Federal Law No. 459-FZ on Amendments to the Federal Law on Cultural Heritage Sites (Historical and Cultural Landmarks) of Peoples of the Russian Federation and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation of December 30, 2015

This Law, which entered into force on December 30, 2015, introduces amendments to the regulation of town-planning activity in historical settlements, creating additional requirements for developers in doing so.

In accordance with the Law, the cultural landmark protection agencies are now responsible for establishing requirements to town-planning regulations within federal and regional historical settlements.1 The Law also stipulates that town-planning regulations outside of a historical settlement must be developed to determine points (sectors) of existing panoramic views of the historical settlement.

As of January 1, 2017, the Law makes it necessary for the cultural landmark protection agency to issue a report on whether a permanent structure or the external appearance of private construction is part of the protected historical settlement, and the requirements to the architecture of permanent structures set forth by the town-planning regulation for the zone located within the historical settlement. Before such a town-planning regulation can be approved it is necessary to obtain the report on whether or not the permanent structure or external appearance of the private construction is part of the protected historical settlement. An unfavorable report is a basis to refuse to issue a construction permit.

The Law also introduces new elements of administrative offenses in the protection of cultural heritage sites in addition to the above.

RF Government Resolution No. 972 on Approval of the Regulation on the Preservation Zones of Cultural Heritage Sites (Historical and Cultural Landmarks) of Peoples of the Russian Federation and on Repeal of Certain Provisions of Legal Regulatory Acts of the Russian Federation Government of September 12, 2015

The Resolution approves a new procedure for developing, seeking approval for and confirming the project for a preservation zone of cultural heritage sites of the peoples of Russia, the project for a combined preservation zone for cultural heritage sites, requirements to land use rules and general principles for establishing requirements to town-planning regulations within such zones.

The Resolution has made the requirements to land use rules within preservation zones that were previously in effect much stricter:

  • The Resolution introduced a prohibition on variances from the established land use rules and town-planning regulations;2
  • Objects located within preservation zones that do not comply with land use rules or town-planning regulations established within those zones must be used in accordance with those land use rules or town-planning regulations as of the effective date of the act of the state agency approving the preservation zones of cultural heritage sites that sets up such land use rules and town-planning regulations.3 

The Resolution entered into force on September 25, 2015.