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The City of Windhoek provides a quality town planning service to its customers by facilitating, guiding, and implementing the developmental needs of the City aimed at ensuring sustainable urban growth, a supply of affordable serviced land and a quality living environment for all its residents. Monthly submissions are made to the City Council on behalf of the public. Advice is given and applications are accepted for City consideration on the following matters.
- Private applications for cadastral change (subdivision, consolidation and township establishment),
- Changes to land-use rights (rezoning, consent uses, relaxation of conditions such as building lines, amendment of title deed conditions),
- Applications for advertising signs, sectional title schemes, and appropriateness of sites for trading licenses.
The City provides planning information brochures to inform interested persons on policies and on how to make applications. There are 50 INFO brochures in the range. The full range is available from the Customer Care Centre. The following are most frequently asked questions
May I work from home?
The City is keen to promote initiatives that will lead to increased job opportunities. As a result it is policy that people are allowed to work from home subject to certain conditions. Applications must be made in writing to Council for consent for a "resident occupation". Floor area of a "resident occupation" may not exceed 25% of the floor area of the main building and no more than two employees may be permitted.
May I open up a shop or pub from home?
A shop or a pub (shebeen) in one’s own home, is an example of a "resident occupation" and may be permitted subject to the conditions applicable to a "resident occupation" including the support of affected neighbours. Only limited goods may be sold in a home shop and a shebeen license is limited to on-site consumption of light liquor only.
May I subdivide my site into two or more portions?
The City is in general supportive of increasing intensity of land use so as to optimise on services and the limited land available in the Windhoek Valley. A site may be subdivided into a maximum number of new portion determined by dividing the area by the applicable minimum erf size set out in the density zone. Application must be made to the City which will evaluate the proposal in terms of appearance and functionality. If the density zone will not permit the number of new portions being planned, application may be made to change the density zone.
May I open up a bed & breakfast facility?
The provision of bed and breakfast accommodation is a popular way in which accommodation for visitors is being provided in Windhoek. A bed and breakfast accommodation facility is a special type of home employment administered under the City’s "resident occupation" policy. Bed and breakfast facilities are allowed subject to conditions. Under no circumstances may an accommodation establishment intended for a residential site exceed the main dwelling in size. Rezoning may be considered for larger premises.
Can I change (rezone) the development rights attached to my property?
Land in the City is sold with certain rights. These rights are incorporated into the Town Planning Zoning Scheme. A city is a dynamic system continually undergoing change. As a result changes are commonly made to the Town Planning Scheme. In order to ensure that residents rights are not arbitrarily affected, a procedure is set out for administering applications to change the Scheme. Neighbours are informed of proposed changes and a motivation must be submitted to the City for approval. Final approval is required from the Minister of Regional and Local Government and Housing. In some areas the City has obtained authority to approve certain changes itself.
What are the guidelines for street naming in Windhoek?
Every property owner who, by way of a subdivision, creates a new street is required to submit street names to the City for consideration. The City also has the authority to rename a street. Proposals are reviewed in terms of predetermined guidelines.
Does the City have any environmental guidelines?
The City has no general guidelines but does have some specifics for particular circumstances.
May I build up to a boundary?
The current side space for lateral and rear boundaries is three metres and set back from the street frontage for residential sites is five metres. These may be relaxed under certain circumstances and upon application. A firewall requirement must be met where buildings approach to within 3 metres.
How is planning carried out in Windhoek?
Planning is guided by a structure plan that recognizes the City’s topographical restraints and population growth. The City is constantly seeking out ways of improving its residents quality of life. Policies, regulations and enforcement thereof are the means whereby the interests of the residents are maintained and advanced. Straightforward issues like "Do you want to change your property boundaries", "do you want to use your property for something totally new", or "do you want to work from home ?" are administered by the Division of Urban Policy, Strategy, Facilitation & Implementation Services which also advises the Council on town planning policy.
Where can I get information of my erf.
Erf information is critical to making informed decisions about property. Because of its impact and the ease of misunderstanding, planning information is not given verbally. Information in writing may be obtained from the City’s Customer Care Centre accessible from Rev. Michael Scott Street and Independence Avenue.
May I build a second dwelling on my site?
The number of dwellings is strictly to be determined by the division of the area of a site by the applicable minimum size as given by the density zoning. The City had and wishes to re-introduce a provision which will allow residents to build a second smaller dwelling on any residential site but must await Government approval.
Ideas for improvement to the City and its planning are welcomed. At the same time a high level of confidentiality is maintained for individual development proposals.
Enquiries may be directed to:
Town Planning Enquiries Desk, Customer Care Centre, Rev. Michael Scott Street.
Postal address: P O Box 59, Windhoek,
Facsimiles: +264 61 290 2111,
Telephone: +264 61 290 2374