ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACHIEVEMENTS what CBCRA do in the community
BECOME A MEMBER and raise the level of community spirit
SEND US your suggestions and comments
READ MORE about City of Cape Town’s activities & policies
FAULT REPORT system introduced by the City Council
VISIT Waste Control for more details about your recycling

Monday, 29 March 2010

The Crystal Development and the Harrison Case

24 May 2010

To Cllr Taki Amira,
Chair : Good Hope Sub-council
City of Cape Town
cc: CBRRA ManCo, mayor.mayor@capetown.gov.za, Marga Haywood, Jean-Pierre Smith, Belinda Walker, Marius Coetsee, Gabriel Fagan

Taki

Thanks to you and Marius for the time afforded CBRRA this morning. 

The points raised at the meeting are noted here, with some per orbiter comments: 

1. It was agreed that the illegal manipulation of the sidewalk levels along the Medburn Rd must be removed and the sidewalk returned to the original condition that allows pedestrian traffic. The approved plan shows a 1.5m grassed walking surface, so it is quite incredible that the Planning Dept (PD) didn't insist that it be built correctly. Of course, the real truth is that if the (up to) 2m of fill is removed from the public sidewalk, the illegal height of the boundary retaining wall will be revealed. The plans should not have been approved on this aspect alone. It follows then that the levels behind the boundary wall will also have to be reduced to comply with the Zoning Scheme, which will ultimately result in the actual 3 habitable storeys not complying with the s98 height restriction. Or else, the contentious basement will have to be abandoned to allow for stepped earth platforms to achieve the required level around the building. And then the development will not have enough parking to make it legal. The sidewalk manipulation is along the entire length of the boundary retaining wall other than at the pedestrian entrance.

2. The parking area retaining wall is approximately 5m in height. As it defines the difference in height between between two levels it is subject to the provisions of s11 herequoted from the Zoning Scheme:

THE INSERTION OF THE FOLLOWING NEW SECTION AFTER CHAPTER I, SECTION 10 – 18 MAY 2007:

Section 11: Raising of ground level

Any unsupported earth banks, soil retaining structure, column, suspended floor or any other device which exceeds 2,1m in height or enables a ground floor or platform to be more than 2,1m above existing ground level shall require the Council’s consent. Where a series or number of such structures or devices are used to achieve a raised floor or platform, these shall require the Council’s consent where the cumulative height of these structures or devices exceeds 2,1m when measured horizontally over a distance of 3 m or less.

Clearly, this wall is totally illegal. Before the PD aver that the levels were substantially reduced to accommodate the parking area, the CBRRA has photographic evidence of the original ground levels, which clearly show very little excavation to the parking area.

3. With reference to s11 above, it was quite clear from the inspection of the Medburn Rd section of the boundary wall that there are two defining structures that assist in retaining earth (or creating a platform over the basement), being the boundary wall and the basement wall. These two walls are about 1.5m apart and therefore do not comply with the Scheme. This is repeated at other parts of the boundary wall.

4. The PD's dismissal of any of the features (2 swimming pools, a pond, reinforced concrete recreation terraces, massively wide entrance staircases, paved parking area for about twenty vehicles and the sub-station) constituting "built upon" in terms of the Title Deed conditions is simply disingenuous. For the PD to further add that they were unsure why the substation was there, after approving the plans depicting it, merely paints them in their true colours.

5. Ossie Gonsalves conceded that there should be at least 1m of earth fill over the basement in order for it to comply as "underground". He further had to concede that the approved plans show less than this. And the actual as built situation is in the region of 500mm. Another complete mockery of the regulations by the PD.

As it is clear that the PD are determined to preserve their approval of this building no matter how many irregularities and illegalities are pointed out to them (and have been over the past 18 months), it is up to the elected representatives of the people of Camps Bay (and, in fact, Cape Town) to stop the tail wagging the dog at City Hall. The CBRRA demands that the politicians involved in planning matters in the Good Hope SC take immediate action to rectify this situation as the PD will simply drag their feet as they have done for almost 2 years in the vain hope that their nefarious handling of this application gets forgotten and a favoured developer makes a huge profit at the expense of the community. The PD have been trying to assist the developer with this illegal development for almost 2 years now. There is a long history of the PD saying that the plans comply and then it is established that they don't. This is either unacceptable incompetence or favouritism that must be investigated.

