A comparative study of the influence of the companies act and the sectional properties act on development control in Kenya: A case study of Nairobi city planning zones 3,4 and 5.
The increase in urbanization has seen the demand for land continue to rise. This has resulted in a shift from the previous system of property ownership defined by area (2D cadastre) to encompass the vertical aspect (3D Cadastre).The resultant densification enhances the need to provide title certification to small units owned by individuals above and below the surface. This study set out to compare the influence of the Companies Act of 1978 and the Sectional Properties Act of 1987 of the Laws of Kenya and their impacts on development control in the Nairobi City Planning Zones 3, 4 and 5. The objectives of the study were to examine the main drivers of the increased high rise developments in a previously low density residential area. Reasons for the preference by developers to either of the two Acts under scrutiny were also examined. The study also sought to evaluate the infrastructural, social and environmental impacts following the intensive vertical developments and to establish some of the factors affecting implementation of the existing development planning regulations in the study. The research methodology used included collection of data through interviews with property owners, developers, property managers and key informants from county government of Nairobi and office of the director of physical planning as well as literature review from secondary sources. Data collected from property owners, developers and property managers was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and that from key informants incorporated. It was then presented using frequency tables, pie charts, bar graphs, photographs and computer graphics. The study found out that following the enactment of the Sectional Properties Act (1987) and the shift in zoning policy in planning zones 3, 4 and 5, there has been a dramatic increase in densification and multiple storey high rise developments. The developments were not matched with the necessary service infrastructure evidenced by frequent electric power outages, water shortages, burst sewers, polluted water courses and increased crime among others. Interviewed officers from the county government of Nairobi and office of the director of physical planning concurred with the above findings concerning the mismatch between the increased developmental activities in the three zones and the necessary service infrastructure. The main drivers of the overload include poor enforcement machinery of the concerned authorities, weak enforcement of legal and institutional frameworks, political interference, corruption and lack of political will among others. Recommendations to address such weaknesses include strengthening public and community participation in planning, transparent allocation and use of public land, environmental protection, formation of Residents‘ Associations to enhance community policing and increased funding in service infrastructure sector among others.