Zones 1.1 to 1.20, in yellow, will be low-density residential areas for Koh Samui property. In addition, land in these zones shall be used mainly for residential and tourism purposes. Land may be put to other purposes in these zones. However, any land used for other purposes must not exceed 15% of the land in each of these zones. Constructions prohibited in the yellow zones include factories; gas and petrol storage facilities; animal breeding; industrial; entertainment venues; slaughterhouses; silos; waste disposal; or junkyards. In these zones, the following rules apply: The total area of any buildings, except hotels, must not exceed 2,000 sq.m and the height of any building must not exceed 12 m. Where the land is used for residential purposes, including hotels, apartments, and bungalows, the surrounding space must be at least 40% of the whole.
Where land is used for acceptable purposes other than residential, it shall have a surrounding space of at least 20% of the whole.
Where the land borders a public canal or public water source, the land 6m from the edge must not be used (except for the construction of water transportation facilities or public utilities). The land 10 m from the coast must not be used (specific exceptions exist). Where the land is within 50 m from the coast, no building should exceed 6m in height. In addition, its total area must not exceed 75 sq.m, and the surrounding space must be at least 75 % of the whole (specific exceptions exist).
Zones 2.1 to 2.4, in orange, shall be medium-density residential Koh Samui property areas. Land here will be used as in the yellow zones. However, the land used for other purposes in these zones must not exceed 20%. Prohibited buildings are also are similar to those in the yellow zones. However, graveyards are added to the list. In addition, the rules in these zones are:
a), as above; b), as above, but the surrounding space must be at least 20% of the whole; d), e), and f) as above.
Zones 3.1 to 3.11 will be high-density residential and commercial areas. Land here will be used predominately for commerce, residential and tourism purposes. In addition, land used for other purposes must not exceed 15%. Again the prohibited list is the same as in the orange zones. In addition, the rules are: a), d), e), and f) as above. Zone 4 shall be an industrial and warehouse area. Land here is to be used primarily for the purpose of industry (which includes any permitted factory provided for in the Ministerial Regulation addendum), community recycling factories and warehouses. In the event that the land is to be used for other acceptable purposes, a maximum of 10% of the whole land may be used. Residence, commerce and foster homes are included in the list of prohibited buildings for these zones. And the rules to be complied with are: a) and d) as above.
Zones 5.1 and 5.2 will be specific industrial and warehouse areas. In addition, land in these zones is to be used for the purpose of a specific industry, which includes any permitted factory provided for in the Ministerial Regulation addendum, community recycling factories and warehouses. In the event that land is to be used for other acceptable purposes, a maximum of 10% of the whole may be used. Prohibited buildings are as in the violet zones. In addition, the rules are: a) as above.
Zones 6.1 to 6.11 shall be rural and agricultural areas. Land here is to be used for agricultural purposes, or any activity relating to agriculture, residence and tourism. In the event that any land is used for other acceptable purposes, then a maximum of 20% of the whole may be used. The list of prohibited buildings in these zones is more extensive and includes buildings for commercial purposes, except as part of a residential development. And they must be no bigger than 10% of the whole; any residential, commercial or industrial building with a floor space exceeding 2,000 sqm or a height of over 12m; residential or commercial building purposes, except as part of a residential development and equal to not more than 10% of the whole; condominiums, apartments or dormitories; or residences in commercial buildings except as part of a residential development and equal to not more than 10% of the whole. The rules for all green zones other than zones 6.3 and 6.9 are: a) and b) as above; c) as above, but with surrounding space of at least 50%; d), e), and f) as above.
In Zones 6.3 and 6.9 among the list of prohibited uses are: any purposes of land allotment, except agriculture purposes; residential purposes, except for single house; and any business which may cause harm to health, under the laws regarding public health. The rules for 6.3 and 6.9 are:
a) and b) as above, but the surrounding space must be at least 60% of the whole; and d) as above.