The DA have done enough talking about the ineptitude and possible corruption on the part of other parties. It is now time that they sort out the PD mess that is under their control.

Cheers

Chris Willemse

CBBRA Planning (Chair)


__________________________________________


10 May 2010

To: Cllr Taki Amira
Chair : Good Hope Sub-council
City of Cape Town
cc: Ossie Gonsalves, Gavin van Schalkwyk, Gabriel Fagan, CBRRA ManCo

Hi Taki

Thanks for the response and, again, we wish you a speedy and full recovery.

The Crystal situation is extremely urgent.

As you will recall, Ossie and his team were adamant that the plans were in order on the 11 Feb of this year. To this end, they convinced you of this patent untruth and were hell-bent on approving them "the next day". But even the PD should have realised that those plans did not closely comply with the Zoning Scheme, let alone the restrictive title deed conditions. There exists a deep concern at the degree of premeditation in the actions of the officials concerned.

The CBRRA can hardly be expected to rely on these self same officials to regulate the situation now. The CBRRA anticipated the outcome of this matter weeks ago when it stated that it was clear that the PD would simply approve the plans without any reference to the affected parties and then sit tight and dare the community, in the words of Fiona Ogle (at our Feb meeting), to "sue us (the City) if you like".

The CBRRA requests that you meet with it on the site at your earliest convenience (preferably by Wed) to see first hand how the public sidewalk has been unconstitutionally expropriated by the City for the benefit of the developer. This will be one of a few eye-openers for you.

The CBRRA would suggest that this is not only a planning issue but has also become a political one and requires the input of our elected representatives.

Regards

Chris Willemse
CBRRA Planning (Chair)

__________________________________________


09 May 2010

To: Chris Willemse
CBRRA Planning (Chair)
CC: Ossie Gonsalves; CBRRA ManCo, Gavin van Schalkwyk, Gabriel Fagan

Good morning Chris,

A belated thank you to you and your committee for the good wishes and book during my recent illness, which laid me low with poor eye sight to the extent I had difficulty in reading until the end of the month of April. I then had to play catch up on accumulated work.

Therefore I have not ignored the concerns of CBBRA however as they were very technical in nature and had noted that various officials were included in the address groups, I had hoped that someone from Plans or Building Inspectorate would pick up the thread and respond to the queries.

As you have now directed the enquiry direct to me I will make a point of following this up and get advice from officials as to what is going on.

I had up and until receipt of your letter been assured that all alterations to the buildings were in accordance with approved amended plans. As there re now further issues give me sometime to look into it and communicate with you further on this issue.

Best wishes

Taki Amira
Councillor - City of Cape Town
Chairperson Good Hope Sub Council (16)
Wards 54, 74 & 77

__________________________________________

05 May 2010

To: Cllr Taki Amira; CBRRA ManCo
Chair : Good Hope Sub-council
City of Cape Town
cc: Gavin van Schalkwyk

Dear Cllr Amira

Despite the huge effort by the CBRRA to meaningfully address the numerous problems surrounding the Crystal development in Woodford Ave, Camps Bay, it is understood that the rider plans for this illegal development have been approved by the City, without further reference to the affected parties.

To date, CBRRA has only been informed of this unofficially.

The Mayor, the Executive Director of Planning and your office have studiously refused to answer our many letters directed in this regard.

Clearly, the Planning Department (which also refuses to engage with the affected community) holds absolute power in the City and is unaccountable to the political powers that be and the people it purports to serve.

CBRRA requests that it be allowed to meet with the officials who approved the plans, with CBRRA’S planning expert, to determine how such approval was granted. This must be done as a matter of urgency.

CBRRA also wishes to discuss the circumstances surrounding this application and the manner in which it was dealt with by the City, with the Good Hope Sub-council, the Mayor and the Executive Director of Planning.

Regards

Chris Willemse
CBRRA Planning (Chair)

__________________________________________


11 April 2010
To: Gavin Van Schalkwyk
Cc: Piet Van Zyl, Taki Amira, Gregory September, Ossie Gonsalves, Marga Haywood, Jean-Pierre Smith, Dan Plato
Subject: The Crystal Development, Camps Bay

Hi Gavin

Thank you for your response - none has been received from the planning dept (PD) or any other of the addressees on CBRRA's letter of March 28th. In the absence of Cllr Amira, to whom we wish a speedy recovery, please could this matter be referred to Piet van Zyl as a matter of extreme urgency.

