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Old 17.02.2015, 16:56
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Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

Hi All,

Back home I'd know how to go about finding out what are the plans in place or zoning for an area surrounding a target property but I am new to it here in Switzerland.
Have any of you on here carried out a planning search or outsourced such a search.

Any experiences shared are most appreciated.
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Old 17.02.2015, 17:36
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

Most Gemeindes have an office for it - Bauamt. This is where construction permits are processed.
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Old 17.02.2015, 17:41
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

In Geneva data is available online called Geocadastre. Is the same available for Lucerne?
Here? http://app.geo.lu.ch/standortsuche/

Last edited by neddy; 17.02.2015 at 17:46. Reason: add link
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Old 17.02.2015, 18:07
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

You can check the information about your terrain and surrounding terrains in this site:

https://rawi.lu.ch/themen/geoportal

You will not have any information about future projects in the site, but at least you can check if it's actually a construction zone.

To find out if there are projects approved or pending, go to your town hall and ask. Be aware that projects get approved relatively fast here, so if the vacant terrains around yours are on the construction zone, do count on them being built sooner or later. One of the fastest ways to find out something has been entered in the town hall and is pending approval are these little fellows:

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Old 17.02.2015, 18:13
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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You will not have any information about future projects in the site, but at least you can check if it's actually a construction zone.
You can find current plans with the Bauamt. There are zones that are not designated for construction. But I've found that even those are subject to change by the Gemeinde.
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Old 17.02.2015, 18:25
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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You can find current plans with the Bauamt. There are zones that are not designated for construction. But I've found that even those are subject to change by the Gemeinde.
The problem is, even if there are currently no projects approved in the Building Authorities, the time it takes to get one done and get it approved can be as quick as 2 months. So it's better to prepare yourself beforehand with the fact that something will pop up instead of being surprised later on (hence better check the Geoportal that I just linked to check the type of area).

Once you know which type of construction is allowed (for example W2C or W3), you can get an idea on how tall/big those buildings could be by checking the rules:

The Kanton Rules
You also need to check the rules of the specific town hall you belong to (which I cannot link to, since I do not know where this terrain is... )

Though changes might occur on the general plan and zoning of an area, they are relatively rare and usually need years to be put into practice - and they are usually known long before they are put into law.
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Old 17.02.2015, 18:47
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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Though changes might occur on the general plan and zoning of an area, they are relatively rare and usually need years to be put into practice - and they are usually known long before they are put into law.
Depends on the Gemeinde and who owns the land. Around here (OW), land can get swapped from Agricultural to Buildable within a couple of months. The normal method is to convert land that was already zoned for development to agriculture land to keep things in balance. Of course it is easier if the land in question is already owned by the Gemeinde.
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Old 17.02.2015, 19:03
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

Basically you need to check with the commune on the zoning of the land. If it is already designated as buildable, it will be certain someone will build on it in the near future the way things are going in CH. There may not be an authorization to build on it at present, but if it is in any way desirable, it will be built on sooner than you think. Other zoning such as farm land, etc. .. may not be immediate buildable but if it is an old farmer and desirable land, the zoning can be changed by the commune without a lot of hassle in many cases. Buyer beware.
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Old 17.02.2015, 19:39
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

Head to the restaurant or shop nearest the property. Strike up a friendly conversation with a local. You'd be amazed what you can learn about the area and even about plans that aren't yet on the books.
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Old 18.02.2015, 19:39
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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You can check the information about your terrain and surrounding terrains in this site:

https://rawi.lu.ch/themen/geoportal

You will not have any information about future projects in the site, but at least you can check if it's actually a construction zone.

To find out if there are projects approved or pending, go to your town hall and ask. Be aware that projects get approved relatively fast here, so if the vacant terrains around yours are on the construction zone, do count on them being built sooner or later. One of the fastest ways to find out something has been entered in the town hall and is pending approval are these little fellows:

Thank you Helm, I'll check it out right away.
I have also placed an enquiry with the local Stadt.

thanks everyone for taking the time to answer.
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Old 18.02.2015, 19:40
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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Head to the restaurant or shop nearest the property. Strike up a friendly conversation with a local. You'd be amazed what you can learn about the area and even about plans that aren't yet on the books.
Tribal knowledge, infinetly valuable. Thanks.
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Old 18.02.2015, 20:46
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

Wow, thats some website!

there are details on everything from site contamination, noise pollution, geothermal suitability, solar power suitability & so on.

