contract with qualified public or private entities to arrange current status charts and prepare master plans, such as the divisional plan in accordance with the conditions and technical specification in force in the real estate authority, and in a form which enables them to implement these plans without need for redoing the survey.
- The Governorate of Damascus shall develop, in coordination with the Ministry of Local Administration, technical books of conditions to achieve these works within the work of the oversight, receiving and auditing committees.
- The committees noted in Paragraph 2 shall receive compensations at a rate of no more than three percent of the contracts.
- The expenses resulting from the implementation of this Article shall be paid from the development zone fund.
The Governorate of Damascus may contract with experts and consultants to implement this Legislative Decree and shall pay their wages and compensations from the development zone fund.
- The compensations for members of committees formed in accordance with the provisions of this Legislative Decree and employees are exempt, in the scope of the application of this Legislative Decree, from the limits stipulated in the Basic Law for State Employees and its amendments, if they complete their work within the periods specified for their achievement in this Legislative Decree.
- These compensations shall be determined by a decision from the Minister of Local Administration and shall be considered expenses of the development zone and paid from the zone fund.
- Additional bonuses shall be granted to the committees formed in accordance with the provisions of this Legislative Decree in the event that their work is achieved within the times specified in this Legislative Decree and a decision granting the bonus shall be issued in a decision from the Minister of Local Administration based on the recommendation of the Governor of Damascus and shall be considered expenses of the development zone.
No violations of current buildings or amendments in the zone real estate will be accepted after the date this Legislative Decree goes into effect.
The periods for achieving the work of this Legislative Decree not specified within it shall be determined by a decision issued by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development based on a recommendation of the Governor of Damascus.
The provisions of Law No. 82 of 2010 shall be applied to regulated plots established in the two development zones.
Study and implementation of public facilities and buildings allocated for alternative housing shall be completed by way of contracting by mutual consent between the Governorate of Damascus and the relevant public-sector companies if the treasurer in the Governorate of Damascus does not decide on another method of contracting in accordance with the contracting regulations.
In the event that owners of regulated plots in the two regulated zones obtain any modifications to the plans related to their plots in accordance with the provisions of Decree 5 /1982, and the revision results in an increase in the plot area, the Governorate of Damascus has the right to meet the equivalent of 50 percent of the interest earned as a result of the increase in accordance with the provisions of Legislative Decree.98/1965.
It is permissible, by a decision issued by the Prime Minister, to apply the provisions of this Legislative Decree to any development zone falling within the borders of Governorate of Damascus or its biosphere.
In all matters not addressed by the provisions of this Legislative Decree, the provisions of Law No. 9 of 1974 shall apply.
This Legislative Decree shall be published in the Official Gazette.
Damascus on 1/11/1433 Hijri, 18/09/2012 Gregorian
President of the Republic