New land use scheme to cut bureaucracy and bring uniformity
Residents from across Region B attended a meeting at Marks Park in early September with representatives from the City’s planning department to be briefed on the new Land Use Scheme.
Up until 1 February 2019, there were 16 different town planning schemes that governed greater Johannesburg.
The schemes were inconsistent. For example some areas had to comply with 3 metre building lines, others with only 1 metre building lines and there were different rules for granny flats. Permission had to be granted for numerous issues delaying the approval process.
COJ officials explained that the City was now working with one document. Approval processes were simplified and time taken minimised.
There was discussion regarding the role of Residents’ Associations within the context of the limited resources of the City. Participants echoed one resident’s plea to the City that ‘Residents associations (RAs) are your eyes and ears. Work with them. Inspectors are not enforcing, they are not checking 12 months after approval to see what’s happening. The community is not your enemy, it is your resource.’
ERA representatives and other participants urged the City to allow RAs to see the Site Development Plans (SDPs) before they are approved, especially in the light of more planning aspects being included in SDPs.
Another resident was worried that ‘the City was losing open space hand over fist.’ The City official assured residents that the City was committed to securing parks and green spaces for the growing city.
Meanwhile Riverlea residents bemoaned the poor education of law enforcement agents around the city’s planning regulations. In some cases home-owners were adding another storey onto their houses without plans being submitted.
City officials committed themselves to work with residents to improve land use management. (see also http://era.org.za/the-new-land-use-scheme-and-emmarentia-faqs/