On February 26th, 2008 the Sector Economy & Tourism presented a proposal to the Executive Council with regards to the establishment of businesses within residential areas; the Economic Residential Zoning policy.
The Sector began working on the policy in 2008 after receiving numerous complaints from residents as a result of the effects of businesses at close proximity of their homes.
The goal of the Economic Residential Policy is not to restrict business but rather to facilitate an appropriate mix of residential and commercial activities. Furthermore, the aim of the policy is to provide the necessary tools for the issuance of business licenses and control until the island has developed a comprehensive spatial plan according to the EROP regulation.
Considering the complexity of developing such a policy it was decided to focus on the effects the business establishment may have on the surrounding environment. This approach seems appropriate since all the complaints received are regarding the effects of the business on the residential community.
Furthermore, rather than focus on the type of businesses to disallow which may be infinite, the effects-based approach focuses on the consequent activity of the business establishment.
Additionally, the island already has several existing legislations (e.g. Operational Ordinance, Hindrance Ordinance, Public Order Ordinances, EROP) that provide the necessary guidelines for assessing the type of activity and its consequent activity on the community.
The Economic Residential Policy is not intended to be restrictive but rather to facilitate the establishment of non-residential activities in residential areas in circumstances where:
a. The activity is compatible in terms of its potential effects on the residential community.
b. To minimize noise, smell and sight pollution as this may adversely affect the amenity enjoyed by residential communities.
c. Maintain an appropriate level of residential amenity.