[xml][/xml]
The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: May 7, 2015 - 7:57:38 AM


2010 Planning and Subdivision Act Fosters protection of home property values
By Gena Gibbs, BIS
Feb 14, 2011 - 9:22:16 AM

Email this article
 Mobile friendly page

Ministry-of-Environment-Officials.jpg
Environment Minister, Earl Deveaux, along with other officials from the Ministry of the Environment, announce the enactment of the 2010 Planning and Subdivisions Act, Forestry Act, and the Bahamas National Trust Amendments Act as of January 1, 2011. The new Acts are designed to protect the zoning of residential areas from the rapid urbanisation taking place in New Providence that depreciates the value of residential areas while transforming them into industrialised business districts. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

Nassau, The Bahamas – Rapid urbanisation and the expansion of unregulated business activities are over-commercialising residential neighbourhoods. The growing practice threatens to depreciate the safety and stagnate the value of residential property, while they are transformed into industrialised areas.

“The Planning and Subdivision Act came into force on January 1, 2011 and The Forestry Act January 4, 2011. As well, the Bahamas National Trust Amendment Act was also passed and is now law,” said Environment Minister, Earl Deveaux.

“The Planning and Subdivision Act, in particular, will be the primary means whereby the built environment of The Bahamas will be ordered and regulated.”

The 2010 Planning and Subdivision Act, Forestry Act, and new amendments to the Bahamas National Trust Act established order to the chaos created by numerous unaddressed business infractions.

By strengthening the consequences for violating the zoning protocols, the Government expects to reverse the current trends that are lowering the standards in the inner city environment.

3-Earl-Deveaux_-Environment-Minister.jpg
Earl Deveaux - Environment Minister

“Several regulations have been promulgated. The Department of Physical Planning regulations, the Town Planning Committee rules, the Planning and Subdivision Application requirements, Planning and Subdivision public notices, and the Subdivision Development Appeal Board rules,” said Dr. Deveaux.

Effective January 1, 2011, the Bahamas Government attempts to resolve constituent complaints by taking action within various public agencies to enforce the new laws in the densely populated residential areas of central New Providence.

“There are a lot of infractions, particularly with regard to unregulated business activities or encroachments in traditional neighbourhoods. For example, the Mario’s digital sign is an illegal sign and they have been given a notice to take it down within 14 days. There are a number of them on Shirley Street and Prince Charles Drive and things like that intrude on a neighbourhood and creep into a community if you don’t enforce them,” said Dr. Deveaux.

Homeowners occupying single-family homes must obtain proper business licensing and home renovation permits from Government in order to alter their homes for commercial purposes.

6-Palmdale-area.jpg
The business district in Palmdale emerged from a quiet residential neighbourhood. It has since developed into a commercial and warehouse zone for traditional Bahamian businesses. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

“If there is an obvious infraction of a zoning regulation, between the Department of Physical Planning, Environmental Health, and the Building Control Division, we will be able to determine exactly which agency is best capable of dealing with it”, said Dr. Deveaux.

“Say you have a garage creeping up or someone has converted a residence into a business that’s inappropriate for the area, the first process would be to identify it and issue a stop order and prosecute the person. We are trying to arm the departments to take these matters to the environmental court and prosecute them themselves.”

Bahamian residents have been unable to manage the high security and crime watch demands in their neighbourhoods, as unmonitored patterns of traffic moving through private subdivisions have invited opportunities for an increase of criminal activity.

1-Bar-20-Corner.jpg
Pyfrom Road, known as Bar 20 corner, is a perfect example of how a quiet residential area can be transformed over time into a business district, if residents disregard town planning and zoning laws that prohibit unregulated commercial activity in residential neighbourhoods. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

“The island of New Providence has been catalogued into 22 planning districts and the districts broken into zones to accommodate development. The major zones are residential, which has five subcategories, commercial, which has three subcategories, institutional, which has three subcategories, and industrial, also with three subcategories. As well as, agricultural and green space, which essentially accommodates the forests,” said Dr. Deveaux.

