On 16/2/2019, the Ministerial Decision of Stathakis Georgiou (Minister)  and Famelos Socrates  (Deputy Minister) Government Gazette were published  . No. leaflet 16/5/02/2019 AAP Issue (Forced expropriations and planning issues), on:

Approval of revision of the Regional Spatial Planning Framework of the Ionian Islands and its Environmental Approval.

This Ministerial Decision mentions, in Article 11 (page 185) Spatial Structure, Specialization and Complementarity of Productive Activities namely: Chapter F. Tourism Development Areas.

It defines three tourist areas:

1.1 Developed tourist areas: Corfu, Zakynthos. 

1.2 Developing tourist areas: Lefkada and Kefalonia. 

1.3  Areas with development potential for special and alternative tourism. Concerning the conditions of point location of tourist accommodation in off-plan and off-limits areas, the following guidelines are given:

(a) Developed tourist areas:

increase the minimum required land area to twenty (20) acres and establish a maximum density of 8 and 9 beds per acre for 5 and 4 star hotels.

(b) Developing tourist areas:

Increase the minimum required floor area to ten (10) acres and establish a maximum density of 8, 9, and 10 beds per acre for 5, 4, and 3 star hotels. Adoption of this approach in case of extension of existing accommodation….

(c) Areas with special and alternative tourism development opportunities:  Increase the minimum required surface to 15 acres and establish a maximum density of 8, 9 and 10 beds per acre for 5, 4 and 3 star hotels. Adopting this approach and in case of extension of existing accommodation,….

Particularly for Kefalonia, the Spatial Tourism Units are defined as follows : -More seaside tourism areas: Southeast coastal zone of Paliki, coastal zone from the airport to Lourdata, coastal zone of Kato Katelios-Ratzaki-Skala-Poros and Sami area. -Special and alternative tourism areas: other coastal areas, inland, except for livestock and secondary sectors. The general directions in the above areas are: The restriction and phasing out of off-plan construction, and in particular the abolition of derogations along the road axes. The creation of Corfu, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Zakynthos golf course, provided that the required water resources are provided, by a Wastewater Treatment Plant, Desalination or similar, excluding the use of water from irrigation, irrigation, abstraction networks.

Based on the above and other limitations mentioned in other articles the following problems arise:

1) The erection of hotels on plots of land well buildable in accordance with the current Building Regulations covering 4.000sq.m. up to 19.999sq.m for the developed areas and from 4.000sq.m. up to 9,999m2 for developing areas, and 4,000m2. up to 14.999sq.m for areas with special and alternative tourism development opportunities.

2) The impossibility of having large properties in the Ionian Islands and especially in Kefalonia due to the fragmentation of ownership. The completion of the land registry will prove to be a huge problem.

3) If we take into account the high volume of our island, future forest maps and the lengthy court proceedings to follow, the Residential Control Areas (ZOEs) and the archaeological sites designated as high productivity land or irrigation, streams and the process of determining them, the great building activity with rentals and villas etc. in the area of ​​Livathos, with mathematical precision we can attest that there are very few large properties to fulfill. n specifications for tourist exploitation.

4) Finally, due to the great migration from the beginning of the twentieth century, following the first, second world war, civil disaster and the devastating earthquake of 1953, there are properties with 20, 30 and 40 co-owners, many of them second and third generation residing abroad and I think it’s a huge job to find them all to complete the transfer of their ownership.

5) In existing hotel accommodations with properties less than the above designated, their owners cannot extend. That is, a surface of 9.500,00sq.m. building capacity of 1.900,00sq.m. in which there is a 1.500.00m2 surface hotel, the owner cannot extend the premises !!!!!!

6) The creation of specialized hotels such as boutique  hotels , small themed hotels,  Art  Hotel ,  Vegan  Hotel ,  Family  Hotel  etc. is abolished  because the relationship between building land and building is unprofitable. It is not possible for a 15-25 room hotel to buy 10 or 15 acres.

In short we can say that: the construction of hotels is indirectly abolished and privileged landowners are created because of the high value of their land. With these restrictions, not only is the environment not “protected”, but it does favor a large number of large properties to move into multi-bed and multi-star tourist holdings, thereby promoting mass tourism. The thought of encouraging good landlords to unite their properties, if that is possible, is something I find very difficult to achieve. -Environmental protection is determined by the capacity of each area and beach. We must bear in mind that today’s hotels are determined by the dynamics of the pools and not by the dynamics of the existing beach-beach.

In view of the above, I consider that the above Ministerial Decision should be lifted until at least the completion of the Land Registry, so that there is a reasonable time to amend this decision. For this matter the TEF of Cephalonia-Ithaca had invited to the meeting the Deputy of the Prefect, Panagis Kappatos, the Vice-Mayor Stavros Travlos, the Mayors of Argostoli Theofilos Michalato, the Paliki Georgios Katsivelis, Samios Xeachielis, Sami Xiamelis, Sami Xiamelis of the Islands, to which he communicated this great problem in order to find a solution.

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