kommetjie

October 2013 Development Update

Posted on October 3, 2013 · Posted in Development

Things may have seemed to be a bit quiet over the last few months, but there is lots of action by developers, consultants and authorities going on behind the scenes. A short summary of the status quo follows:

 

The four developments being facilitated by Chand consulting (Wireless 1&2, the central site and lighthouse rd comprising about 220 residential units plus commercial)  have since 2010, been through both environmental and planning processes with huge participation from Kommetjie Residents who made it abundantly clear that such rapid expansion was unwanted, would undermine the village ethos and add to traffic chaos. As yet there has been no formal record of decision from City or provincial authorities. When there is we, as a community will have to decide on our next steps involving appeals and legal review processes.

 

Riverside Extension (off Wireless Rd).  After a long, stop-start process, with many objections lodged by the KRRA, the provincial authorities recently approved (in environmental terms) this development of 100 plus erven on the North eastern side of the Bokramspruit. We still await the planning approval and will use any opportunity to appeal.

 

Protea Ridge (off Wireless Rd) .  Thank you to all who responded to the July 2013 call to submit comments on the land-use planning application aspect of this proposal which has also had a long history. If approved (despite many very relevant heritage, environmental and heritage objections), this development would add 102 houses pretty much in the buffer zone of the Table Mountain National Park and world heritage site.

 

Imhoff’s farm  – Though in the conceptual stage only at the moment there are plans to develop significant areas of this property including formalising of the school site, upmarket housing, retirement and commercial sites. This sort of expansion is accommodated in the recently approved spatial development framework and zone scheme. The Kommetjie Heritage group has highlighted significant concerns related to poor heritage assessment and is working towards this deficit being remedied. Almost two decades ago the Provincial government agreed with objections to development proposals of the time that would have increased surface run-off into Wildevoelvlei which was already suffering from nutrient overload. The problems have not gone away but the political will to prevent their exacerbation seems to have. We are looking at potential 500 erven plus/minus

 

 

Imhoff’s Gift – A small but contentious area of amenity zoned land has been approved for nine dwelling units with objections set aside. Any future need for a place of worship will have to direct itself elsewhere.

 

Ocean View – including Mountain View, urban infills and the portion of Kompanjiestuin donated towards lower-cost housing the total number of housing units is approaching the 900 mark. While most of this is aimed at easing of current overcrowding, some immigration is being accommodated.  The widely supported idea to develop the large City-owned erf between the police station and Kleinberg school to provide an alternative to the filling station in Kommetjie as well as some commercial opportunities has met with various bureaucratic stumbling blocks.

 

 

Kompanjiestuin  – 252 upmarket (vineyard estate) houses are envisaged for this site abutting Ocean View to the East. Market upheavals have led to ownership changes with the current title holder apparently a Chinese consortium. There is no doubt about this adding many cars to the already stressed Kommetjie Rd. There is debate about whether or not the permission has lapsed. What has not lapsed is Port Jackson’s ability to grow almost as fast as it is cut down.

 

Hillside (the old chicken farm next to Rogers)  –  The KRRA used the legal review mechanism a couple of years ago to challenge the approval for about 59 dwellings on this, one of the last pieces of agriculturally-zoned land in the village. Province and the City withdrew immediately and the developer followed suit soon afterwards. However the proposal is now back and after requests from residents of die Oude Weg and Sunnydale KRRA has withdrawn its objection.

 

Sunnydale Centre Filling station – The complex around Food Zone was approved and built some years ago on condition that no filling station would be allowed. The reasons were mostly environmental owing to the proximity to the already impacted Noordhoek wetland system. The City, has, in the mean time entered a determinedly pro-development period and has approved a consent use application to allow for a petrol station despite the many concerns about pollution, safety and traffic congestion.

 

Masiphumelele  – there have been recent official reports of at least 3000 households in the wetlands, prompting an urgent meeting with the mayor and subsequent search for land to relocate them to within a 20 Km radius or so. Various land parcels have been looked at as possible options.

 

Dassenberg  – A decades long battle with the developer was finally decided by Province (also of red tape to red carpet pesuasion) which has permitted more than 100 units in this bend on Ou Kaapse Weg. Concerns about leopard toads, traffic impacts and the urban edge were not enough to stave off the lure of kaching.

