Condo-sized developments erected with no building permits? Not happening in Venice

Written by Dana Garver, CNN

A line was finally crossed in Italy on Thursday, as the first apartments under construction in a planned 2,280-unit luxury hotel and condominium complex were finally auctioned off. There is, however, one sticking point: The building, which is part of a new “Silicon Valley on the Lake” complex in Venice, is already under construction.

For years, the city’s planning authority has been staunchly opposed to the vision — and plans — of developers that envision it as a model for future condo complexes in the lagoon city.

Critics have argued that the project’s density was unrealistic and that its widespread real estate development was financially irresponsible. With a resounding “no,” the Venice planning council decided Thursday to reject all the bids.

Over the last few years, the Italian parliament has passed a bill which could allow major property developers to bypass the city planning authority’s decision and build projects under a faster, reduced permitting process. In February, the first few pieces of legislation passed, opening the door for more residential and commercial developments.

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