Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is building setback?


Couple week ago, I had a discussion with local council regarding a bungalow renovation of one of my customers. This bungalow lot is 50 feet (width) and 80 feet (length) with the area of 4000 square feet. There is 10 feet space around the bungalow compound and no access behind the building. The lot is adjoining with neighbor lot and sharing with one chain fence (one boundary line). My customer claimed that the kitchen is small and want to extend another few feet extra since there is additional of 10 feet space before reaching to the fence. My client already asked the contractor to do the measurement and the design. According to the contractor, it is better to get an approval from local council before start the renovation works. Thus, this administration work was passed to me.

Before I met this officer, he requested some documents such as Sale & purchased (S & P) documents, Certificate of fitness of Building (CF) but now architect is issuing form F & the identity card.

When the officer looked at the floor plan in S & P, he immediately said the maximum the building can be extended only 3 feet because no setback behind of the building. What is setback? According to the officer, setback is the distance required by the building law between the edge of the building to the property line (boundary line). If 3 feet is allowable then there is 14 feet balance between 2 houses. It is something like terrace houses with 12-14 feet back lane. I can say the developer or architect is smart in designing the bungalow lot. Instead of surrender the 14 feet to state government, they utilize the back lane and created cluster lot where the access only available at frontage of the building. Subsequently the lot can be declared as bungalow lot and demanded especially from high rank officers around Melaka area. This is another option in optimum your land usage.
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