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George Municipality tackles review of By-laws – Land Use Planning By-Law for George Municipality, 2023

In terms of Section 2 of the Western Cape Land Use Planning Act (LUPA), a municipality is responsible for land use planning and must regulate the procedures in terms of how the municipality receive, consider and decide on land use applications.  Following the promulgation of LUPA, the George Municipality developed the Land Use Planning By-Law (LUP) for its municipal area, which was adopted by Council along with a set of delegations relevant to the by-law and was subsequently promulgated in the Provincial Gazette and came into operation in September 2015. During 2021 two minor amendments were made to the By-law, which was promulgated accordingly.

The Western Cape Provincial Government issued proposed amendments to the Model Land Use Planning By-Law, which was, inter alia, based on best practises observed from various municipalities in the Province. The George Municipality subsequently proceeded with the amendment of the George LUP By-Law in collaboration with the amendments recommended  by provincial government.

Public Participation
The public participation process commenced from 14 July 2022 and closed on 15 August 2022, where members of the public had the opportunity to provide their comments and input. Notices making the public aware of the public participation period were advertised on the George Municipality’s website and Facebook page as well as in the George Herald.  Comments received were  revied and the necessary amendments were made. The LUP By-Law was workshopped with Council to provide all Councillors an opportunity for inputs. The draft document was thereafter collated and adopted by Council on 30th March 2023.

The intent of this by-law is to
elaborate and provide clarity on the following aspects pertaining to land use planning:

  1. Compilation, adoption and amendments of a Spatial Development Framework,
  2. Deliniation of the respective land use applications,
  3. Land Use Application Processes,
  4. Public Participation Processes,
  5. Criteria for Decision-making,
  6. Municipal Planning Decision-making Structures,
  7. Tribunals requirements and procedures,
  8. Appeal requirements and procedures,
  9. Provision of Engineering Services,
  10. Development Charges,
  11. Enforcements,
  12. Naming and numbering of Streets.

The following are the most important changes to the current by-law:

  1. Amendments to existing definitions.
  2. New Definitions viz. Registered Planner, Schedule of Rights, Zoning Scheme.
  3. Provision that only professionals registered at a professional Council may submit certain land use applications.
  4. Deletion of “Occasional Use” as a ‘land use application’ (now granted as a temporary departure).
  5. Provision for certain requirements when applying for a temporary departure for an occasional use.
  6. Inclusion of additional exemptions of certain subdivision and consolidations.
  7. Exclusions of certain minimum requirements for the submission of a land use application.
  8. Inclusions to exclude the festive period to cause public notices.
  9. General amendment to align with council’s resolution 27 May 2021 in terms of Development Charges.
  10. General amendment to align with LUPA and SPLUMA .
  11. General amendments in terms of grammar, improved wording and referencing.

Promulgated in the Western Cape Provincial Gazette
The Land Use Planning By Law will be promulgated in the Western Cape Provincial Gazette during the month of April 2023, and will come into operation on the date of promulgation. The promulgated by-law will thereafter be uploaded to the municipal website for easy access by the public.