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The Bill on Amendments to the Spatial Data Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (355 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the first reading at today’s sitting.

The amendments are due to the need to ensure unambiguity of the regulations and to solve the problems relating to the development of the spatial data infrastructure that have become apparent in practice. Spatial data are data with a direct or indirect reference to a specific location or geographical area. They include data administered in the databases which describe the location, characteristics and shape of spatial objects in geographic space.

The current Act provides that address numbers used in proximate addresses established according to traffic areas must be established, if possible, in the manner pursuant to which land units or buildings located next to each other on one side of a traffic area have odd numbers and land units or buildings located next to each other on the other side of the traffic area have even numbers. Such an optional provision has caused many disputes and misunderstandings. The practice in Europe is that land units or buildings located next to each other on one side of a traffic area are numbered with odd numbers and, on the other side, even numbers are used. The European practice should be followed also in Estonia. Such an approach ensures the finding of buildings and land units in geographical space which is one of the main functions of location address.

In the current Act, the definitions “densely populated areas” and “areas where the preparation of a detailed plan is mandatory” are used. The above-mentioned concepts have caused confusion as specialists of different fields give different content to them, and there is no definite border between densely populated areas and low population density areas. Planners regard all cities, towns and small towns automatically as densely populated areas, but such an approach is not suitable upon the establishment of location addresses. Low population density areas may in some cases (for example, for nature conservation purposes) fall under the obligation to prepare a detailed plan, but it is not expedient to apply the requirements of unique address or addressing according to address units in such areas. Also, in some cities of Estonia, there are large areas that are not inhabited, nor are they going to become densely populated areas in the near future (for example, Paldiski, Kohtla-Järve, Tapa, etc.). Therefore it is not expedient to regard the land units of a whole city as address objects requiring unique addresses. Thus this provision will be reformulated.

In practice there have been problems with measurement work in respect of geodetic marks where the owner of an immovable has ensured access to a mark and has permitted maintenance work but not measurement, because the law does not directly provide for it.

The aim of the amendment of the Commercial Code and the Non-profit Associations Act is to ensure interoperability of the commercial register and the non-profit associations and foundations register with the Address Data System information system.

The aim of the amendment of the Population Register Act is to give the authorised processor the right to create temporary address data in the population register on the application of a local government until the registration of an address in the Address Data System information system. This is necessary in order to guarantee a person the possibility to register his or her residence, and the rights arising therefrom.

The representative of the initiator of the Bill, the Minister of the Environment Marko Pomerants pointed out that the amendments mainly focused on the organisation of address data and the harmonisation thereof in various databases.

He noted that the amendments mainly specified the rules for the establishment of the addresses of buildings and apartments. „The possibility of consecutive numbering on one side of a road will be omitted from the Act now. This stricter approach ensures that we find buildings and land units in our everyday life which is the main purpose of location addresses after all,” the Minister added.

Pomerants pointed out that, according to the Bill, the requirement for the establishment of a unique address will be corrected. “After the amendment, land units located in areas that are or are planned to be densely populated, with clearly determined boundaries, and compactly developed with buildings and streets, will be land units requiring a unique address upon the establishment of location addresses,” he said.

The Minister also explained what would be specified in regard to the content of and requirements for geodetic works provided for the Spatial Data Act. “The Bill now sets out clearly that the owner of an immovable must permit measurement and maintenance work to be performed in respect of a geodetic mark and ensure access to the mark. This will involve no additional expenses for the owner of an immovable,” Pomerants said.

Pomerants said that, in the case of the amendments to the Commercial Code and the Non-profit Associations Act, undertakings must be ready to specify the address of their enterprise in the register if necessary, for example together with the submission of the annual report.

He said that, as a result of the amendment of the Population Register Act, a person would be guaranteed the possibility to register temporary residence sufficiently quickly, and the rights arising therefrom, for example, social benefits.

Meelis Mälberg, who took the floor on behalf of the lead committee, gave an overview of the discussion that had been held in the Committee on the use of addresses and the updating of data in navigation data platforms.

The Riigikogu approved the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Members of the Supervisory Board of the National Opera” (363 OE), submitted by the Cultural Affairs Committee, according to which Martin Repinski and Urve Tiidus become members of the Supervisory Board, replacing Mart Helme and Laine Randjärv.

59 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution, and there were 13 abstentions.

During the debate, Aadu Must from the Centre Party Faction and Laine Randjärv from the Reform Party Faction took the floor.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/en/201701191000

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu (NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Marie Kukk
631 6456; 58 213 309
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee