13 February 2018
Should you rezone your property? “Yes”, says Paul Stevens, CEO of Just Property, “but be aware that it is a lengthy process”.
With many areas in traditional, single-erf suburbs earmarked for higher density, for example various nodes in Rondebosch in the Cape, more and more home-owners are considering rezoning their properties for higher density. Others, close to business nodes, are looking at acquiring a business zoning for their premises. Is this likely to raise a property's value?
“Yes” says Paul Stevens, CEO of market leader, Just Property. “If a property is in the structure plan to be rezoned for business purposes, generally this does add value. Similarly, getting a large property cleared for subdivision can also make it more attractive to buyers and developers. Generally, we find a seller in this position can stand their ground on pricing (should it be a market related selling price)."
Is it a lengthy, complicated process?
“Rezoning can take 6 to 10 months, and sometimes even more,” says Stevens. “It carries a cost and should be handled by experienced professionals. While our agents can certainly advise sellers and liaise with town-planning consultants and the council, it is usually better for the seller to commission an attorney, architect or town planner to attend to the process. You can proceed with the rezoning yourself, but it is a tedious process."
Stevens says the first step would be to phone your local municipality’s town-planning department to establish whether your property is in a node earmarked for higher density development or falls under, for example, business zoning structures. If it doesn't, you will need to apply for a zoning departure.
The owner or their consultant submits a motivation outlining the reasons for rezoning the property. It is good practice to address how the rezoning will be good for the city (discuss the need for the intended new use), and how it will impact on others.
"You will need to allow for public participation and must advertise your intentions in local newspapers (and the provisional Gazette), allowing a reasonable time for any objections to be lodged," says Stevens.
If the municipality’s town-planning department is satisfied with the proposal, the application will be sent to City Council for a decision.
The cost implications depend on a variety of factors, says Stevens. These include advertising, plans documents, professional fees, the application fee and transportation development levy payable to the municipality.
For more information on Just Property please visit www.just.property or call (087) 004 0149
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