Planning progress and advice for applicants for a change of plan

Planning progress

Planning is a multi-stage process, starting with the submission of a plan and ending with its adoption. Land use is planned in such a way that interested parties have the opportunity to be informed and participate in the planning process. At different stages of the planning process, you can evaluate the project and express your views.

How does the planning process start?

The landowner or the city can take the initiative to prepare a plan. A plan is initiated if the city considers it appropriate.
At the beginning of a planning project, a plan is drawn up for the project, called a participation and assessment plan (OAS). It sets out the starting points and objectives of the plan, how the plan preparation and decision-making process will proceed, and how people can participate in the plan preparation process.

The opening of the zoning plan and the OAS are announced in official notices in the city, on the zoning website and in the Anchor newspaper. A notice of the opening of the procedure is sent to all parties involved and to neighbouring residents. The participation and assessment plan can be consulted at the Town Hall (4th floor, Planning) or on the planning website. Participants have the opportunity to influence the drafting of the plan at this stage by contacting the preparer of the plan.

Draft plan

After the opening of the planning procedure, the design work will start, resulting in a draft zoning plan. The draft zoning plan will provide a preliminary description of the uses of the different parts of the planning area, including the number and location of buildings. The draft zoning plan will be made available for consultation at the zoning office, 4th floor of the Town Hall and on the zoning website.

Information about the opening will be published in official notices in the city, on the zoning website and in the Anchor newspaper, and a notice of the opening and a copy of the draft zoning plan will be sent to the parties concerned. Public meetings or design workshops may also be organised during the public consultation period.

The draft is open for consultation for two to four weeks, during which time you can give your views and make suggestions to the developer.

The draft plan is used as a basis for the preparation of a draft plan, taking into account, as far as possible, the opinions received on the draft plan. The proposal is a finalised vision of the area for decision making. The proposal includes a plan map with indications and provisions and a plan explanatory memorandum.

The draft plan will be presented to the Urban Development Committee. The draft plan, which has been approved by the Urban Development Board, will be made available for consultation and the necessary expert opinions will be sought. The opening of the public consultation will be announced in official notices in the city, on the planning website and in the Ankkuri newspaper. Landowners and holders of land will be informed by letter of the opening of the draft plan. The consultation period is 30 days.

A citizen can submit a written comment on the draft plan. The objection must be submitted to the registry within the time limit. If no objections are submitted during the period when the proposal is open to public inspection and no comments are received, the draft plan is submitted to the City Council for approval. The City Council approves plans with a significant impact, while plans with a minor impact are approved by the City Council.

The draftsman prepares responses to the comments and objections received and amends the proposal as necessary. The City’s reasoned opinion will be sent to the objectors who have submitted their address details. The town planning committee will then reconsider the draft plan. If the changes made are substantial, the proposal is reopened to the public.

Entry into force

If there is no appeal against the approval decision, the zoning plan will enter into force after the appeal period by means of a notice published in the official notices of the city and in the Anchor newspaper.

If the plan has been appealed, it will enter into force if the appeals are rejected. In this case, the zoning plan will only enter into force by means of a notice published after the court hearing.

The parties concerned may appeal against the City Council’s decision to the Administrative Court of Eastern Finland and then to the Supreme Administrative Court (KHO). The parties concerned should take note of the appeal at each stage of the procedure.

The zoning plan becomes legally binding 30 days after the City Council has registered the plan as approved by the City Council.

Guidelines for applicants for a change of plan


If a landowner or holder wishes to amend an existing zoning plan or proposes to draw up a zoning plan, he or she must submit a written application. The application may be free-form, but it must contain the following information:

– the property details of the amendment, district, block, plot or property registration number
– name, address, telephone number, personal identification number/trade name of the applicant
– contact details, if different from the applicant
– proposed amendment, map attached
– justification of the application
– a statement of ownership or possession attached.

Before submitting the application, it is advisable to discuss the appropriateness of the change with the zoning staff. The timing of the zoning or zoning amendment and the cost to the applicant can be discussed at the same time.

The written application should be addressed to the City Planning Board and delivered to the City of Kotka, City Planning Board, Kirjaamo, Kustaankatu 2, 48100 Kotka or electronically to

By submitting an application, the applicant undertakes to enter into a contract with the city for the preparation of the plan and to pay the fees agreed therein.

Coastal land-use plan

The purpose of the coastal zone plan is mainly to regulate the development of holiday residences in coastal areas. The landowner is responsible for the preparation of the plan and for the costs of the preparation of the plan and of the studies to be carried out. The area for which the plan is drawn up must form an appropriate whole. The coastal zone plan shall lay down detailed rules for the organisation of holiday and other land use in the coastal zone. The coastal zone plan will be dealt with in the same way as any other urban development plan in the city’s decision-making process.

The landowner wishing to draw up a coastal zone plan should contact the town planning department before starting work. The content of the plan will also be discussed with the ELY Centre for South-East Finland.


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