New Kajiado plan lays rules on how to develop urban centres

Aerial view of Ngong town, Kajiado County. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The nesting of shops around corner buildings is one of the development traditions that Kajiado County seeks to outlaw as it unveiled its inaugural spatial plan.

The plan has also set a required size for roads with further details that will dictate future investments in businesses such as schools, petrol stations and shopping malls.

This has been extended to other infrastructure developments like railways, airstrip, parking, and road networks.

The plan has also limited the size of commercial plots that can be owned within urban centres to 0.045 ha this being 50 by 100 size.

This size however will vary depending on the kind of establishment one seeks to put up.

For example, under appendix four of the spatial plan on land use and development guidelines, borrowed from the Physical Planning Handbook, while the minimum commercial plot has been stipulated to be 0.045 ha, a major shopping mall should not be less than 2.0 ha.

This mall should be located along major outlet corridors from the town, allow 25 per cent plot coverage and with a minimum parking space of one and a half metres car park space every 100 square metres plinth.

“Kiosks should only be confined to areas adjacent to markets, bus parks and certain institutions,” the plan states. “Minimum size of a kiosk should be 3.0m by 3.0m.”

It adds that specific areas need to be designated for hawking. These will be known as hawking grounds or hawking streets. The plan stipulates that parking facilities should be related to the level of commercial activities created. There will also be one public toilet on each street.

Pedestrian movement

The plan also issues standards on pedestrian movement which will see construction of roads with pedestrian ways at different levels. More space for pedestrians will be created by removing vehicles from the streets and provide (vehicular)access and parking at the rear of buildings.

Further, building setbacks, which are the minimum open space around a development, should be provided.

“The concept of corner shops at each corner plot should be discouraged,” the plan says.

The plan specifies a 60m way leave and buffer of 30m to be reserved on either side of the railway line along the (railway) network. Substations should be located in high-population concentration factories, warehousing, areas with high-production industrial sites and mining areas.

For airstrips, basic requirements for the location of an airport or airstrip like bird strike should be adhered to. This means no dumping sites nearby or flying objects and no quarrying or charcoal burning activity in the vicinity.

For those interested in investing in education facilities, the minimum land size for a daycare centre is set at 0.05 ha. The population catchment is 350. It should be located within residential neighbourhoods and not be accessed from a major road exceeding 15m.

It should also not be on a high-rise building exceeding two levels, not within a commercial and industrial area. The recommended walking distance is 300 to 500m.

Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres have a minimum plot size of 0.1 ha and follow the pattern of distribution of primary schools at 4,000 catchment population.

It should also be within a residential neighbourhood and not be accessed from a public transport road route. Also, not on a high-rise building exceeding one floor.

The minimum plot size for a primary school is 1.2 ha to 3.0ha depending on the number of streams. The same criterion has been stipulated for secondary schools with the plot size ranging from a minimum of 3.4ha to 4.5ha.

Primary school building heights should not exceed three levels.

Commercial colleges should not be located within residential estates.

For universities, the land size should be at least 50 ha with additional more required dependent on the courses offered.