Nairobi News

News

You’ll soon have say on your estate’s planning

You will soon have a say on the developments taking place in your neighbourhood, unlike in the past when such mandate was the preserve of leaders.

As a county resident, you will also have the power to determine what kind of businesses should be set up in or around your estate. This is according to a set of laws proposed by the Kenya Alliance of Residents Assoiciation (Kara).

On the flipside, the residents  — both tenants and landlords — will have to abide by rules to be crafted by their respective associations, touching on  security, environment cleaning, visitors’ access among other areas of concern.

Drafted

These are among a raft of proposals in the forthcoming Residents Association Bill drafted by Kara.

The proposals are meant to streamline resident associations and give citizens a platform to influence their welfare.

The Bill, which is at an advanced stage has been forwarded to the Law Society of Kenya for review, says Kara Programmes director Henry Ochieng’.

Currently, residents are not obliged to obey rules set by resident associations even when they are for their own good. “The bill is aimed at giving residential associations a legal backing such that they have more authority to implement the decisions they reach,” says Mr Ochieng.

The new Bill also proposes that registered associations be recognised by concerned ministries as key stakeholders whenever they want to initiate projects in their neighbourhoods.

Zoning, which restricts certain building projects and developments in specific areas has also been addressed. The concept of zoning had been abused by corrupt officials of the defunct city council over the years, leading to uncontrolled developments in estates regarded as posh in yesteryear.

“This bill will make it easy for the Government to achieve devolution. People will also be involved in governance issues,” said Mr Ochieng’. However, the estate rules will be obligatory if passed by 50 per cent plus one of the residents.

Mr Ochieng says the clause will ensure unanimous agreements on development projects thus averting conflicts of interest.

For projects to go on, they will require a Kara stamp even after being approved by the County Government and the National Environmental Management Authority.