“Highly embarrassing for the city”

Hard nakedness sometimes pays off. Helmut furwitt has now also made this experience. For more than two years, the dettelbach resident fought against the planned construction of a new three-story duplex, which was to be built on the neighboring property in weingartenstrabe. And found out that the city administration had apparently been working for years with a development plan that had never become legally effective.

Significant deviations

In 2010, furwitt learned about the building project on the neighboring property and discovered that the project deviated in part significantly from the provisions of the 1966 development plan, a copy of which furwitt had received from the district office. The prescribed eaves heights had been exceeded just as clearly as the building limits. The latter would have moved a full seven meters closer to furwitt’s property than the 1966 plan allowed.


The city, however, had allowed the project to pass – on the basis of an amended version of the development plan, which dates back to 1972. This contains a number of relaxations – among other things in the building boundaries. According to this, the new building no longer exceeded the boundary in the direction of furwitt by seven meters but only by three meters. Small error of prudence: the amended version was discussed in the city council in the 1970s, but it never became legally binding.

It was therefore all the more astonishing that in 2011 the kitzingen district office also suddenly began working with the relaxed, non-legally binding version: on 8. In september 2011, the authorities issued a building permit for the duplex on the basis of the 1972 amendment. Upon inquiry, furwitt received a written answer from the district office: "the existing plan from 1972 was used for the building project. We are not aware of any other development plan either. "It is strange, however, that furwitt was asked at an appointment at the district administration office just one month before, on 9. August 2011, had shown us another development plan for the area – namely the one from 1966 that is still valid today.

But why did the office decide a few weeks later on the basis of the non-legal 1972 plan?? In spring, after initial research by this newspaper, district office press officer corinna petzold told this newspaper: "it is possible that mr. Furwitt was initially shown the 1966 plan, and it is no longer possible for us to determine when the revised plan from 1972 reached the district office. The development plans are communicated to us by the cities and municipalities, as in this case, when the city of dettelbach communicated to us the amended version of 1972 as valid urban land use planning."

"With good faith"

Black peter thus again with the city administration dettelbach. Christine konrad has been head of the town hall since october 2012. Following discussions with helmut furwitt and inquiries from this newspaper, the city council has made efforts to clarify the matter, albeit with modest success. "So far we can only assume that by some coincidence the plans were mixed up. All those involved in the city administration worked in good faith," she says. According to their research, the non-legal plan has been in use since at least 2003; helmut furwitt, however, has evidence that the version was also used as early as 1989.

The only person who, according to the city administration, had really been able to provide information on the matter, the former head of the building office, peter graber, died in 2011. The mayor regrets that the whole thing has come to this: "it’s very embarrassing for the municipality."

Helmut furwitt had in the meantime been successful before the bavarian administrative court (VGH). In may 2012, the court initially granted suspensive effect to furwitt’s lawsuit against the building project, but on 20. August 2012 the district administration cancelled its building permit for the duplex house. In its ruling, the VGH hinted that the planned new building was in blatant contradiction to the valid development plan of 1966.

From helmut furwitt’s point of view, the matter became even more explosive in april of this year, when the dettelbach city council discussed a change in the development plan for the area in question. Furwitt then feared that the building project was to be made possible through the back door, so to speak – an accusation that mayor christine konrad strictly rejects: "that is definitely not the reason for the planned change. We don’t have any contingency planning."The building application has also been withdrawn in the meantime.

Got into trouble

However, the city hall – not least because of furwitt’s stubbornness – got into trouble. "We are now thinking about completely redesigning the entire area between the city wall and sandweg. Mr. Furwitt certainly has his share in this," said mayor konrad in an interview with this newspaper. In concrete terms, the aim is to adapt the building regulations to the housing requirements that have changed since the 1960s. For helmut furwitt, however, the outcome of the story is ambivalent: "for over a year, courts were occupied and costs were incurred. Someone had to pull the cord here for a long time."

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