Over the past couple of weeks, the press has been abuzz with the word zonification. But what does it actually mean? This is an explanation from the Consell de Mallorca. TOTN is no expert on the matter and offers no opinion either way, but we urge people to check with lawyers and estate agents to keep up to date with the regulations when thinking of buying or renting property.
The Reasons Behind It
From Miquel Ensenyat, President of the Consell de Mallorca: “With zoning, we want to identify the areas where there is a problem and limit it. Where it can be stimulus to the economy, we support it... “We want to look at the social balance and the environmental issue.”
From Counsellor Garrido: “We do not want an overexploitation of the resources we have, such as water, nor do we want the villages to become theme parks” “the guiding thread of the proposal is to ensure access to housing, we don’t want Mallorcans facing complications when trying to find a place to live.”
Counsellor Bonnet: “the holiday rental, especially in the inner cities, gives people who have never lived on tourism the opportunity to receive part of the wealth.”
The island has been divided into seven categories:
- Rustic Protected Land (Natural areas of special interest)
- Common Rustic Land
- Saturated Interior Zones
- Unsaturated Interior Zones
- Saturated Coastal Zones
- Unsaturated Coastal Zones
- Exclusion Zone (industrial estates, airport area)
Palmanova, Magaluf, Santa Ponsa, Peguera and the Playa de Palma area are the saturated coastal zones. The rest are considered unsaturated.
The factors that were taken into consideration to determine of a zone is saturated or not are:
- Infrastructure and resources.
- Identity of the town and how it would be affected by more tourism
- Access to housing for residents
- Balance between residential and holiday lets
There are 31 saturated areas inland. Towns in the north that are among this group are Alcudia, Ullicó (Campanet), Pollensa, including La Vilà and La Font.
What does it mean?
The Protected Rustic Land and the Exclusion Zones can have no holiday rentals of any kind.
The Common Rustic Land can have single-family homes available as tourist rentals 365 days, and 60 days per year.
Saturated areas (inland and coastal) can have single- and multi-family homes available for 60 days per year.
In the unsaturated areas, the three types of tourist rentals will be allowed. Single-family homes can be rented throughout the year and there is no expiry date. Multi-family homes can be rented all year round but the registration expires in 5 years. For both single- and multi-family homes, there is another category where properties can only be rented for 60 days per annum, when this is the owner’s primary residence. This license also expires in 5 years.
At this stage this is a preliminary paper. There is now a 30-day public exposure period when everyone has the option to present proposals and opinions. As we go to print, there is a meeting with all the mayors of Mallorca where the zoning will be discussed. Everyone will be heard and the Consell want to work directly with the town councils. From the initial approval, the municipalities must send a report to the Council of Mallorca. With this document, all municipal initiatives that are more restrictive than those proposed by the Council will be directly binding. Furthermore, councils can also send proposals to modify the zoning. Those municipalities that are considered saturated, may provide the most up-to-date data so that the zoning can be modified.
Of the 31 saturated areas, eight are on the threshold with 23 points. The Dept of Territory and Infrastructure stated that they will work with these councils so they can update the information and move the areas out of the saturated list.
If your house is in a saturated area but is actually on Common Rustic Land, then you are not affected by the restrictions. You can rent your single-family house all year.
For the 40,073 licenses already granted, they can still be rented. Likewise, the 45,149 applications in process are not affected by the zoning.