Tethering ban: brake block for craftsman’s workshop

A master carpenter in Niclasreuth near Ebersberg wants to expand his business, but is not allowed to do so because his land is outside the residential area. The responsible district administrator is calling on the state government to relax the so-called tethering requirement.

It’s really cramped in this workshop, there’s hardly any room between the many saws, milling machines and planing machines. The Kaiser family business, which has been here since 1891, has 13 employees and business is booming. Cabinets, beds, kitchens – everything that a carpenter delivers custom-made, is made here. In the midst of the noise and sawdust the young boss, Quirin Kaiser, he has the company in 5. The second generation takes over from his father. The master carpenter has added the hand pull instrument making branch to the offer, a very rare craft that brings him many orders. The "Ziachkaiser", he is widely known as such, would like to expand his little empire, but fails because of the limited space and the so-called tethering requirement. This states that new commercial buildings may only be approved at existing settlements. This is to prevent urban sprawl and curb land consumption.

The Kaiser family’s property includes a warehouse, residential building and workshop, all right next to a road in the so-called outer area, a good hundred meters away from the village of Niclasreuth. The construction of a new warehouse or a building for another workshop would violate the so-called "Anbindegebot" to the village development, if the building code is strictly interpreted. On the meadow between the farm and the village, however, there has recently been built a stately warehouse, which was erected by a farmer. This is legal, but the building law privileges such buildings only for farms

© Georg Barth
Image rights: Georg Barth

In front the dwelling house, with green cross the workshop, with yellow circle the hall of a farmer, red a possible variant of the burner route

All applications for expansion rejected

It is possible that the Brenner route will even run across the narrow strip between the Kaiser property and the village; the railroad has included this variant in its plans. In view of such possible building measures, the craftsman lacks any understanding that his small wishes are rejected. Quirin Kaiser has submitted many applications and plans for months, reducing the size and the effort more and more. Most recently, it was about an area of only 88 square meters on asphalted ground directly next to the old workshop. But also this was refused.

District administrator calls for new interpretation of the tying requirement

Both the mayor of the municipality of Abling and the district administrator of the district of Ebersberg express great goodwill to the expansion wishes. Both have made themselves personally a picture of the situation. They see the hardships of the traditional business, they want it to stay in its home town and to be able to develop, but they also wrestle with the strict interpretation of regulations by the responsible authorities, they explain. Mayor Hans Fent says the municipal council unanimously supported an expansion, but the external area is a highly protected asset, a building permit in this case very difficult. District Administrator Robert Niedergesab used the example of the Kaiser case to call on the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs not to interpret the tethering requirement so strictly, but to deal with it in a more practical way.

This has been handled more loosely before, Niedergesab told BR, but the authorities have been instructed by the ministry to interpret the regulation more strictly. Therefore one could not extend such enterprises like emperor at present. The district administrator considers the privileging of farmers in this respect to be correct, but the right should be extended to handicraft businesses. This is the only way to keep people and their jobs in the region. "Nature is important, so is the protection of the landscape in the outdoor area", Niedergesab "but a reasonable development of villages and commercial enterprises must also be possible." Minister Aiwanger did not answer yet, the thing is complicated, a decision would have probably consequences far beyond Niclasreuth.

© Georg Barth
Picture rights: Georg Barth

The master carpenter is in demand as a Ziachkaiser folk musician

The Ziachkaiser is thinking about relocation

However, the 33-year-old master craftsman is slowly losing patience. He can no longer hear all the talk of pride in Bavarian craftsmanship, he says. He wanted nevertheless only a tradition enterprise in traditional and modest way to extend, without the landscape to spoil. Only in such a way he could remain at the hometown, a removal into one of the soulless industrial estates in Assling does not come for him into question. But if there were a village nearby that offered better conditions, then it could be that the Kaiser family would leave their old home after 130 years. The father of three sons is full of energy, he would dare to make a new start.

Keeping the mood with music

During the shooting for an Abendschau film, the Ziachkaiser shows us his virtuosity on the Styrian harmonica. He makes beautiful pieces from local wood – and makes them sound with his nimble fingers, and also composes small pieces himself for the many well-known music groups that ask him to play the piano. Music helps him digest the hassle of expansion and maintain a zest for life. Despite everything, Quirin Kaiser still hopes for a harmonious end.

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