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
Transport and Aviation Minister Announces Plan To Re-Develop Potter’s Cay Dock
Grand Bahama Agri-Business Expo 2015 Opens
Bahamas Teachers of the Year 2015-2017 Honoured During Pinning Ceremony
New Bus and a New Physiotherapist for the Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled
Statement from Nassau Flight Services With Respect to Terminations
Minister Hanna Martin meets USA Transportation Secretary during official visit to Washington, Dc
The Bahamas Finding Innovative New Ways to Protect the Ozone Layer
Charles Hamilton, Jr is the 2015 Bahamas National Spelling Bee Winner
Bahamian Workers Must be Competitive, Immigration Minister Says
DPM Davis' Communication on Electricity‏ in The Bahamas
E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival - Day 7 in Nassau‏
House Communication on Minister Gray by Prime Minister Christie
Winners of Gold Governor General Youth Awards
Civil Aviation responds to BATCU communication on Air Traffic Controllers holiday pay
Bahamas Attorney General on "Allegations of executive interference"
Bahamas government releases photos of detention dormitories
Fred Mitchell: Immigration as a National Security Issue
Fred Mitchell on Bahamas Immigration Developments
2015 Easter Monday Potter's Cay Dock Boat Show Announced
Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union statement on outstanding holiday pay
Hon. Damian Gomez preliminary remarks to IACHR hearing in Washington
Bahamas National Spelling Bee Competitors call in Bahamas Minister of Education
Gomez denounces GBHA allegations as “False, baseless, and malicious"
Bahamas Gov't Printing Department to Hold its Second Open House and Expo
FOAM Says - Enable Young Mothers and One Child at a Time We Will Regain Our Country
Bills Being Constructed to Protect the Environment, said Minister Darville
The Bahamas government responds to Amnesty International
E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival - Day 3 in Nassau‏
Financial Services Minister Encourages Bahamas Millennials to Heed Advice of Mentors
Tabernacle's record-setting boys' relay team off to Penn Relays
48 detained in Abaco as Immigration Continues Interdicttion Exercise
At S.T.R.A.W. Conference Young Bahamian Women Asked to Make Wise Choices and Set Realistic Goals
Rand Memorial Hospital Expansion Drawings Due at End of May, says PHA Chairman
Fred Mitchell on the Case of Jamaric Greene
Bahamas Immigration Minister on "Operations in Abaco"
DPM Davis on Weekend Island-wide Power Outages
Consumer Welfare Unit Advances Bahamas Education on Consumer Protection
Royal Bahamas Defence Force Annual Church Service‏
CAP Announces First Annual Multicultural Heritage Festival Announced
NEMA Holds Water Rescue Training Course in Bimini