Areas and Places

City of Cape Town looks to reduce off-street parking for new developments

The City of Cape Town plans to publish a map for public comment that demarcates the reduced off-street parking requirements for developments in areas with good access to the MyCiti service, minibus taxis, trains, and the Golden Arrow bus service.

The map will include the demarcations of the Public Transport areas 1 and 2 (PT1 and PT2 areas) based on comprehensive data.

The City’s Development Management Scheme (DMS) stipulates the minimum requirements for off-street parking for new developments, differentiating between areas that are well served by public transport services and those where residents rely on private vehicles.

The draft map will consider the impact of scheduled and high-quality public transport on reducing private vehicle use and the subsequent lower demand for parking in areas that are served by bus, train, or minibus taxis.

According to the City, by lowering off-street parking requirements, the municipality can also free up valuable space for development and instead of providing off-street parking bays, developers can opt to use the space productively.

Reduced parking requirements minimize the red tape if a new development is in the Public Transport area 1 or 2 (PT1 or PT2 areas) as the property automatically qualifies for lower parking requirements as stipulated in the zoning scheme. For developments that fall outside of these areas, the standard off-street parking requirements apply and a departure application, in addition to the land use or building application, is required when a developer wants reduced off-street parking.

PT1 is an area where the use of public transport is promoted or where the use of private vehicles is limited and PT2 is an area where the provision of public transport services is good or where the use of private vehicles is limited.

PT2 areas have more generous reductions in parking requirements than PT1 areas.

In determining the PT1 and PT2 areas, the City’s Transport Directorate conducted an analysis on the following:

  • The availability of public transport areas in which public transport improvements are promoted.
  • Existing operational quality of public transport in terms of frequency and capacity.
  • Data on the daily commuter numbers recorded for the MyCiti bus service, minibus taxis, and the Golden Arrow Bus service.
  • The level of service experienced.

It is important to state upfront that a reduction in off-street parking is not compulsory. Developers and property owners have a choice and can decide how they want to cater for the needs in a particular development and whether their clients would prefer off-street parking or not. I also want to alert residents and the planning fraternity to the fact that the map will be available for public comment in due course. I encourage them to please submit their comments once this process has commenced,” commented the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.

We also want to encourage the development and business fraternity to think differently about how parking can be provided and how to use parking areas optimally. For example, there is no reason why city dwellers cannot park at a shopping centre overnight, while this space is standing empty. It is very possible to explore agreements and to think out of the box so that we can make Cape Town more efficient in terms of how we commute and use space,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Councillor Rob Quintas.

The City intends to publish the map and the proposed amendment to Annexure C of the DMS for public comment once the necessary permission has been obtained.

The standard off-street parking requirements as stipulated in the DMS will apply for development applications until the above process has been concluded.