Zoning Property in Panama


Zoning is part of the land-use planning process. It consists of defining zones with homogeneous management or destination that in the future will be subject to rules of use in order to meet the objectives for the area.

In Panama, the Ministry of Housing and Land Management (MIVIOT) is in charge of creating the zoning classifications in the country.

It is important to know these classifications when investing in the purchase of land as this will guarantee that the correct use is being given to the area.

Zoning Classifications

Some classifications vary depending on the area of Panama where the zoning is done. Below we share a few common ones used in Panama City:

RR (Rural Residential Zoning): allows single-family houses on lots of at least 1000 square meters. The net density allowed is 50 persons per hectare.

R1-A (Low Density Residential Zone): allows single-family dwellings and duplex buildings on land lots with a minimum of 800 square meters (for single-family dwellings) and 600 square meters (for duplex dwellings).The Net Density allowed is 100 individuals per hectare.

R2-A (Medium Density Residential Zone): allows single-family dwellings, duplexes, and row houses on lots of 600 square meters (for single-family dwellings), 300 square meters (for duplexes), and 200 square meters (for row houses). The Net Density allowed is 300 persons per hectare.

RM, RM-1, RM-2, and RM-3 (High-Density Residential Zone): allow duplexes, multi-family dwellings, and row housing developments.

I (Industrial Zone): located in areas determined by the Ministry of Housing and its functionality is inspected by the Ministry of Health, ANAM (National Environmental Authority), and any other necessary agency.

Industrial zones are classified as:

II (Harmless or Light Industry): they do not have an impact on surrounding areas and do not require special rules.

LM (Irritating Industries): the absence of special rules could cause damage to surrounding areas.

LP (Harmful or Hazardous Industries): can trigger damage.

Land use or zoning designation process

The land use or zoning designation process approves or rejects the land use or zoning assignment request. The following documents:

  • Brief on 8 1/2 X 13 paper addressed to the General Directorate of Urban Development, requesting the service through a qualified architecture professional, indicating the property registry.
  • Indicate property, volume, folio, area, and lot number.
  • Owner’s signature and ID.
  • Architect’s telephone number, name, signature, and seal.
  • Property location
  • Indicate street, avenue, and township at the bottom of the plan.
  • Code of the requested zone, technical and graphic support of the request.

This process may take five working days with the possibility of extension.

Contact us

If you have questions regarding zoning property in Panama, Kraemer & Kraemer will be glad to assist you. Contact us today.