Minister: New Apartment Category For Cycle Only

June 22, 2018 | 19 Comments

[Updated with video] A new category of residential units will be created that have an assessment number, but will be restricted from having a car registered at the address, with the units to be granted an ‘Apartment [Cycles Only] Certificate.’

This was from Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown in the House of Assembly today [June 22] , with the Minister explaining that the Department of Planning will update the policy to “allow for a restricted residential unit that will permit a dwelling unit to be created with a minimum of 1 cycle space per dwelling unit. ”

The Minister cited the Speech to the Throne which said:

To stimulate construction demand and provide homeowners with additional income, the Government will create a new category of dwelling units. These new one bedroom or studio units will have assessment numbers, but will be restricted from having a private car registered at the address.

Many homeowners have space to create an additional unit, but are unable to create additional parking spaces. This new type of unit can provide additional income for homeowners with smaller properties who previously were unable to create a rental unit.

“Until this initiative began, there was no mechanism available to issue an assessment number to an address that would not automatically confer the ability to register a car against the unit, thereby limiting the creation of dwelling units to those properties that were able to provide the required car parking and manoeuvring spaces on their site,” Minister Brown said today.

“This situation imposes limitations on Bermudians to take advantage of the earning potential of their property to create additional dwelling units that would otherwise satisfy all other planning requirements and enable them to supplement their incomes with additional rental income. The creation of a new category of dwelling unit would allow such potential income to be realised.

“The Department of Planning will update the parking standards policy to allow for a restricted residential unit that will permit a dwelling unit to be created with a minimum of 1 cycle space per dwelling unit. Any Certificate of Completion and Occupancy achieved under this category upon completion of the development will be issued as an “Apartment [Cycles Only]” Certificate.

“The issuance of the “Apartment [Cycles Only]” Certificate will be forwarded to the Land Valuation Department. The Land Valuation Department will then generate a new assessment number to these units that will indicate that the units are “Cycles Only”.

“We have ascertained that no legislative changes are required, however, as the system of communicating assessment numbers between Departments is automated, there are some minor system changes that are required to implement this new category. As soon as these changes have been made, the public will be notified of the start date and the amendments to the planning policy will be published.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to report on the status of the creation of a new category of dwelling unit that will have an assessment number, but will be restricted from having a private car registered to the address. This initiative achieves an election commitment by the Progressive Labour Party. Promise Made, Promise Kept!

I would first remind Honourable Members of that particular statement in Speech to the Throne, that is: “To stimulate construction demand and provide homeowners with additional income, the Government will create a new category of dwelling units. These new one bedroom or studio units will have assessment numbers, but will be restricted from having a private car registered at the address. Many homeowners have space to create an additional unit, but are unable to create additional parking spaces. This new type of unit can provide additional income for homeowners with smaller properties who previously were unable to create a rental unit.”

Mr. Speaker, as you are aware, assessment numbers are issued by the Department of Land Valuation upon receiving a Certificate of Completion and Occupancy from the Department of Planning and after inspection by a Land Valuation Officer of the completed works on the site. These assessment numbers are in turn used by the Transport Control Department [TCD] for the purpose of permitting a car license to be attached to the property. Until this initiative began, there was no mechanism available to issue an assessment number to an address that would not automatically confer the ability to register a car against the unit, thereby limiting the creation of dwelling units to those properties that were able to provide the required car parking and manoeuvring spaces on their site.

As a result, this situation imposes limitations on Bermudians to take advantage of the earning potential of their property to create additional dwelling units that would otherwise satisfy all other planning requirements and enable them to supplement their incomes with additional rental income. The creation of a new category of dwelling unit would allow such potential income to be realised.

Mr. Speaker, this new category of dwelling unit has been developed as a result of a collaboration between the Department of Planning, the Department of Land Valuation and TCD to ensure that the coordination required between these Departments allows for the necessary checks and balances to be in place prior to the issuance of an “Apartment [Cycles Only]” Certificate assessment number.

To this end the Department of Planning will update the parking standards policy to allow for a restricted residential unit that will permit a dwelling unit to be created with a minimum of 1 cycle space per dwelling unit. Any Certificate of Completion and Occupancy achieved under this category upon completion of the development will be issued as an “Apartment [Cycles Only]” Certificate.

The issuance of the “Apartment [Cycles Only]” Certificate will be forwarded to the Land Valuation Department. The Land Valuation Department will then generate a new assessment number to these units that will indicate that the units are “Cycles Only”.

