Understanding re-zoning with Chas Everitt Nelson Mandela Bay

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016

The rezoning of property often happens when an investor is looking to make a profit, and means the property can be used for commercial after being a residential property, or residential land can be used to develop cluster housing (apartments or townhouses).

“Purchasers must be aware of any restrictions that may be imposed on a property prior to purchasing,” advises Charlotte Vermaak, Principal of Chas Everitt Nelson Mandela Bay.

“You may not use property for purposes other than those for which it is zoned. In some instances, local authorities may allow owners to use a small percentage of their houses for business purposes. This normally is restricted to 20% of your home.”

But if you do intend to change a premises’ use, you need to apply to your local authority. “The application process can be tedious, complex and expensive,” warns Vermaak.

Which is why it’s important to draw assistance from a knowledgeable and experienced attorney or town planner to guide you through the rezoning process.

Another piece of advice is that if purchasers intend on rezoning, they stipulate in the Offer to Purchase that the offer is subject to the local authority's approval of the rezoning or consent to use the property in a specific manner and also for whose cost this application will be.

Types of zoning

Here we focus on residential and business as this the most common when changing residential zoning.

Residential zoning

Residential 1 - stipulates that properties can have a density of only one dwelling per stand/erf, coverage is 40% of the stand/erf making it ideal for residential dwellings (i.e. on a 1,000m² erf you would be permitted to building a dwelling covering a maximum of 400m² incl garages & outbuildings)

Residential 2 - can have a density of between 10 - 20 dwellings per hectare making it ideal for cluster housing or townhouse complexes

Residential 3 - permits a density of between 21 - 40 dwellings per hectare making it ideal for cluster housing or townhouse complexes

Residential 4 - permits a density of between 41 - 120 dwellings per hectare, ideal for construction of blocks of flats

Business zoning

Business 1 - general business in the form of shopping centres or malls, mostly unrestricted which means developer or owner would be allowed to have almost any type of shop on the premises

Business 2 - shopping centres with certain restricted businesses (bottle stores or pet shops could be restrictions)

Business 3 - stricter zoning which will not allow a wider variety of businesses to open and operate in the centre

Business 4 - do not involve shopping centres or malls at all, provides for office use e.g. office parks, office premises