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Posh estate residents push for zoning laws

High-end real estate developers have appealed to the government to protect exclusive areas from encroachment by high-rise houses.

This, they said, would help to preserve property value and therefore attract more investments in this market segment.

Developers in areas like Kitisuru and Runda are concerned that if these areas are not zoned, they would be infested by apartments, which not only reduce property values but also spoil the exclusivity of the zones.

Some of the city suburbs that have already been encroached on include Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Lavington, Spring Valley, Westlands and Riverside.

“Many home owners are now migrating from these areas (those already encroached),” says Sam Mwaura, a director of Kitisuru Country Homes Ltd, which has invested over Sh600 million in the development of town houses in Kitisuru West.

The houses, going at Sh42.5 million, are about two kilometres from the northern bypass.

“Most high net worth home owners look for exclusivity. That is why we are seeing them getting attracted to areas like Kitisuru where they can find single-dwelling and town houses.”

Kitisuru West, an emerging estate, is a sparsely populated large coffee estate neighbouring Gathiga rural community in Kikuyu constituency.

The community lives and works within, barely travelling to the city, and therefore sparing the area from high human and vehicle traffic.

Proper zoning, with its attendant planning, will also ensure that slums do not develop on the fringes of the various gated communities coming up in various parts of the city.

Poor planning has been blamed for the proliferation of slums such as Mathare neighbouring Muthaiga, Kawangware, Gatina and Waruku neighbouring Lavington and Mukuru slums neighbouring South B.

Mr Mwaura says Kitisuru West’s neighbouring community is mostly made up of farmers with little to no migrant population, thus posing little risk of slum development.

As a way of helping to ensure the area remains exclusive and productive, the company is also partnering with the farmers in the area to develop their land and help enhance their returns for the long term gains of selling the land to developers.

The area is also well networked with major shopping malls such as Sarit Centre, Westgate and Village Market in close proximity.

“It is easy to plan the area now, when it is still unspoilt and largely undeveloped,” says Mr Mwaura. “Such planning will assist to meet the needs of the home owners and avoid surrounding them with high-rise apartment blocks.”

source:Daily Nation January 19 2012
Posted on:24-Feb-2012 pm29 9:49:16 pm
Posted by:platinum