In turn, the Land Valuation Department will transmit the assessment numbers to the Office of the Tax Commissioner who then transmits the data to TCD. Additionally, the assessment numbers are posted on Land Valuation’s website in order that the general public including potential tenants, agents, new home buyers etc. are aware that the unit has the “Apartment [Cycles Only]” restriction. Based on this flag, TCD will not allow a car license to be registered against this new category of residential unit.

Mr. Speaker, we have ascertained that no legislative changes are required, however, as the system of communicating assessment numbers between Departments is automated, there are some minor system changes that are required to implement this new category. As soon as these changes have been made, the public will be notified of the start date and the amendments to the planning policy will be published.

Mr. Speaker, this inter-departmental initiative will achieve the Government’s throne speech commitment, providing a new opportunity for home owners, who would otherwise not be able to build additional units because of parking constraints, to maximise their potential for rental income.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognise the efforts of those Departments that have been working to bring this initiative to fruition: Department of Planning, headed by Acting Directors Chris Bulley and Larry Williams; Land Valuation Department headed by Director, Diane Elliot and TCD headed by Director, Jasmin Smith.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker

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Comments (19)

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  1. Jus' Askin' says:

    Really?!?
    there are major issues to get on with…

    • JA says:

      What major issues did the ubp try to do over its 4 failed years as govt accept try to take people court and waste tax payer money.

  2. Say Whaat? says:

    A Twizy is considered a cycle. Can they own one of them?

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    If this was pre-2008 I would agree, but this is 2018 and we have apartments sitting empty. Who is going to rent one of these apartments and not have the option of a car?

  4. frank says:

    why would one want to pay $1600 t0 $1900 for a 1 bedroom apt. and I can’t have a car
    this is stupid
    what the minister should be doing is cracking down on all these illegal
    apartments out there

    • Good Stuff says:

      Hear, hear!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      That’s exactly what I was going to ask .
      Whether a tenant wants to have a car or not is entirely up to them based on their priorities and personal finances , not their landlord.
      Still , no-one seems to be asking what’s going on when you regularly see apartments advertised for rent stating ‘No assessment number ‘

      How can someone have a rental unit available that has flown under the government’s radar for land valuation tax and certificate of occupancy based on current safety codes , etc ?
      Oops , I forgot . The landlord has illegally given the assessment number to someone else , or a combination of the above !

  5. Bermuda says:

    This could be a good thing… Apparently it is tough to find a decent one bedroom apartment at the moment so this could potentially help to increase the availability of affordable accommodation. There are lots of people renting who don’t want or can’t afford a car.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      There is single bedrooms available . The landlords are just trying to get 2- 3 bedroom money for them .

  6. Yummy says:

    Question for the Minister: Will the properties that are under an Ordinance that restricts the number of units per lot to two, be allowed to get a Apartment [Cycles Only] Certificate?

  7. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    dumbest thing um read all year lmfao…

  8. aceboy says:

    I don’t get it.

    • JA says:

      You oba/UBP don’t get nothing and that’s why you continue to fail at the election. Their is a certain type of people in your organization that don’t understand what the common Bermudians are faced with.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        But a large number of ‘common and struggling’ Bermudians aren’t recognized as such simply because of the way they look .

      • Question says:

        The PLP help the common struggling Bermudians by buying themselves new limos and cancelling all the buses.

      • Real says:

        They don’t get it and frankly they really don’t care about you bottom feeders. I witnessed it first hand. :(

  9. PANGAEA says:

    If Bermuda were running on all 4 cylinders we would need ever apartment we can get.

    The Ministers needs to rule with a feather not a hammer, either they are for the people or against.

    Most likely the owners clasify the space as guest bedrooms with or with out a bathroom .

    Many people function with a micro wave oven.

    To qulaify as a kitchen the space must have running water a unit / space with out a kitcken in not an apartment

    A dwelling can not be sold / conveyed where it found to have illegal development if dicscovered with in a 7 year period .

    Any development thought to illegal and discovered after 7 year statute of limitations automatically becomes legal.

    May be the planning act needs to be revised.

    May be the rent is being used to educate children.

    There would not be any illegle development if the Departmnt of Planning were doing a proper job they are not that bussy these days.

    All they need do is count gas clylinders stations and Belco meters stations.

    May be Government could turn it attention to getting rid of all the land based shipping containers.

  10. Just saying says:

    Perhaps by creating more taxable units the Government is able to increase the tax base and generate more income to spend. It’s about taxes people.

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