Izola voters reject sweeping spatial plan

Izola – Voters in Izola have rejected a spatial plan that would have opened up large swathes of the coastal municipality to development, including on prime agricultural land. Sunday’s referendum vote was 72% against and 28% in favour on a turnout of 31.6%, well above the 20% quorum.

The municipal council adopted the spatial plan in July as a foundation for the municipality’s long-term spatial development.

Its key points were construction of housing and public space on the site of two former factories, expansion of the local hospital, and flood protection measures.

The most controversial part of the plan was the development of about seven hectares of agricultural land just outside the city limits. In exchange, farmers would get land further away from developed areas, plots that are currently overgrowing.

The referendum was initiated by a civil initiative called Movement for Izola, which argued the spatial plan was too heavy on development and did not consider the wishes of the local farmers.

A rival civil initiative called Together for the Benefit of Izola campaigned in favour. Their main argument was that there would be new rental housing for young families and more parking for locals.