The objekt I'm looking at has some kind of a line running through it on the map. The map legend describes it as the "BLN-Objekt" I'm not sure what this is, any ideas?
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Old 18.02.2015, 21:16
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

http://translate.google.ch/translate...de&prev=search

See also the Zone plan for an area which tells you the buildong zones etc. e.g.
http://extranet.kriens.ch/dokus/14/04Zonenplan.pdf
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Old 18.02.2015, 22:05
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

They really do think of everything.
thanks Glendyn.
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Old 19.02.2015, 05:17
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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Wow, thats some website!

there are details on everything from site contamination, noise pollution, geothermal suitability, solar power suitability & so on.

The objekt I'm looking at has some kind of a line running through it on the map. The map legend describes it as the "BLN-Objekt" I'm not sure what this is, any ideas?
It's an absolutely marvelous view from the Schattenberg down to Kriens and Luzern, indeed. The restaurant Kingdom of Heaven is a very well known Ausflugsziel. And it also proves once again that heaven is very close to Hell, indeed.

But, do you really intend to become a farmer in such a strongly opposite bi-polarian environment!?
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Old 19.02.2015, 08:22
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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The problem is, even if there are currently no projects approved in the Building Authorities, the time it takes to get one done and get it approved can be as quick as 2 months. So it's better to prepare yourself beforehand with the fact that something will pop up instead of being surprised later on (hence better check the Geoportal that I just linked to check the type of area).

Once you know which type of construction is allowed (for example W2C or W3), you can get an idea on how tall/big those buildings could be by checking the rules:

The Kanton Rules
You also need to check the rules of the specific town hall you belong to (which I cannot link to, since I do not know where this terrain is... )

Though changes might occur on the general plan and zoning of an area, they are relatively rare and usually need years to be put into practice - and they are usually known long before they are put into law.
Around here re-zoning agricultural land to building land takes years, if it happens at all. However, building land is just that. We are currently looking at building on part of our land. If we just sell the land, we have no control over what will be built. A house much taller than ours would be possible though not what we would want next to us since we are in a bungalow. I know some of the neighbours would also be unhappy but as long as the plans stick to the rules there is nothing they can do.

Of course a neighbour can always object if they want to, and this can delay the planning. I have known disputes to go to court over aesthetics - for example if you need to build a retaining wall.

The size of the land and the zoning would be the points to check out.

I have seen houses go on the market and shortly afterwards, sticks appear on an empty lot nearby. I guess that makes it easy for a prospective buyer. One thing to consider is that even once a building permit is granted, it doesn't mean the building will start right away. So living near such a project you have no way of knowing when it will be turned into a building site.
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Old 19.02.2015, 08:37
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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One thing to consider is that even once a building permit is granted, it doesn't mean the building will start right away. So living near such a project you have no way of knowing when it will be turned into a building site.
I can't swear that it's the same everywhere in Switzerland, but in the places I usually build (Zürich/St. Gallen), there is a validation date of 1 year for the Baueingabe (the building application) after it has been approved, with the possibility to enlarge the deadline for 1 more year (but only once). If you don't build in those 2 years, you will need to enter the project again in the building authorities.

I'm not sure what happens if the validation date passes and you want to put the same project in the gemeinde, though... But I guess if it has been approved once, it can be approved a second time? (it's a waste of money though...)
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Old 19.02.2015, 09:01
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

Amongst other things to ask the Bauamt is to look at thr Kataster (not sure of the spelling) which is a set of "guiding principals" for a particular area which overlays the zoning rules. An example, we live in a no through area with little parking but the Kataster rules limited the maximum number of parking places (even underground) so this limited what could be built as there were requirements that dwellings had parking, so far so good but none of these rules applied to the development in front of us due to "family connections" within the Germainde, zoning rules were very loosely interperated so local knowledge is critical.
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Old 20.02.2015, 11:22
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

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Around here re-zoning agricultural land to building land takes years, if it happens at all.
While that is probably true in a lot of places, around here it can and does happen fast, espcially has Geneva has no space and Vaud is getting the spillover. For a large building/commercial/social project spearheaded by the commune itself, it took less than a year, as example.
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Old 20.02.2015, 15:54
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Re: Due Diligence on plans of surrounding vacant land of target property

But not in a BLN area!
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