Thursday, August 25, 2016

revisions to Cape Town Zoning Scheme regulations, granny flats

" Granny Flats" - now simpler approval process

The City of Cape Town have recently published amendments to the Planning and Building Development bye law. This is the bye law that incorporates the zoning scheme, which stipulates the limitations on development of land.

There is a bunch of dry stuff in this revision to do with definitions and technical detail, but the stand out amendment for me,  is to do with requirements for a second dwelling  on a single residential plot.

A second dwelling is a self contained unit, often referred to as a granny flat, built on your single residential property.
In the past, this has always required a departure from the zoning scheme regulations, neighbour consents, and delays in the approval process,  as your ordinary home type plot is zoned single residential, ie for a single residence. ( Duh ! )

The amendment now allows a second dwelling, a self contained flatlet, on a single residential plot without departure approval, as long as it complies with all other requirements, building lines for instance, or a conventional building system.

In fact, the amendment also makes provision for a 3rd dwelling, but this is subject to you being in an area where there is a 3rd dwelling overlay zone, and this hasn't been written or specified yet. It is likely to be provided for in areas where the city wants to implement the densification policy, perhaps in built up areas with limited land available, we shall see.

This change allowing second dwellings as a matter of right, as mentioned, is subject to compliance with all other requirements.
It may be, that some areas which fall under master home owners associations, Parklands, Sunningdale, Big Bay etc, may have conditions of approval or rules which don't allow this, check with your HOA or Body Corporate to see what applies if you in an area such as this.

Lastly, as ever, the city's zoning scheme cannot over ride a title deed conditions. Some older properties may have a condition limiting use to a single dwelling, and to proceed with a second dwelling in this case would first require removal of the title deed condition - which can be a long and expensive process.

Overall good news for those who want to move Mom in with them, but still give a level of independence - don't have to hide it as a maids quarters anymore.

Having said that, a maids quarters of not more than 50 m2 can be classified as an outbuilding and, within certain limits, be allowed to be built over the site building lines. ( Common boundaries, not street - height limit 3.5m max)