Law N° 2004/003 of 21 April. 2004 governing town planning in Cameroon

Chapter III - Involving local communities and civil society

Article 49: The involvement of local people, organised groups and civil society in the implementation of general town planning, urban development and construction rules must be encouraged through:
  • Free access to planning documents ;
  • Consultation mechanisms to obtain their opinion and input ;
  • Their representation on consultation bodies;
  • The production of information relating to town and country planning;
  • Raising awareness, training, research and education in the field of town and country planning.

Article 50: The procedures for the involvement and participation of local people and civil society in urban planning and investments to be made in the urban sector, as well as the means of appeal and the publicity given to urban planning documents, are specified by regulation.

Title II - Land development

Chapter I - Development operations

Article 51: The purpose of land development operations is to organise the maintenance, extension or reception of housing or activities, to create public facilities, to safeguard or enhance the built or unbuilt heritage and natural areas.
  • For the purposes of this Act, the following shall be deemed to be land development operations :
  • Restructuring and/or urban renewal;
  • Housing estates;
  • Concerted development projects ;
  • Any other operation affecting urban land (roads and other networks, equipment, reparcelling, etc.).

Article 52: The procedures and conditions for carrying out each type of development operation are specified by decree.

Section I - Restructuring and/or urban renewal

Article 53:
(1-) Urban restructuring is a set of development actions on anarchically built-up areas, run-down areas or old areas, intended for the integration of specific facilities or the improvement of the urban fabric of built-up areas.

(2) Urban renewal is a set of development measures and operations which consist of the total or partial demolition of an unhealthy, defective or unsuitable urban area, with a view to the construction of new buildings.

Article 54: The purpose of urban restructuring and renewal is to

- Improving the living conditions and safety of the population, with regard to:
the land situation;•
the condition of buildings;•
access to dwellings;•
green spaces;•
the environment;•
roads and other networks;•
- to improve the functionality of the area in question, with regard to: :
economic life;•
social and cultural community facilities.•

Article 55 :
(1) Restructuring and/or urban renewal operations shall be located within an operational perimeter known as the urban restructuring sector or urban renewal sector. Delimited by the acts prescribing the operation in question.

(2) In the area concerned, the restructuring and/or renewal plan approved by municipal decree specifies or completes the existing urban planning documents.

(3) Once the restructuring and/or renovation plan has been approved, the rights of way, easements and public facilities are returned to the public domain.

(4) Restructuring and/or urban renewal operations are undertaken on the initiative of the State or a municipality or group of municipalities and are carried out in accordance with a restructuring and/or renewal plan.

Article 56:
(1) Restructuring and/or urban renewal operations are carried out under the responsibility of the municipalities concerned, either on a self-managed basis or by means of an agreement with a public or private developer, with possible assistance from the State or any other form of multilateral, bilateral or decentralised intervention.

(2) Where necessary, local State services may be made available to the competent municipalities or groupings of municipalities, for the technical development or execution of restructuring and/or urban renewal operations.

(3) The conditions for making local State services available are defined by specific agreement between the State and the municipality concerned. These agreements are concluded in the forms and conditions defined by the legislation and regulations in force.

Article 57: In any event, restructuring and/or urban renewal operations must be carried out in consultation with the populations concerned, in accordance with the provisions of Title I, Chapter III of this Act, and followed by appropriate social support measures.

Article 58: The search for the necessary funding to cover the expenses incurred in the development and implementation of restructuring and/or urban renewal operations is the responsibility of the State, the municipalities or the competent groupings of municipalities.

Section II - Subdivisions

Article 59:
(1) Any operation resulting in the division of land into lots shall constitute a subdivision.

(2) Any subdivision of more than four lots shall be subject to approval by the competent authority, failing which the related deeds shall be null and void.

Article 60 : Allotments are created on the initiative of the State, decentralised local authorities or private individuals or legal entities, on their respective properties, and are carried out in compliance with the urban planning documents in force or, failing this, with general town planning and construction rules.

Article 61 : State-owned allotments are approved by order of the Minister responsible for estates, communal allotments by prefects and private allotments by mayors.

Article 62:
(1) Approval of a subdivision constitutes authorisation to subdivide and transfer to the public domain of the rights-of-way, easements and public facilities provided for.
(2) The conditions, forms and deadlines for drawing up, approving and amending allotments, particularly with regard to the respective involvement of town planners and surveyors, shall be defined by decree.

Article 63:
(1)The initiator of the allotment must provide, depending on the type, size and location of the allotment, a certain number of facilities, the nature and characteristics of which are specified by the urban planning documents.
(2)Prior to approval of the allotment, the authorities referred to in article 61 above shall ensure that public utility equipment and primary networks are provided for by public service concessionaires.

Article 64:
(1) Prior to marketing the plots, the developer must at least have the physical demarcation of the plots and road rights-of-way on his land demarcated.

(2) Once this physical demarcation has been established by the authority that issued the subdivision authorisation, the latter issues marketing authorisations for a number of plots proportional to the progress of the servicing work, under conditions defined by decree. The last marketing authorisation is issued upon completion of the work.

(3) However, in the case of a sale in the future state of completion, the developer must provide a bank guarantee, in the form of a personal and joint surety, equal to the total amount of the subdivision works.

Section III - Joint development projects

Article 65: Concerted development operations are carried out with a view to developing, restructuring or equipping land located in urban or peri-urban areas. They are carried out in a concerted manner between the public authorities and identified landowners or, where applicable, between a developer and the populations concerned.
The areas covered by these operations are known as Zones d'Aménagement Concerté.

