The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Dec 5, 2014 - 10:25:14 PM


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
 Printer 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

Bahamas Information Services Updates
Latest Headlines
Tabernacle Baptist’s Stellar Track Team Visits Minister for Grand Bahama
URCA Holds Town Meeting on ICT Innovation & Connectivity
Minister Dorsett Petroleum Communication‏
Prime Minister Christie provides updates on Eleuthera at 3rd Annual Eleuthera Business Outlook‏
Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas turn 80
National Arts Festival at North Andros Schools
Minister of Health Calls on Bahamas’ UN Ambassador in Geneva
Mitchell participates in COFCOR meeting
State-Recognized Funeral announced for former Senator, Mrs. Mizpah Tertullien
Bahamas Government Presents Single Largest Regatta Subvention
Darville Welcomes Global Leadership Academy of Philadelphia to Grand Bahama
National Arts Festival photos from Central Andros
Bahamas Office of the Data Protection Commissioner on the Draft Freedom of Information Bill 2015‏
Grand Bahama Gospel Concert to Assist Pastor Lindy Russell
Jobs Forecasted for South Eleuthera with Cotton Bay Resurgence
Junkanoo Corporation Awards Banquet‏
Grand Bahama Nurses Undergo Leadership Training and Certification
NEMA Team Undergoes Hazardous Material Response Exercise in Rhode Island
Temporary Closure of Port Department & Road Traffic Department Offices in Grand Bahama
Bahamas Immigration Reserve and Belonger's Permit Established
Several Bahamas' government websites hacked by Tunisian Islamist activist group
Bahamas Releases Proposed FATCA Legislation & Guidance Notes For Industry Consultation
Andrew Strachan Appointed Bahamas Compliance Commission Inspector
Minister Wilchcombe Tells Tabernacle Students School is Preparation for Life
Tourism Minister Applauds Sunland Athletic Achievements
Bahamas Attorney General's Office on Extradition Files
DPM Davis on Selection of Preferred Bidder for BEC
Mitchell meets with Deputy Foreign Minister of Qatar
UHC to Result in Positive Transformation of Healthcare Industry
Artisans Want to Expand through Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival
Well-Known Nun Named as Patron of Newly-Established Government Pre-School
Bahamians using renewable energy systems reminded to register
South Andros E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival Adjudications
Bahamasair and Public Managers Union Sign Industrial Agreement
The Bahamas - Marco Rolle, to assume the Chair of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Health
Bimini represents at the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival
Justice Joseph Strachan (Ret’d) to conduct independent review into delay of Black and Veatch report
PM Christie In Martinique for CARICOM Discussions on Climate Issues
Long Island - Cockburn Town, San Salvador‏ in the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival Held
Bahamas Attorney General on the Mayaguana Court Matter