Transcend Southern Reiskirchen: Fiction or Reality?

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The procedure for bypassing Reiskirchen and Lindenstruth has already filled many files. Kassel’s official files include 26 Leitz volumes, and court files in each case are about 1,000 pages long. Archive photo: Bohm © Volker Bohm

The Administrative Court in Kassel will decide on Tuesday whether to build the southern side lane for Reiskirchen and Líndenstruth.

Cedars churches. 2 C 948 / 17.T and 2 C 949/17.T – These file numbers hide a road construction project with a unique history not only in the Gießen region but much further afield. A southern bypass around Reiskirchen and Lindenstruth for Federal Highway 49 was already planned in the 1968 Traffic Route Plan. After 54 years, this road has yet to be built. It may never come to that. The three-member panel of judges from the 2nd Senate of the Kassel Administrative Court (VGH) plays a crucial role in the question of whether the Southern Conversion will become reality or remain a fiction. Two court cases against the bypass will be heard there tomorrow, Tuesday, and possibly also on Wednesday, September 21. According to Roman legal wisdom, “in court and on the high seas we alone are in the hand of God,” the outcome cannot be evaluated.

The truth is: No judgment will be issued immediately after the oral hearing. The judges will deliberate and announce their decision at a meeting a few weeks later.

What is the starting point? Rarely has any other topic dominated the debate at Reiskirchen over the past decades – to varying degrees – as the 4.2 kilometer road construction project. The decision for the southern track was taken by the municipal council in 1991.

The referendum failed in 2009

The sticking point was the 2009 referendum, which ultimately failed. The question was whether a parliamentary decision should be rescinded for each southern variant and whether municipal bodies should not support this schematic form in the future. 34% agreed “yes” and thus voted against the Southern Turn. 66 percent voted “no”. At the beginning of 2013, the Gießen Regional Council concluded the hearing; It was the role of the Ministry of Transport in Wiesbaden. The plan has been updated in several areas. Shortly before Christmas 2016, then-Foreign Minister Matthias Samson signed the resolution approving the planning.

Anyone hoping for a quick start to construction was disappointed, because in the spring of 2017 two lawsuits against the decision were filed with VGH. The regional association of the German Transport Club (VCD) and Carmen Gharib of “Sonnenhof” in Lindenstruth are against the project. They are calling for the decision to approve planning to be rescinded. In terms of content and finances, Reiskirchener Grünen, Naturfreunde Jossolleraue and the VCD County Association are also behind the lawsuits. The state of Hesse is the defendant.

Initially, an attempt was made to reach an agreement in a mediation process. The plaintiffs requested this. Representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Hassan Mobil sat in front of the opponents of the southern bypass corridor in talks headed by the judge of conciliation. However, mediation failed. Since confidentiality was agreed upon over the entire range of topics, the reasons for the failure remained unknown. The municipality of Reiskirchen did not participate in the mediation anyway, but now it is the so-called subscribers. This means that the municipality, as a party to the proceedings, can make requests at the hearing, just like plaintiffs or the state. It can also appeal to the Federal Administrative Court.

“It’s about procedural defects

What do the parties to the proceedings expect from the oral hearing? Matthias Beemann is a member of the Executive Board of the National DVD Association. He says, ‘This is not a thrilling murder trial with pleadings. It is about procedural deficiencies, incorrect calculations and fundamentals. “He expects a fairly small career with details about nature conservation, traffic censuses or procedural questions. » VCD sees deficiencies in the layout and the other side sees it differently. It’s not about emotions.

When asked how he expected the outcome of the operation, Peyman replied that the commissioned expert was optimistic and saw an opportunity. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have started it at all.”

Carmen Gharib, the owner of Sonnenhof, did not want to comment on the paper’s request and referred to her advisor, Wolf Hahn. He is the managing partner of “RegioConsult”, an agency specializing in urban, traffic, environmental and landscape planning in Marburg. Han is an expert in Grieb and VCD. “We are attacking the consideration of alternatives in favor of the southern corridor, and we consider that to be incorrect,” he explained. Construction costs also played an important role. Hahn indicated the cost was calculated by the Schotten Roads and Transport Office, which is now part of Hessen Mobil. In 1999, an amount of 20.96 million marks was determined for the southern bypass and 29.7 million marks for the northern bypass. The latest calculation from 2016 assumes the southern variant is €16.9 million. “We consider the decision quite frank and approach the negotiations with cautious optimism,” Han explained.

On the other hand, Dietmar Krum (independent) Mayor of Reiskirchen has different expectations. “I hope that the result of the 2009 referendum will be respected. The planning of the Southern Bypass Corridor was confirmed by a clear vote at the time. «Consequently, he would like VGH to dismiss the complaints. It is not yet known whether the municipality will apply for the latter. However, if necessary, he wants to intervene in the negotiations and represent the interests of society.

The Transport Ministry in Wiesbaden considers the plan approval decision from 2016 “of course still legal” and expects the court to confirm it. This was announced by Deputy Press Spokesperson Wolfgang Harms upon request. So perverted plans to skip were not included. This answer referred to the information that a new report was prepared by the Northern Turn during the mediation.

construction start in the stars

What happens after a VGH decision? If the lawsuits are dismissed, the appeal can be submitted to the Federal Administrative Court. What that means in terms of time cannot be estimated.

If there is no review, the decision to approve the planning will have legal force. HessenMobil will then develop the implementation plan and prepare the bid. “We are also checking if the planning documents need to be updated. This will take some time. So the period until construction begins cannot be reliably estimated,” Harms said. Before construction begins, the federal government must include the project to release funds in the federal budget into the road construction plan.

And if the plaintiffs succeeded in whole or in part? If the state were to decline the appeal after examining the reasons behind the ruling, the plan would have to be reviewed. “The time required then depends on the extent of the changes required,” the deputy press secretary explained.

Either way: the beginning of the construction of the bypass for Reiskirchen and Lindenstruth falls in the stars.

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The Southern Passage route is supposed to run through this valley below Lindenstruth – a poor plan for opponents, not just for conservation reasons. So they filed lawsuits against the decision to approve the plan. Archive photo: Bohm © Volker Bohm

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