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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Urbanism and Territory planning

New by-law on outdoor patios

Ocupacio via publica reduxThe Formentera Council's land and tourism offices report that today, Tuesday, January 30, marks the start of a new ordinance, adopted by Formentera's plenary assembly December 22 of last year, to regulate terraces and other installations that occupy the public right of way.

With definitive approval for the change already secured, occupancy permits issued under the previous ordinance will no longer be valid. Hence, interested businesses must once again request authorisation by providing the supporting documentation persuant to article 10.

Permits should be requested at least one month before the plans to occupy public land and start business activity. More information is available on the Council's website (https://goo.gl/A4yjyt).

To ensure quality service and create incentives for businesses which open more than six months a year, permits will not be granted to establishments that fail to guarantee business activity between May 15 and October 15.

Deadline on estate tax rebate requests: next week

Foto casa pagesa formenteraThe Formentera Council reports that next Friday, March 31, is the last day for large families and owners of properties with grade B protection to request rebates on the so-called “IBI”, or estate tax.

Large families receive a 50 per cent rebate provided their home is valued at less than €120,000 and constitutes the family's habitual place of residence.

Likewise, owners of properties with protection grade B on Formentera's cultural heritage catalogue can apply to have 75 per cent of their tax payment returned. Properties used for commercial purposes are ineligible for the discount.

Rebate requests can be made at the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) during the first quarter of the year.

Council charges 15 cases of unauthorised tourist rentals

MIRADOR PREMSAThe Formentera Council's Office of Land has announced its intent to pursue legal action for 15 violations of tourism and land use codes. The move, explained land and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, is a way to protect law-abiding and tax-paying businesses from unfair competition. She voiced the Council's hope that a portion of the illegal rentals join Formentera's offer for long-term tenants, mitigating the housing crunch.

Legal action will be pursued with 14 apartments in multifamily buildings and one house on rural land where owners failed to declare rental activity. In a bid to regulate tourism, Balearic law 8/2012 (July 19) established penalties for illegal rentals of €4,000 and up.

“Formentera has got a lot riding on our visitors' satisfaction,” said Ferrer, “and accommodation looms large when that's rated”. The councillor said that fact explained periodic sweeps by the Council flagging rentals where owners lack the required credentials—“accreditation and controls,” Ferrer pointed out, “that can ensure minimum quality standards.”

New survey seeks clearer picture of Formentera's housing crunch

Simulacio final obra HPOThe Formentera Council's land office is engaging directly with IBAVI, the Balearic Islands' housing institute, on a survey to improve understanding of the housing demand on the island. Survey respondents will also be added to a register of potential renters, updating the waiting list for IBAVI's low-cost housing currently under construction in Sant Ferran.

In March, the Council has created an information corner at the Citizen Information Office (OAC) where home-hunters can register. It is open Monday through Friday, 9.00am to 2.00pm and interested parties can also visit IBAVI's Formentera office next to SOIB, Mondays 9.30am to 1.00pm and Thursdays 11.00am to 1.30pm.

According to land councillor Alejandra Ferrer, the two groups' decision to team up can be traced back to the need for “clearer data on Formentera's housing crunch”. Equipped with the information, she said, the Council and Govern foresee carrying forward pointed efforts to tackle the problem.

Council reminds local businesses of rural ad ban

The Formentera Council's Office of Land wishes to remind residents and businesses of the ban in place on advertising in rural areas. The restriction is anchored by Formentera subsidiary regulations as well as an island ordinance on so-called “dynamic advertising”. Local inspection services have begun articulating a study on signs found across Formentera, especially those that are devoted to promoting private businesses. The current regulations are expected to be updated based on the study's conclusions and removal orders and penalties will be issued accordingly. Those announcements were laid out earlier today by CiF land, tourism and trade councillor Alejandra Ferrer.

Ferrer mentioned that a removal order had recently been issued to a business-owner for emblazoning advertising on his rural storefront. According to Formentera subsidiary code, the individual must now return the property to its original state — that is, paint it either white or sand-coloured. Failing that, the Council will take up the task itself at the owner's expense and CiF legal services will study whether or not to seek punitive measures. Ferrer said the effort was part of a push “to protect landscapes and avoid a surge of advertising across the island”. She asked local tradesman to contact Formentera's Office of Land, Tourism and Trade before putting up signs and posters so that the office could indicate to them when and how to do so legally.

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