Nairobi halts city rezoning plans

City Hall in Nairobi.
City Hall in Nairobi. The rezoning will allow construction of high rise buildings in high-end estate. PHOTO/FILE
The City Council of Nairobi has agreed to suspend the proposed rezoning of the city neighbourhoods following a petition by the Nairobi Group of Residents’ Associations.

The rezoning of the city, which would allow developers to build office blocks in high-end estates, ran into trouble with residents who felt the plan was not being implemented in a “participative and orderly manner”.

“We believe that before any rezoning is decided upon, detailed consultations with affected Residents’ Associations should take place and as specified in the Urban Area and City Act of 2011 which calls for participation of residents in decision making and promotion of healthy environment,” said a petition filed to City Hall by the association.

The association said it does not wish to see a situation in which commercial developers solely looking for gains are allowed to build high rise buildings that are not keeping with the existing residential developments.

Responding to the petition, deputy director of city planning Rose Muema said the council had contracted a private consultant to undertake a study on rezoning, but the recommendations of the study will only be implemented after consultations with the residents.

“We contracted a private consultant to undertake the study. Consultations have been ongoing. There’s no re-zoning done yet,” Ms Muema said adding that the study is helping them to prepare a Masterplan for the city.

City Hall has been relying on a Masterplan that was prepared in 1963 and expired in 2000.

The proposed rezoning will open up all the high-end estates west of Nairobi – except Muthaiga and Runda – to allow construction of  commercial centres, high rise apartments and single dwellings.

The changes mainly affect Dagoretti Corner, Riara Road, Lavington, as well as all upper estates on either side of Waiyaki Way after Westlands.