Owners of 12 Hectares of Restituted Park in Bucharest Fined EUR 35 M


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The owners of the 12 hectares restituted in IOR Park have been fined €35 million by the Bucharest City Hall, through the Local Police, for reducing green space, announced the General Mayor, Nicușor Dan. The fine was imposed because a 9,000 sqm area of green space had its trees and grass removed, and the area was leveled.

The Mayor of Bucharest stated that the €35 million fine was imposed for changing the destination of green space or reducing its surface. Regarding the action of the Bucharest prefect attacking the restitution of IOR Park in court, Nicușor Dan said it has little chance of success.

“We have come to announce the fine that the Local Police of Bucharest gave yesterday to the owner of IOR Park, Mrs. Cocoru, in the amount of €35 million. I want to congratulate the Local Police of Bucharest for this gesture. Finally, the Local Police of Bucharest is acting as an authority that defends the interests of citizens,” said Nicușor Dan.

“Here, we had a mockery of the citizens and public interest, which is finally penalized by the public authority that needs to defend the interests of citizens. It’s about an article from Law 24/2007 that prohibits reducing green space areas, and it is very important that this article remains in Law 24,” said Nicușor Dan, adding that through proposals made in the urban planning law or the amendment of Law 24, which are debated in Parliament, this article would have been removed.

“It is an article that penalizes the change of destination of green space or the reduction of green space by an amount between €1000 and €2000 per square meter, and not a fixed amount for however much green space you clear,” added Nicușor Dan.

Asked if the Bucharest City Hall will join the prefect’s initiative to challenge the restitution of the land in IOR Park in court, Mayor Nicușor Dan stated that “it has been six months since he said that he is concerned about the fate of IOR Park and that he is acting on two fronts, one regarding property rights and the second front is the fine imposed today.”

Rareș Hopincă, the Prefect of Bucharest, recently challenged in court the decision to restitute about 12 hectares of IOR Park. He said he found several obvious elements of illegality, and the restitution was abusive.

The request for legal action was filed on Monday, with the Bucharest City Hall being sued, as the institution issued the restitution decisions.

From the beginning of 2022 to the end of August 2023, there have been 15 fires on the approximately 12 hectares restituted in IOR Park, in which over 2 hectares of green space burned, according to data provided by the Bucharest Ilfov Emergency Situations Inspectorate. In 11 out of the 15 fires, the probable cause determined by firefighters is that the fire started from a cigarette, two fires were intentionally set, and the remaining fires resulted from open fires in the green space that got out of control.

Moreover, the restituted area of the park accommodated hundreds of trees that were dried up after being intentionally drilled, most likely with a drill.

The alleged owner of the restituted hectares of park is a 88-year-old woman, Maria Cocoru, but media says that real estate sharks are actually behind her.

According to PROT TV, the first owner was a man who was 91 years old at the time. Shortly thereafter, he transferred his disputed rights to Maria Cocoru.
In 2005, during the mandate of Mayor Adriean Videanu, the Commission for Law 10, led at the time by Deputy Mayor Ludovic Orban, decided to grant possession of the 12 hectares of land in Parcul IOR to Maria Cocoru.
Subsequently, Sector 3 City Hall requested the annulment of the ownership title and the grant of possession for the 12 hectares retroceded from Parcul IOR and obtained a favorable ruling. The landowner contested the decision in the supreme court, which ordered the case to be sent back to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration.

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