When Buying, Know The Zoning Rights On The Property

Posted On Monday, 15 October 2012 11:44 Published by eProp@News
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If you are considering buying a property, it is very important that you are aware of the zoning of the property and the rights it entitles you to, particularly if you are planning renovations down the line, said Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter.

There are changes that will be made to the City of Cape Town's zoning and planning approvals system that will soon be implemented and when these changes come into effect, you must be sure you will not have "lost" rights on the property, said Steward, although in some cases you may have gained.

In the greater Cape Town area there are currently 27 different zoning systems being used, each applying to that area and having different rules and regulations. The City of Cape Town will be bringing in a new zoning system that will replace the existing 27 with one single updated and modernised scheme which will apply the same rules to the entire city.

The standardised system, it is thought, will bring in consistency and efficiency in the future. At the moment rules vary greatly, what you can do on a property in certain parts of Claremont, for example, is quite different to what is allowed in Llandudno, even if they are both single residential properties.

At present you can find the zoning areas here http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/planningandbuilding/Pages/ZoningViewerInstruction.aspx and you can look up the corresponding rules at http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/planningandbuilding/Publications/LandUseManagement/Pages/LegislationPart1.aspx and what you will see is that the 'single residential' allowances in some areas allow the owner to go up three storeys where in other areas heights are restricted.

The new system, it seems, will bring in changes where objections to zoning plans will be prevented, thereby helping developers get their planning approvals through quicker. The City's densification strategy is driven by this new regulatory system so there will be restricted heights within units, i.e. you can have more storeys but the ceilings will be restricted to a certain height to get more units in. There will also be increased bulk in mixed use areas.

As mentioned above, those areas where it was allowed to go up three storeys (14,4m) will find they are now restricted as the new height restriction is 9m in total, she said.

"We might find that the actual regulations promulgated might differ but the proposed draft is available at http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/planningandbuilding/Pages/UCZS.aspx," said Steward. "This is something to be aware of and you should check the zoning rights carefully before putting in an offer to purchase."

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