Locals can have their say on the proposed changes and new additions to the Municipal Planning By-law, which will affect both property owners and residents in Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town says that locals will have until next month to comment on the suggested amendments, adding, “It is therefore important that as many interested parties as possible, from residents to rate payers’ associations and body corporates, submit their comments on the City’s proposed amendments by 1 April 2019.”

The Municipal Planning By-law regulates developments and land-use in Cape Town, and the proposed new by-laws and changes are part of the annual review process. Some of the amendments relate to emergency housing, installation of minor freestanding cell masts, the additions of third dwelling on a property as a use right and short-term letting from apartments.

Residents can attend various informative sessions where officials will deliver presentations on the impact and consequences of the proposed amendments and answer questions from members of the public.

Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment Marian Nieuwoudt is urging locals to attend these information meetings.

“I know this topic sounds complicated and that some people would rather avoid it. This is exactly why I’m urging residents to please make an effort to attend these sessions so that officials can explain what we’re proposing.”

The informative sessions will take place on the following dates: 

– March 12 2019: From 7pm-9pm at the Fish Hoek municipal offices

– March 13 2019: From 7pm-9pm at the Subcouncil Chamber on the corner of Voortrekker Road and Molteno Street in Goodwood

– March 14 2019: From 7pm-9pm at the Subcouncil Chamber located on the corner of Fagan Street and Main Road Strand.

Nieuwoudt says the new by-laws will affect all Capetonians and not just property owners.

“The outcome at the first three information sessions was below expectation, but I want to thank those who made the effort to attend. I want to remind residents who own property in Cape Town that some of the proposed amendments may have an impact on property rights, as well as on future developments and land uses. To put it simply, the amendments will have an impact on what our cities and suburbs will look like a few years on,” she says.

Comments, inputs or recommendations to the proposed changes can be submitted by: 

– Emailing [email protected]

– By visiting www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay.

Locals can find out more about the suggested amendments here.

Proposed amendments: 

– Changes to the emergency housing provision that will allow the City to provide temporary housing on land that may not be zoned for such a purpose. Individuals can be housed on his land for a period of six months and no public participation process would need to occur beforehand. This will allow for families that are left homeless due to emergencies such as a fires and floods to be temporary relocated and housed.

– To create certain provisions that will control the height and permeation, among others, of standard boundary walls around properties.

– An additional level to measure property height, a contentious issue on sites due to high properties affecting neighbouring views, privacy and sunlight in a given area. A possible ground-level map will cover all sites in Cape Town, to create certainty in the allowed height for each and every site across the city.

– A new provision that will allow short-term letting from a house or flat for a maximum of 30 consecutive days. This is in response to the increase in short-term letting via online platforms such as AirBnB.

– Properties zoned as Community Use, such as churches schools, clinics and hospitals; Utilities; Transport 1 and Transport 2; Public Open Space; and Agriculture be allowed to install minor freestanding cell masts (of less than 12m in height) or minor rooftop masts (of less than 1.5m in height) as a right. This means that these minor freestanding masts and minor rooftop masts can be installed at or on these sites without prior land-use approval from the City or adjacent landowners. Building plan approvals may still be required.

– Minor rooftop cell mast of less than 1.5m in height allowed as a consent use for properties zoned as Single Residential 1 and Single Residential 2; as well as for properties zoned as General Residential 1-6. This means that the owner of the property must still apply to the City for permission to install this structure.

– A portal towards the third dwelling is to consider it as an additional use right for properties zoned as Single Residential. This means that a property owner can add at a third dwelling on the property without the City’s approval. This is however subject to normal development rules of the property, approval of a building plan and confirmation that there is water, sanitation and electricity available for the third dwelling.

– An amendment to the Small and Micro Enterprise Overlay Zone that will provide certain business rights, among which the right to operate an office, guesthouse, business, or restaurant from properties adjacent to scheduled public transport services such as the MyCiTi bus service and passenger rail services.

– A possible new by-law will allow the City to also use email to correspond with those who comment or object to development applications.

– An amendment that proposes that objections and appeals in terms of the by-law be submitted on a standardised form to ensure that the City is provided with the relevant and required information. Objectors and appellants will still be able to submit additional and supporting documents together with the form.

– An amendment that states that no more than one staff quarters unit is permitted on a land unit without the City’s consent. This is to allow the City to consider the legitimacy of domestic staff quarters and the impact it may have on neighbours.

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