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This study investigates the extent to which planning standards that regulate the setbacks around domestic buildings are complied with by developers in Kenya, a case study of Kisii Town. Using proportional random sampling targeting seven neighbourhoods, a sample of 364 was drawn from the population of 7430 developments. While a checklist was used to collect data on the extent of compliance, data were analyzed using means, standard deviation and one-sample t-test. Results confirmed most developments disregarded the planning standards on setbacks. Hypothesis tests reported a significant difference between the respective recommended setbacks (rear, side and front) and the extent of developers’ conformity, t (289) = -20.382, p = .000; t (289) = -8.937, p = .000; and t (289) = -14.746, p = .000. The study concludes that developers flout planning standards owing to a gap in enforcement. A recommendation is made for the adoption of locally nurtured standards that address the existing socioeconomic attributes as an alternative of relying on those generated at the national level. This study enriches the current body of literature in urban planning by empirically confirming how compliance with planning standards on setbacks may be statistically assessed.
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