Article 66: Prior to the implementation of a concerted development operation, on the proposal of the Mayor and after obtaining the opinion of the local town planning services or those responsible for urban issues, as the case may be, a prefectoral decree defines the operational perimeter of the Concerted Development Zone.
A development plan shall be drawn up for any sector concerned by a concerted development operation, and must be approved by municipal decree.

Article 67: Concerted development operations may be authorised on national domain concessions granted to a legal entity made up of the populations concerned and the public or private developer.

The agreement signed between the populations concerned and the developer shall form an integral part of the specifications for the provisional concession, and the actual completion of the development work shall be considered as development for the purpose of obtaining the final concession.

Article 68: A concerted development operation aims in particular to:
  • Controlling land use through spatial structuring;
  • The provision of serviced plots of land that can be used for housing, economic, social, educational, cultural and leisure activities;
  • Clearance of land registrations;
  • Potential recovery of the costs of urban development.

Article 69:
(1) Concerted development operations shall be initiated by the State, decentralised local authorities, natural or legal persons, public or private, or interested populations, and shall be carried out in compliance with the urban planning documents in force or, failing this, with general town planning and building regulations.

(2) The public authorities shall ensure, in particular, that public utility equipment and primary networks are provided by public service concessionaires.

Article 70:
(1) Concerted development operations shall be the subject of free agreements between the public authority or the public or private developer and the populations concerned, constituted as a legal entity under common law;

(2) These agreements shall specify, in addition to the boundaries of the Zone d'Aménagement Concerté, the procedures for consultation, which shall involve all the people concerned throughout the duration of the operation.

Chapter II - Design and implementation bodies

Article 71: The provisions of this chapter apply to design and implementation bodies working on behalf of the State and decentralised local authorities, which may also carry out their own design and development work or have it carried out.

Section I - Town planning agencies

Article 72: Communes and groups of communes may create, with the State and public establishments or other bodies that contribute to the planning and development of their territory, bodies for reflection, study and control, called Town Planning Agencies. The main role of these agencies is to monitor urban development, participate in defining planning and development policies and prepare municipal development projects, with a view to harmonising public policies. They may take the form of an association.

Section II - Public development bodies

Article 73 : The Etablissements Publics d'Aménagement (Public Development Establishments) created in application of this chapter are public establishments competent to carry out, on their own behalf or, with their agreement, on behalf of the State, a municipality or another public establishment, or to have carried out, all land interventions and development operations provided for by this law.

Section III - Urban land initiative groups

Article 74 : Groupements d'Initiative Foncière Urbaine are formed between interested owners for the execution of the works and operations listed in article 75 below.

Article 75 : The following may justify the creation of a Groupement d'Initiative Foncière Urbaine:
  • The consolidation of land parcels, the corresponding modification of ownership rights, and the implementation of the necessary equipment and development work;
  • The grouping of plots of land with a view to granting use to a third party, in particular through a building lease, or to transferring or selling them to a public institution or construction or development company;
  • The construction, maintenance and management of public facilities such as roads, parking areas, green spaces or leisure areas;
  • The conservation, restructuring and enhancement of protected areas;
  • Restructuring and/or urban renewal projects.

Article 76: The administrative authority may authorise the creation of a Groupement d'Initiative Foncière Urbaine, at the request of interested property owners. Prior to the creation of the group, it shall obtain the opinion of the Mayor on the planned operation.

Article 77: A decree shall set out, as necessary, the terms and conditions for the application of this. Chapter and, in particular, the conditions under which technical assistance may be provided to Groupements d'Initiative Foncière Urbaine by the State, decentralised local authorities, public establishments or private individuals, as well as the publicity formalities to which acts concerning these groups are subject.


Section I - Financing of development expenditure

Article 78: The State's compulsory expenditure on urban development concerns all structuring and strategic facilities, in particular:
  • Major health, education and sports facilities;
  • Primary roads and networks;
  • Ports and airports ;
  • Railway stations.

Article 79: Compulsory expenditure by decentralised territorial authorities: in relation to urbanisation shall be defined by legislation relating to the organisation of decentralised territorial authorities.

Article 80: Access to certain types of investment financing is defined by the laws and regulations in force, in particular:
  • Government grants and other subsidies ;
  • Subsidised loans ;
  • Donations and legacies ;
  • Opportunities for international cooperation, whether decentralised or not.

Article 81: The system for financing the development expenditure of decentralised local authorities is made up of taxes, fees and other State allocations, as well as resources from decentralised cooperation.
This financing system is not exclusive of loan mechanisms set up through existing or future financing bodies.

Section II - Resources from urban development

Article 82: The State and decentralised local authorities derive part of their resources from taxes and fees levied on urban development in particular:
  • Subdivision permits;
  • Planning permission;
  • Planning permission;
  • The planning certificate;
  • Property tax;
  • Rights of way;
  • Full discharge tax on economic and commercial activities ;
  • Other specific planning taxes;
  • The organisation or development of economic activities.

Article 83: Taxes and charges are defined and introduced in relation to :
  • Land use and related transactions;
  • The provision of urban public services;
  • Economic activities carried out in the Commune.

Article 84: In order to improve their yield, some of these taxes may be grouped together.

The basis of assessment, maximum rates and collection procedures for these taxes are set by the legislation in force.

Article 85 : The municipal council may, taking into account the specific characteristics of its municipality, institute fees and/or grant concessions for certain municipal services, in particular:
  • The markets;
  • Slaughterhouses;
  • Public fountains;
  • Public toilets;
  • Sports facilities;
  • Bus stations.
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