LOSCHELDER Successful at the Federal Administrative Court – No Levying of Development Charges for a Street That Has Remained Unchanged for 30 years
In its ruling of November 15, 2022 (Case No. 9 C 9.21), the Federal Administrative Court confirmed that the levying of development charges for Heckelsbergplatz in Bonn, whose development status has remained unchanged for more than 30 years, was unlawful. It thus rejected the appeal of the Federal City of Bonn against the ruling of the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westfalia of April 20, 2021.
In 2017, the Federal City of Bonn had levied development fees for Heckelsbergplatz from the residents. Although no construction work had been carried out on the square since 1986 at the latest, the Federal City of Bonn had not assessed any contributions until then because a garage that already existed before the construction of the road protruded into a planned sidewalk. It was not until 2016 that it decided to adapt the expansion planning to this actual situation. The Administrative Court of Cologne and the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia had already ruled in the two previous instances that this approach violated the constitutional requirement of clarity and predictability of the burden. The Federal Administra-tive Court has now confirmed the decisions of the lower courts. In its ruling, it dealt in particular with North Rhine-Westphalian regulations that have since come into force on the time limit for levying contributions for development facilities that have in fact been built and with the concept of the advantage situation.
The decision is part of a series of lawsuits against the Federal City of Bonn in three similar cases involving development facilities that have remained unchanged for decades and for which development contributions were to be levied. In all 23 proceedings, the Federal Admin-istrative Court upheld the decisions of the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia (Oberverwaltungsgericht NRW), which overturned the development fee notices.
In the proceedings, LOSCHELDER represented a company of the Bonn-based RENUM Group, which LOSCHELDER has been advising for many years, particularly in public and private con-struction law. The proceedings were conducted by Dr. Maike Friedrich, LL.M., and Dr. Philipp Schrage.