House in Rīga cannot use woodsheds as they are 'part of highway'

Residents of a house in Rīga are facing an unusual situation – their sheds were torn down due to construction of the Eastern Highway, new ones were built, but they cannot use the new ones because formally, the sheds are part of the highway, Latvian Television's 4. studija reported November 15.

The house in Rīga, Stārķu Street 1, has wood heating so sheds are necessary for storage. There have always been sheds next to the house but when the construction of the Eastern Highway began, they had to be torn down. The residents were promised new sheds.

Resident of Stārķu Street 1, Aina Ūdre, confirmed that new sheds had been built: "Can't say it took very long. [..] Anyway, they've been built."

But the residents still cannot use the new sheds – for the third season. 

"Last winter, the neighbor and I took one palette for the two of us. Half for her, half for me. Where shall we store it? By the furnace, a little farther so it doesn't heat up. Then by the kitchen window. By the furnace the floor started creaking," said Aina.

Residents Aina and Aivars have been trying to contact authorities for six months to achieve some result – namely, that the new sheds can be used for storage. Communication with the owner of the house and the manager OTTO Ltd had not been successful so Aivars Kalniņš started to look for contacts of the Rīga City Council, the commissioner of the Eastern Highway project.

After some phone calls, he found out that the sheds would be available only after the highway was commissioned.

Rīga City Council representative Jānis Vaivods said: "At the moment, we haven't received the legal right from OTTO Ltd to carry out cadastral measurement. The company has verbally confirmed they will issue it."

Since the sheds belong to OTTO Ltd, the Rīga City Council cannot give them to the residents for use. They must wait for the commissioning of the highway.

"[The sheds] are part of the construction project, and it is one joint project. And it is not separated as a round or element in the project. We are working on commissioning this part of the highway before the end of the year," said Vaivods.

Inhabitants of the house can only hope cars soon appear on the highway so they can finally store firewood in their sheds.

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