In most countries of the world, buildings are built based on adequate planning and strict adherence to the health and safety regulations of the community.
When erecting a building on your landed property, the need to exercise due diligence cannot be overemphasized because you would need to ensure that the structure you have in mind, is an acceptable model in the area where your land is located.
For example, if an area is mainly for residential purposes, building for industrial use might cause problems for you with the local planning board and cost you more in the long run.
Therefore, as a potential property owner, you must familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that govern land use in the country. These rules are called zoning and building codes ordinances.
Zoning has to do with the types of buildings that can be erected in certain areas. It establishes boundaries between residential, commercial and industrial areas. It largely applies to the exterior and location of the building and regulates types of businesses allowed in an area, the extent to which a property can be built on, the kind of parking space needed, the size and shape of buildings that is acceptable, the number of units permitted on a property, the height of the building and even in some cases, the number of people that can occupy the property.
Although adhering to the zoning restrictions and building codes saves a whole lot of trouble, in some cases, deviating slightly from the restrictions and codes can be advantageous. In such cases, you may apply for a variance permit as long as your plan is not injurious to your neighbors or the public since zoning restrictions and building codes were established with the aim of creating and maintaining a balance in community needs for recreation, agriculture, residential housing and commercial buildings thus promoting a conducive, livable and economically viable environment.
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These standards are maintained in most nations of the world but in a country like Nigeria, it is a little too obvious zoning restrictions and building codes have not been strictly adhered to. The establishment of businesses in areas that are supposed to be strictly residential, the poor drainage system in not just rural settlements but urban cities, the construction of storey buildings in areas that are meant for single unit bungalows and the statistical rate of building collapse are all indicators that the zoning and coding rules need to be revisited and enforced especially in a metropolitan city like Lagos.
Proper planning and an enforcement of these rules will lead to a positive turnaround in the country such as reduced traffic congestion, an efficient GPS system, improved accommodation standards and preservation of the general well-being and health of the people.
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