What rezoning and subdividing are, and how to go about applying for either of these for your property.
You need to apply to the local authority to re-zone or subdivide a property. Your application can take a number of years to be approved or declined. The documentation that the local authority requires you to submit is very complex and the fees that need to be paid to the local authority can be very expensive. It is therefore advisable to seek the assistance of an attorney or preferably a town planner or the local authority.
You can stipulate in your Offer to Purchase that the offer is subject to the local authority's approval of the re-zoning or subdivision or the consent to use the property in a certain way, i.e. getting business rights over a residential property.
What is zoning?
Zoning determines the rights of the property, in terms of what you are able to do with the property and what the property may be used for, i.e. residential use, business rights, and so on.
A brief overview of the rezoning process:
- A detailed motivation report with plans is submitted to your local council;
- Advertising of the application needs to be placed in the local newspaper and the provincial gazette calling for any objections;
- The local town planning department then goes through a process of consideration of the relevant information and objections;
- The application is then referred to the council committee and provisional committee for final approval or decline.
What is subdivision?
Subdivision is when a piece of land is divided into smaller plots and each division now has its own title deed.
A brief overview of the subdivision process:
- You need to talk to a town planner together with your architect. They will draw up plans and a detailed report which will be submitted to the city council;
- Registered letters need to be sent to neighbours, informing them of the planned rezoning and adverts need to be placed in the press allowing for objections;
- Once approval from neighbours is obtained the plans need to be approved by the council. This process is very lengthy and can take a couple of years to finalise.
This article originally appeared in Property Power 11th Edition Magazine. To order your copy at the discounted price of R120 click here.