The City of Cape Town has formulated a new strategy and by-law to deal with ‘problem properties’ – and there’s just under a few days left for residents to offer comment. The comment period closes on Monday 7 December 2009.
The new strategy and Problem Building By-law will help the City identify, control and manage dilapidated and problem buildings. Problem buildings are properties that contravene national building regulations; are overcrowded or in a deplorable state; are the subject of numerous complaints from the public; are invaded by illegal squatters; or pose a serious health or safety risk in terms of national building regulations.
In terms of the new strategy, on receipt of a complaint, the City’s project team will first collate all the relevant data regarding the property, then work together with all relevant departments to determine which laws are being contravened. Once the owner has been located, the City will serve a joint notice setting out all contraventions with a deadline for compliance. It can also invite owners to discuss the contraventions, and implement its debt management policy or take legal action where necessary.
The strategy will be coordinated by the City’s Planning and Building Development Management Department, and implemented through its eight district planning offices.
The proposed Problem Building By-law will assist City officials in:
* Formulating a plan to counter problem buildings and defining the necessary processes and procedures
* Restoring and renovating the buildings rather than demolishing them
* Consulting the owners about redeveloping the property where problem buildings can’t be restored
* Facilitating the sale or demolition of problem buildings to achieve compliance with the by-law
The closing date for submissions is Monday 7 December 2009. Your comments must be in writing, and sent to Michelle Viney, tel 021 400 2399, fax 021 425 6495 or e-mail Problembuilding.Bylaw[at]capetown.gov.za
Copies of the draft by-law are available at the City’s District Planning Offices, Libraries and Subcouncil Offices. It can be viewed via the web link: http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/ByLaws
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