Zones 7.1 to 7.7 shall be areas, which will be kept open for public use and for the maintenance of the environment. Land in these zones is to be used only for the purposes of recreation, or any activity relating to recreation; the maintenance of the environment; or for the benefit of the public (with the exception of government owned water transport facilities). Those purposes prohibited here include: residential purposes; any building whose total areas exceeds 1,000 sq.m or 12 m height; residential purposes relating to condominiums, apartments, dormitories, attached houses, or commercial house types; waste disposal facilities; junkyards; or vehicle servicing or manufacturing facilities. And the rules for these zones are: d) as above. And in zone 7.1 the additional rules apply:
f) as above; g) in no case may the 10m space parallel to the coast be used; h) on land from 50m from the coast inwards, building must not exceed 6m in height, cover an area of more than 100sqm, or have empty space surrounding the building that’s less than 50 percent of the whole plot of land.
Zones 8.1 to 8.3 will be reserved forest areas, where the land is to be used for the protection and preservation of the forest, wild animals, water resources and any other natural resource, according to the resolution of the Council of Ministers. In addition, in accordance with Thailand’s laws relating to the preservation and protection of wild animals, and the protection of the environment. Included in the prohibited list are buildings such as: hotels; buildings for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes; and condominiums, dormitories, attached houses, or commercial house types. The rules for these zones are: a) and d) as above.
Zones 9.1 to 9.27 shall be areas for educational institutes. Land here is to be used for educational purposes or any activity relating to education; or for the benefit of the public only. And the only rule specified for these zones is that buildings must not exceed 12 m in height. Zone 10 will be areas allocated for tourism, fishing and the maintenance of the surrounding environment. Land here is to be used for the purposes of the preservation of the environment; tourism or any activities relating to tourism; the benefit of sea life; seaside fishing; or the public benefit only.
Zones 11.1 to 11.24 will be areas for religious purposes. Land in these zones is to be used for the purpose of religion or any activity relating to religion; education; or for the public benefit only. Rules here are: d) as above; and that no buildings in these zones should exceed 12 m in height. Zones 12.1 to 12.29, as marked in blue, will be areas for government offices and public utilities. In addition, the land in these zones is to be used for the purposes of state operations, any activity relating to the public utilities and public assistance, or public benefit only. Again, the only rule here is that buildings in these zones must not exceed 12 m in height. As you can see from this information, there are no major deviations from the existing Koh Samui property building regulations. The main difference is that the rules are now more area-specific. In addition, despite rumors to the contrary, there is no mention of prohibiting construction in areas above 80 m high. If this system of city planning is approved and implemented, then the long-term benefits for Samui are clear. Zoning is an internationally accepted method of controlling development. In addition, it has been successfully employed in many cities around the world. To be completely beneficial it needs to have an element of flexibility and common sense applied. These proposals suggest a level of flexibility by allowing other acceptable uses within each zone’s individual regulations. In addition, by not attempting to introduce wide- spread, and potentially damaging, changes to the existing rules, the proposals seem sensible. For Samui to maintain its standing as a leading world tourist destination, and to continue to attract income and investment from the Koh Samui property industry, it makes perfect sense that the development should be controlled and managed properly. And that it’s completed in the best interests of the island.
Additional rules for the construction of hotels in all zones:
• The hotel designs must include approved water and waste treatment facilities;
• For a hotel with 10 or more rooms or that is 500m2 or greater, an Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) is required;
• For a hotel with 80 plus rooms, or a total area exceeding 4,000 m2, a more onerous EIA is required.
In all zones, where the land has a slope of between 35-50 degrees, only a single house is permitted:
• Cannot exceed 6 metres in height;
• Cannot exceed 80 m2 in area;
• Must leave 75% of the land vacant, and 50% of the vacant land must be “green” with native trees;
• Furthermore, the area of the land must be 120 square wah or greater, otherwise construction is prohibited.
Where the land has a slope greater than 50 degrees, construction is prohibited.