Technology

Urban planning and dematerialization: what will change on January 1, 2022

Electronic referral (EVS) of the Administration for urban authorization documents

Introduced by Ordinance No. 2014-1330 of November 6, 2014 on the right of users to enter the administration electronically, article L. 112-8 of the Code of relations between the public and the administration (CRPA) deals with the general law of electronics seizure of the Administration. Decree No. 2016-1411 of October 20, 2016 detailed the modalities in art. L. 112-7 to R.112-20 of the same Code, in particular establishing the mandatory information for the electronic acknowledgment of receipt.

This option is offered to any person (physical or legal) after identification of the corresponding Administration. Certain transitory exceptions to this principle in the area of ​​urban planning were formulated in Decree No. 2018-954 of November 5, 2018 that modifies Decree No. 2016-1491 of November 4, 2016 regarding exceptions to the application of municipal law. Enter the administration by electronic means on the procedures carried out with the local authorities, their public establishments or public establishments of inter-municipal cooperation. These exceptions expire on December 31, 2021.

In summary, as of January 1, 2022, under the EVS, all municipalities must be able to receive applications for work permits in electronic format. But that is not all…

The dematerialized instruction of urban authorizations

The more than 3,000 municipalities with more than 3,500 inhabitants must ensure the dematerialized instruction of the deposits and the instructions for urban planning authorizations, even if some municipalities such as Paris have anticipated it. Article L. 423-3 of the Urban Code incorporated into the ELAN law regulates all urban authorizations (building and demolition permits, prior declaration and urban permit). Certain requests are excluded, such as those for specific structures (for example: establishments open to the public, high-rise buildings, etc.). Declarations of intention to sell (DIA) are out of reach because they are not strictly urban authorizations.

The objective of this measure was to create and implement a global dematerialization system shared between the instructor services and the services requested to advise (the XX AU program) that is structured around:

  • A platform developed by the State and common to all municipalities is called PLAT’AU (Platform for Urban Planning Authorizations). It plays the role of “Hub”, connected to all the digital tools of the training process (teleservices of local authorities, commercial tools of the instructor departments and the departments consulted, etc.). Thanks to PLAT’AU, the actors affected by the same file will be able to have simultaneous and dematerialized access to it, in a common space where all the documents will be consolidated. PLAT’AU’s application methods were specified in the Decree of July 27, 2021 regarding the methods of implementation of teleprocedures and the exchange and exchange platform for the dematerialized processing of authorization requests.

  • Tools such as RIE’AU (Reception, information and exchange of Urban Planning Authorizations) aimed at providing non-competent municipalities (in the RNU) an interface that allows them to receive requests from petitioners or AD’AU (Assistance to Requests for ‘Authorization de Urbanismo), a portal accessible from service-public.fr that now allows petitioners to submit their application online and send it dematerialized to their one-stop shop.

But local communities are not left out; they may decide to develop their own tools connected to PLAT’AU (such as the possibility of digitizing applications submitted in paper format).

Certain practical forms of dematerialization are detailed in Decree No. 2021-981 of July 23, 2021 on various measures relating to electronic exchanges in terms of urban formality, such as the confirmation of receipt of urban applications (registration number: art. R. 410-3 Urban Code), the possibility of providing for the publication of an extract of the permit, or even the resolution, electronically instead of an announcement in the town hall (art. R. 424-15 of the Town Planning Code), or even the exemption from submitting additional copies and copies of documents for the petitioner (art. R.474-1 of the Town Planning Code).

GDPR and telecommunications services

The tools made available by the local authorities for the presentation of urban planning authorizations imply options, limitations and guidelines that may have implications for the exercise of the petitioner’s approach. In fact, the rules of use of the PLAT’AU platform require specific formats and security measures that must be applicable to all applicants.

In addition, the communities are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation. Therefore, the teleservices thus developed must meet these requirements. In this dual capacity, the local authorities must establish the general conditions of use of the services (art. L. 112-9 al. 2 of the CRPA) taking into account, in particular, prior technical requirements and data protection personal.

Digitization of paper works permit applications

It should also be understood that nothing prevents an applicant from submitting their application for a building permit in writing. However, some municipalities will have to digitize them to be able to insert them into the dematerialization process. Therefore, the reliability of this digitization is critical to the process. Certain standards such as the NF Z42-026 standard will provide communities with the best possible guarantees at this point.

EVS and receipt notice

There is another crucial element to take into account. The EVS opens the right to enter the Administration electronically. Therefore, an application for urban authorization carried out in this way requires a period of instruction, with the key, for example, obtaining a tacit permit. How can we be sure of the starting point of such legal effects? The submission of a permit application results in the delivery of a receipt indicating the registration number of the application.

This receipt is sent to the applicant at the address used to send the application (art. R. 112-11-3 of the CRPA). In addition to the date of receipt, which could benefit from a reliable time stamp – required from the applicant – and which constitutes a trust service that appears in the eIDAS Regulation, the receipt must provide specific elements for the urban procedure (eg. in which a tacit license is likely to intervene, deadline for filling in the file …).

And the signing of the urban document in all this?

An urban planning authorization requires numerous signatures, among which are those of the petitioner and, where appropriate, of the architect at the time of application but also that of the competent authority at the time of issuance (and of all services that have opinion issued). ). The integration of these electronic signatures into the workflow is undoubtedly one of the challenges that this dematerialized instruction of urban planning documents must face.

Limits of dematerialization and electronic filing

No text requires the Administration that the decision be issued in electronic format, not even notified in this form. The Administration always has the possibility of submitting to it, but on a voluntary basis. Managing the hybrid modality (paper / electronic) will undoubtedly require the implementation of adequate procedures within the communities.

Furthermore, advertising and display measures are not expressly included in the scope of the reform. It is true that article R 424-15 of the Urban Code) would allow the substitution of the publication in the city council of the extract of the permit for the electronic publication on the website of the municipality. But this does not replace the display of the decision on the project site, visibly and for the duration of the site to allow third parties to exercise their right of appeal.

Finally, there is the question of preserving the files once they are finished. In fact, the archive remains the sole responsibility of the communities. Responsibility for them to provide sufficiently reliable and secure archiving methods, as to allow the right of access to the works permit files (art. L. 311-1 of the CRPA).

Understandably, there is still a long way to go in the context of “digital urbanism”. Issues such as the digital building permit remain unresolved, particularly with the possibility of a 3D approach to planned construction.

Pascal Agosti, Associate Attorney, Doctor of Law
Caprioli & Associés, member company of JurisDefi

Expert opinions are published under the full responsibility of their authors and do not bind the editorial staff in any way.

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