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Thursday, 14 January 2010

CBRRA Sucesses, Concerns & New ManCo Members

CBRRA has had a busy year, which ended with many successes, a few concerns and two new committee members.

CBRRA Manco was considerably strengthened when two additional members were co-opted onto the committee at the monthly meeting held on 2 December 2009. The members are Richard Dames, who lives in Geneva Drive, and Charles Wells, from Atholl Road. They are joining several sub committees including finance, planning, heritage, environmental and cleansing.

Amongst the successes and concerns were the following highlights:


ILLEGAL BEACH CHANGING HUTS REMOVED

It was a source of relief to CBRRA and the public when intrusive, branded-with-illegal-advertising changing huts were removed from the Camps Bay beachfront after an intense campaign for such removal. The successful fight for the removal was a triumph for the co-operation of some Camps Bay associations and the City Council, including CBRRA, the Camps Bay Community Police Forum and the Camps Bay Community Security Initiative. This was an excellent example of what can be achieved when the community pulls together. The huts, erected without proper authority, appeared without any warning in the first week of November 2009 and were removed two weeks later by the City Council after the advertisers failed to remove them by the deadline date given to them by the City Council for such demolition.

SEASONAL EVENTS

The many special events that will be held in Camps Bay over Christmas and New Year 2009/10 will put the Camps Bay main beach under severe pressure. When an event such as a sponsored football match is planned, a permit must be obtained from the Cape Town City Council. Before this is given, the City Council consults community organizations such as CBRRA and the CBCPF and SAPS for their permission.

CBRRA examines numerous requests over the year and particularly over the peak holiday period and is careful not to allow purely commercial or unsuitable events with a particular emphasis on noise and damage to the beachfront.

Tourists are welcome and an important source of income for local businesses. However, residents have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their homes, therefore a balance has to be maintained. This monitoring work is carried out by CBRRA and is an example of the many services it provides to Camps Bay. Contact Brenda Herbert for any queries you may have in this respect.

PLANNING

The planning sub committee chaired by Chris Willemse continuously negotiates with Owners, Developers, Planners, Architects and the City Council Officials in respect of many buildings which CBRRA feels do not comply with the regulations.

A development of 41 flats known as “The Crystal” on Woodford Avenue is causing major concerns. It is CBRRA’s opinion that the project is illegal in respect of a number of alleged transgressions including the number of floor levels, fa├žades being higher than permitted by the zoning scheme, basement levels, derogation of value of surrounding properties and various other points. CBRRA has repeatedly been in touch with the City Planning Officials and Politicians, but crucial meetings with The City Council and Developers have been cancelled four times by the City Council over six weeks on the pretext that the Council was awaiting legal opinions before responding. In the meantime, the builders carry on working.

This experience supports comments in the press, which highlights the unacceptable manner in which the City Planning Department conducts its duties in respect of planning. In the meantime, CBRRA carries on fighting.

SIGNAGE

Temporary signs are mushrooming everywhere for advertising concerts, auctions and other forthcoming events – unsightly and often illegal, especially when they have no permit stickers, are oversize (1/3rd of a square metre), are placed on the Council’s pavements or remain in place more than three weeks after a property transaction has been achieved has been achieved (in the case of property sales or auctions). CBRRA keeps an eye on these and contacts the Cape Town City Council on a regular basis to have them removed.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Unsightly rubbish left by builders and developers is an eyesore and the cause of great inconvenience to neighbours. The blocking of pavements and choking of stormwater drains is causing concern to residents and CBRRA. The environmental issues sub-committee is addressing this issue.

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