“We are here to highlight the various Acts, the regulations and to underscore their importance to our country’s continued growth and development. Together the Acts seek to protect the natural environment of The Bahamas and to set out the process of approval, licensing, permitting for development, and mitigation of impact. The Acts prescribed are a process of regulation, public notice, consultation, which are all important to community building and shared responsibility.”

SLIDE-SHOW-businesses-in-residential-areas_1.gif
Slide Show - The business activity is creating an inner city atmosphere in traditional residential neighbourhoods, attracting an intensity of high traffic throughout single-family home areas and exposing them to be victims of criminal activity (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

External cultural influences have compromised the traditional Bahamian shared values with the impact of cultural diversity. The Act addresses the regulation of roadside vendors from conducting business transactions without a proper permit.

“Roadside garages are increasingly evident. Small businesses, hairdressing businesses, printing businesses migrate into small convenience stores, and water sales. With the Business License Act that was recently passed and the Planning and Subdivisions Act, you’ll have two means of dealing with it. Anyone operating a business on the road will have to get a certificate from the landlord to show they have permission to operate a business from there,” said Dr. Deveaux.

5-illegal-digital-sign.jpg
Digital advertising billboards are creeping up in high traffic residential areas and are a violation of the 2010 Subdivisions and Planning Act. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).

The new laws are the Government’s response to decrease the flow of high volume commercial traffic into these zoned subdivisions and resolve the overcrowding issue in central New Providence. Law enforcement of the new Act will reduce the intensity of land use and residual criminal activity that is emerging from residential areas transforming into business districts.


Bookmark and Share




© Copyright 2011 by thebahamasweekly.com

Top of Page

Receive our Top Stories



Preview | Powered by CommandBlast

Bahamas Information Services Updates
Latest Headlines
Bahamas 43rd Independence Celebrations Announced
PM Christie and DPM Davis tour Fishing Hole Road work in Grand Bahama
Bahamas Minister of Financial Services on Brexit
Bahamas celebrates 2016 United Nations Public Service Day
Senator Maynard-Gibson remarks to the Case Management and Witness Care Workshop
Hon. Hope Strachan on the passing of Chief Councillor, Mayaguana District
Mitchell to attend Panama Canal expansion ceremony today
$4.8 million contract for a Sea Wall in Smith’s Point, Grand Bahama signed
Births and deaths registry to open at Princess Margaret Hospital
The Bahamas seeking to protect the country against coastal erosion
Attorney General encourages Citizen Involvement to make Criminal Justice System work
The Bahamas statement on the EU referendum
Minister Mitchell Pledges to Continue Fight for Women’s Rights
Hon. Daniel Johnson 2016/2017 Budget Contribution Debate
Public Service set to receive raises, promotions and undergo reforms
Over 1,000 homes repaired under Urban Renewal Small Homes Repair Programme
Roberts: National Review way off base in its BTC analogy
Prime Minister Christie Lauds His Government’s Fiscal Responsibility
PS Thompson: The Bahamas has a head start when it comes to hospitality
Gomez and Sands Sworn in as New Senators
Commonwealth Brewery Shareholders Return Full Slate of Directors
Recent medical school graduates to help address anticipated physician shortfalls
Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas calls on Government Officials
Prime Minister Christie 2016/2017 Closing Budget
 Statement
Student tracking system to be implemented in public schools
Two new schools in the 2016/17 Budget for San Salvador
Hon. Shane Gibson 2016/2017 Budget Debate Contribution
Bahamian candidate elected to international women's rights committee
103 yr-old Bahamian celebrated
Hon. Brave Davis 2016/2017 Budget Debate Contribution
Educational institutions required to be registered by Accreditation and Equivalency Council
Minister Daniel Johnson Tours Renovations to National Swim Complex and Gymnasium
Bahamas Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Hours of Operation Temporarily Adjusted
Hon. Fred Mitchell 2016/2017 Budget Debate Contribution
Bahamas government embarks on major airport development program
Public urged to be aware of Social Media scams
Bahamas National Honours System now accepting nominations
UHC offers financial risk protection, improved quality of services for citizens by spreading costs across the population
Modernization Process Continues in Bahamas Aviation Sector
Bahamas attends European - Latin America and The Caribbean engagement on Drug Cooperation