For three years, the roof has only been provisionally covered with a tarpaulin due to the construction stop. © Andrea Gräpel
Since 2020, there has been a construction freeze on the renovation of a house built in 1937 in Wartaweil. The roof is protected from rain only by a tarpaulin. This will probably not change for the time being, even after an on-site appointment by the administrative court.
Wartaweil - Ina and Oliver Fendt have two lawsuits against the district office. In both cases, they are suing for exceptions to the current development plan from 2003 – Ina Fendt for the renovation of the existing building, Oliver Fendt for an application for a new building, a project from which he has since refrained, as he says. Both applications exceed the stipulations.
Homeowners desperate: "We will probably have to continue heating with the film. It's amazing."
The Fendts had neither legal counsel nor an architect with them at the on-site visit. Instead, Oliver Fendt represented himself verbosely and cited, for example, the fact that the family only acquired the property at Wartaweil 32 in 2018. Some of the transgressions he was accused of had already been carried out at that time. When the Fendts finally wanted to renovate the house in terms of energy efficiency after the acquisition – with a photovoltaic system and roof insulation – the dilemma began, which has now lasted three years due to the construction freeze. He was allowed to install windows, but for the past three years a film has covered the roof so that it doesn't rain inside. A large hole on the gable testifies to the fact that this solution is not designed for the long term.
In the good faith that this was not subject to a building permit, he did not apply for a necessary increase in the knee stick. "I thought the increase was permissible because it was not obvious," said Fendt, who tried to interpret the law in his own words. However, Judge Johann Oswald pointed out to him several times that this is not the case: "Before you start a renovation, you simply need a building permit." Fendt's reference to the age of the development plan – "the house has been standing for much longer" – also had no influence on the negotiation. As the owner, he would have to answer for changes made by previous owners. This, according to the court, should have been taken into account by the Fendts when buying. "It's a shame, we'll probably have to continue heating with the film. It's amazing." Fendt struggled for words and probably did not want to offer the community money in this desperation.
Court dismisses lawsuit – owner: "We have invested so much money in this house"
"What works, what doesn't, you have to clarify with the authorities," advised Judge Oswald. With money, Fendt will probably not change anything. The faces of the invited representatives of the authorities, from the municipality of Herrsching and the district office of Starnberg, spoke volumes. So far, however, the Fendts have not been open to alternative solutions, except that they had thought of demolition and new construction in their first reaction. The building application for this had again been rejected. This is exactly what the second lawsuit dealt with.
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Again, it was exceedances that were not approved by the landowners, and which the court assessed as not insignificant and signaled accordingly to dismiss this action as well. In this case, it was probably even bearable for the owners, because the Fendts, in their own words, would have decided to preserve the stock anyway. "We have invested so much money in this house." He deduced others from his situation when he said he did not want to advise anyone to renovate old buildings to make them more energy-efficient.
District builder makes concession
At least Fendt had hoped for a settlement. In the end, a concession was made to Fendt: district master builder Dr. Christian Kühnel signaled at Fendt's request that the torn foil on the roof could be renewed "if you let us know in advance".
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That the situation for the existing building does not have to be so hopeless, said Kühnel on the sidelines of the on-site visit. In his opinion, a good architect should know how to save the project in consultation with the district building authority. So maybe there will be a solution for the beautiful old stock.
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