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Developers urged not to bypass building codes

Mali Dickson, Acting Physical Planner at the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation
By Javaughn Keyes
 
Developers are being urged to desist from attempts to bypass building codes.
 
Fielding questions during the Throp X Investment Conference in Negril, acting physical planner at the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, Mali Dickson, said as the demand heightens for real estate, a number of developers appear to want to build more they received approval for. 
 
"The Airbnb business is out there and persons...want to get a little extra money. Persons are trying to do a multifamily and they're seeking single family approval. And that's not allowed." 
 
She said the regulation has different requirements for each type of construction. 
 
"The order states that if six or more persons are living together using the same facilities, it's a single family. So you have one main kitchen, you have the main general facilities, it's one.... But you can't have two kitchens, you can't have a complete dead wall separating you from the other section. And then you're telling me that that's a single family. Because the difference is a single family, you need six sets of drawings that comes to us. And if you want multifamily, we'll take at least nine," Mrs Dickson advised.   
 
There are a number of examples of these developments failing to comply with the approved plans across the island.
 
One of the recent cases involves a development owned by President of the National Water Commission Mark Barnett which was granted approval for 12, one bedroom units on a property in St. Andrew.
 
But on completion, the development comprises six 2-bedroom units and six 3-bedroom units.
 
Mr. Barnett has been cited by the Integrity Commission for the breach, and sent on Administrative leave by the board of the NWC.


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