 

Old Pick ‘n Pay – there are unsubstantiated rumours of requests to Checkers, the owners of this site to cart off the rubble for infilling the Noordhoek wetland to make dry space for housing. Southern Civics have written to Whitey Basson asking in a friendly way to have a say in the scale, design and layout of the proposed new mall to ensure it does not become a regional character wrecking development. These offers have so far been politely shrugged off.

 

Serina  – Kaolin is not as good business as property anymore and the old mine and refinery is going through the final approval stages to allow for a private hospital and Retirement centre.

 

 

Marine Oil – Further afield on the way to Simon’s Town a high density mini city (800 plus units) has been approved much to the disgust of Far South Civics. This should alter the rural, seascape quality of the area and add several hundred more cars to the roads.

 

Dido Valley – Red Hill informal settlement has been promised a place closer to services and the transport network for a long time. The old military base at Dido Valley offered some hope in this regard, but has typically become a political hot potato with ensuing delays.

 

All in all we can expect in the order of 4000 plus new units and more people based on current approval processes, though the Strategic Environmental Assessment (belatedly agreed to by the mayor) might succeed in dampening some of the development ambitions that the spatial development framework (SDF) and new zone scheme (CTZS) could give rise to.

 

Other “Developments”

Far South Peninsula Community Forum (FSPCF) This group has successfully united most of the Southern Civic voices making advocacy efforts with the City that much more compelling. Still there is much to be done to encourage some level of direct democracy.

 

Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance (GCTCA)  – More than 7 years ago the KRRA under the chairmanship of Craig McClaghlan helped found this City-wide civics collective that has more than 100 organizations as members. While individual groups get on with their “backyard” issues the GCTCA tackles the more systemic problems of City policy related to public participation, direct representation, transport, waste, energy, rates, water, urban edge, spatial planning etc. There are currently discussions about the possibility of an off-shoot of this body registering as a political party to contest local elections in a few years. Unlike other councillors who take their mandate from the party caucus to which they belong the objective here would be for direct accountability to the people who elected them. Watch this space.

 

The Far South Peninsula Civic  Forum (FSPCF) – members of residents and ratepayers associations and other non-government organizations from Clovelly to Cape Point are invited to participate in the sub-regional bird’s eye view discussions of this forum which meets quarterly (and as needed) to consider Far South matters such as traffic, health, planning, heritage as well as specific development applications that could have sub-regional impact. With and “injury to one is an injury to all” approach the FSPCF is a good rallying point for community pulse checking and occasional campaigns which sometimes require pooling of resources like money and skills.

 

The Southern District Plan (SDP) and possible overlay zones – out of the broader City Spatial Development Framework (SDF) have developed more specific regional spatial plans. Ours is the SDP and to the credit of the many southern civics that fought hard for their inclusion, many of the issues of high concern are covered to some extent or other in it. These include the need for there to be sufficient road and other service capacity in place before new developments are allowed; protection of the natural environment and character of the region and acknowledging  the tourism/recreation economic base of the area. This is not enough, say many who want the  provision for overlay zones to be used to offer further protection such as respect for the World Heritage Site buffer zone that many of us live close to. Discussions with City planners on this matter are proceeding.

 

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)- the City should have implemented a full SEA before it developed and approved the SDF and zone scheme. Instead it went for a bargain-barrel approach and had pretty much a desktop study done by consultants instead of the thorough investigation of environmental carrying capacity, vulnerable features, services needed and people’s  attitudes that is required by law.  Now, subsequent to strong pressure from civic action groups around road safety and traffic, the City (represented by the mayor herself) has acknowledged the need for and agreed to fund a sub-regional SEA which we are currently planning with relevant officials.

 

Skilpadsvlei – Credit and thanks must go to the City’s Environmental Resource Department represented by Suretha Dorse, which has put careful thought and considerable money into the revitalizing of this historic wetland. Wally Petersen and his KEAG team have done much of the work assisted by contributions from the KRRA. This success is spurring on other initiatives such as a Bokram bridge, more boardwalks, contour paths, alien clearing, planting and benches.

 

Your Association has played a considerable role in the above, assisted by massive support, financial, action-based and vocal by you. Thank you.