CIfA Newsflash 03/2020 | CoCT Municipal Planning Amendment By-Law 2019 – Transitional Arrangement Standard Operating Procedure

The Cape Institute for Architecture (CIfA) wishes to draw its members’ attention to the potential risk to practices, clients and the construction industry posed by the Transitional Arrangement SOP 06/2019 – which was issued to members in late 2019 – where it stipulates that BDM applications, which are not yet approved but where scrutiny fees have been paid and have already been accepted as compliant with the now superseded MPBL, may now have to be referred back to LUM for compliance with the new amended MPBL.

CIfA is proposing to the City that both LUM and BDM applications which have been accepted and for which scrutiny fees have been paid, must be assessed in terms of the now superseded MPBL which prevailed at the time of acceptance of these applications.

The following summary of the Transitional Arrangement prevails as it has been legislated.

CIfA will persist in its endeavour to have its proposal above adopted by the City and will keep its members informed. In the meantime, CIfA requests its members to indicate how many of their submissions are likely to be affected by these Transitional Arrangements.

The Head : Land Use Management in the Directorate of Spatial Planning & Environment) in the City of Cape Town issued the following text to all the District offices across the city in December 2019 and again on 27 January 2020.

Its purpose is to provide a guide to the amendments that could result in a building plan requiring to be reassessed for compliance with the MPBL as from 3 February 2020.

These transition arrangements are as per the City’s Standard Operating Procedure 6/2019 that we have already forwarded to CIfA members.

It is important to note that these transitional arrangements were included in the amendments to prevent a situation where all amendments would be effective immediately regardless of the stage of approval of a land use application or even if they had already been approved.

In addition, the effective date of the amendments has been delayed for a period of 3 months from when the City approved the amendments to allow for land use applications to be accepted, and for building plans to be approved in the interim.

From 3 February 2020, building plans that have not been approved need to comply with the amended DMS contained in the MPBL amendments, 2019.

The only exception to this is where the plan is submitted in order to act upon an existing LUMS approval or a LUMS application that may yet still be approved in terms of the earlier version of the DMS.

This will inevitably result in some building plans needing to be checked again for LUMS clearance for a period from 3 February 2020.

The amendments have been promulgated in the Provincial Gazette which has been loaded up to the portal.

There is a guide to the changes, as well as an updated consolidated MPBL document which is for departmental use only.

The planning and architectural professional bodies are aware of the amendments and the impact upon existing /future applications.

While there have been many changes to the DMS, not all of them are more restrictive than before.

In order to assist in the identification of those applications that may need to be reviewed, the following amendments have been identified for where MPBL amendments could result in a land use application:

  • Revised the method of determining the height of structures (more likely on steep slopes and where height of structures is close to the maximum height limit).
  • Building line setbacks where H is now measured from the ground floor level (only where the height of a building is 15m or greater in GR2-6, or 25m or greater in GB1-7 and MU3).
  • Boundary wall height and visual permeability (applicable where new boundary walls are proposed).
  • 75% coverage rule applicable for SR1 properties that are 200m2 or less in extent.
  • Vehicular access to erven in GR2-6 may only be from a road that is 9m or more in extent (not applicable when site is for dwelling house and second dwelling use).
  • Stop and drop facility required for a creche with more than 34 learners in PT1 & 2 zone.  A traffic management plan is to be submitted.
  • Stop and drop for a School @ 1 bay/20 learners to be provided in PT1 & 2 zone.
  • Parking requirements are now applicable for a motor repair garage, service station and motor fitment centre in PT2 zone.