Develop or lose it, Nakuru tells landowners

Nakuru County Government has asked those with empty land parcels in the Central Business District (CBD) to develop or risk losing them.

Already, the county government has issued guidelines spelling out how the town should be developed.

The call comes at a time Nakuru Town is preparing to be elevated to a city.

Land owners who can’t develop their plots have been asked to state what they plan to do with them or risk losing them to the county government.

Lands, Housing and Physical Planning minister Francis Mwangi said they had commenced a process to ensure all idle parcels of land are developed according to the by-laws.

“We are soon advertising this development for it to be  legally binding to all plot/land owners within the CBD...,” he said.

Mwangi said they would be considerate when addressing the matter but was quick to warn they might be forced to repossess plots the owners cannot be developed to the required standards.

David Gathuri, a property consultant, said the move by the county government was a step in the right direction. He said developing empty plots would help meet demand for space and boost the county’s revenue.

“The notice will ensure land in the affected areas are fully utilised for economic benefits,” he said.

On the other hand, owners of existing buildings in the CBD have been asked to come with ways of improving the safety of pedestrians in a nine-point memorandum. Article 69 of the Constitution requires property owners to ensure portions of their land is under tree cover.

Other requirements

They are also required to paint their buildings and ensure they are well-maintained by ensuring rain water gutters are fixed to enhance rain water harvesting, and remnant splash off directed from public space and building surfaces.

Building owners are also required to pave pedestrian walkways to ensure safety and free movements. Landlords are also required to ensure proper disposal of garbage from their premises.

Car washes on road reserves have also not been spared as they will be required to relocate to formally designated areas.

Those who fail to comply will be ejected within a period of one year.

On eternal walling in public and private buildings, owners are required to ensure they are resistant to weather and damp by resisting rainwater penetration.

Taxi owners are required to ensure their vehicles maintain uniform colours and must be located in their designated pick-up areas.

On the drainage around the buildings, the owners are required to comply with the Public Health Act, which requires them to make satisfactory provision for the drainage of the building. To ensure this happens, developers have been asked to adhere to by-laws that require them to come up with the right structural architectural designs.

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