Homes must apply to be more

2015-11-10 06:00

The City of Cape Town is aware that private properties are increasingly being used for various activities, for example as small churches or places of worship, businesses and crèches.

While these uses are welcomed, property owners must ensure that the use of their property is in line with the zoning of the premises and consent for alternative uses must be obtained.

A property zoned Single Residential 1 allows for a dwelling house to be constructed. It also allows for additional uses such as home occupation, a bed-and-breakfast establishment (no more than six paying guests and no more than three rooms for guests) and home childcare (a small crèche of up to six children).

Owners of properties zoned for Single Residential 1 purpose must be granted a consent use or temporary departure if they do not comply with the limitations for additional uses or want to operate a place of worship, small business (such as a house shop), guest house or crèche (with more than six children) or want to build a second dwelling on the property.

If they fail to do so they will be in contravention of the property’s zoning rights. The City of Cape Town’s municipal planning bylaw permits the City to take a variety of actions in respect of an unlawful land use.

An owner may apply to rectify the unlawful land use or building work, but will be required to pay a penalty.

Legal action is the absolute last resort. Therefore, property owners are encouraged to visit their local district planning office to verify whether the current use of the property complies with the zoning of the premises and, if not, what process they need to follow in order to comply with legislation. The City’s inspectors will help property owners with any questions they may have about zoning matters and building applications.

Complaints relating to possible contraventions are to be submitted in writing to the City’s property enforcement section at their local planning district office.

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