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Planning Law Legal Site Plans and Urban Development By-Laws

There is no unrestricted right to build in the Federal Republic of Germany. Planning authority lies with the municipalities, which, in line with the policy of municipal self-administration, decide on urban development by means of legal site plans and urban development by-laws, under their own authority. In particular these include:

  • Preparatory land use plans,
  • Legal zoning plans,
  • Urban development measures,
  • Urban refurbishment measures,
  • Preservation by-laws and
  • Design by-laws.

The preparatory land use plan and the legal zoning plan are legal site plans. The urban development measure, urban modernization measure and the preservation by-law are all part of the extensive body of urban building laws. A design by-law is a local building regulation based on the state building code.

With the exception of the preparatory land use plan, the City of Frankfurt is responsible for the compilation of the legal site plans and urban development by-laws; in particular, these areas come under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Planning Department. Adopted by the City Council they then form the legal basis for judging whether building projects are permissible.