CBRRA yet again raises the issue of the complete lack of tranparency in the PD. Their assessment of these plans has been conducted away from public scrutiny and, to date, extremely unprofessionally and in a totally prejudicial manner to the community.

Ossie Gonsalves seems to have forgotten that, at our last meeting on 11 Feb 2010, he was adamant that the (then) plans were fully compliant and that approval would be granted the next day. Fortunately, Cllr Amira prevailed upon the PD and allowed the CBRRA to view the plans. Even at first glance, it was clear that the plans did not comply with many applicable laws. So forgive the CBRRA if it continues to contend that the latest plans cannot possibly comply or that the PD have "fully addressed" all the issues surrounding this patently illegal building operation.

Besides the obvious clear violation of the "built upon" restriction, and the five in lieu of three “floors”, CBRRA finds it beyond belief that the developer is creating a sloping fill on a public pavement on the western boundary sidewalk in an effort to hide illegal wall heights. It needs to be confirmed that the City are aware of this and that an immediate order to restore the sidewalk is issued tho the developer, with the obvious implications for the heights of walls on the boundary.

The basement roof slab on the northern portion of the site is approximately 650mm lower than the finished floor level of the ground floor of the building - which means that only about 500mm of soil can be placed on that roof. It is a preposterous contention that by dumping a bit of fill on a roof slab that it becomes "underground", especially when it is clearly higher than the existing finished ground level as defined in the Zoning Scheme. The original plans, and the the amended plans CBRRA viewed in Feb, indicated a 1m fill between the basement and the underside of the ground floor of the building.

There are many other problems regarding this development, which are well-documented, none of which have been satisfactorily answered by the PD's officials and its legal advisers.

In any event, a considerable amount of demolition of illegal work (built whilst the PD looked on) has occurred since the last meeting without CBBRA being informed of the nature thereof.

After these alterations, CBRRA is still of the opinion that the basement is illegal, as is possibly the new structure built in the building setback area on the south west corner of the site adjacent to Woodford Ave.

To summarise CBRRA's concerns:

The current development

  • exceeds the maximum built-upon area of 25% stipulated in the Title Deed conditions
  • has 5 floors instead of the 3 floors as permitted by the Title Deed conditions
  • exceeds the height restriction as per s98 of the Zoning Scheme
  • relies on a complete mis-application of Amendment 11 of the Zoning Scheme in that ground levels raised by 2.1m must continue horizontally for 3m before any further raising of the ground may occur.
  • contains a basement that is clearly out of the ground
  • is placing huge loads of fill on the public pavement to conceal the height of the boundary walls. This is not only illegal from a planning point of view but forces pedestrians to walk on a busy roadway.
  • is being built without proper planning authority in flagrant disregard of the law (A25 of the NBR) which states that no building operation may proceed without such authority. The authority granted by the original approved plans has long been exceeded.
  • is clearly in violation of s7 of the NBR
CBRRA requests an urgent meeting with Mr van Zyl prior to plan approval in order that it may again inspect the latest amendments to the rider plans to verify their legality. CBRRA wishes also to view the revised plans for the relocation of the main entrance to the basement and the rubbish bin enclosure.

CBRRA also request the attendance of Cllrs Amira (if available), Smith and Haywood and Mr Gonsalves at this meeting.

CBRRA will also contact the Mayor Plato, as he did express a personal interest in such matters during his roadshow.

Regards

Chris Willemse
CBRRA Planning (Chair)

__________________________________________

From: Gavin Van Schalkwyk
To: Chris Willemse Cc: Gregory September; Jaco Theron; Ossie Gonsalves
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2010 5:36 PM
Subject: FW: The Crystal Development, Camps Bay

Dear Mr Willemse

I am not sure whether you have received feedback to your attached letter to Councillor Amira. Councillor Amira has been hospitalised and may not have been in a position to forward a response to you.

Please see communication between the District Manager to Cllr Amira.

Yours truly

Gavin van Schalkwyk

Manager: Support Services
Strategic Support
Office of The Executive Director
Strategy and Planning

__________________________________________

From: Ossie Gonsalves
Sent: 29 March 2010 09:20 AM
To: Taki Amira; Stephen John Wilkinson; Marius Lourens; Fiona Ogle
Cc: Jaco Theron; Jean-Pierre Smith; Marga Haywood; Gregory September; Jaco Theron
Subject: RE: The Crystal Development, Camps Bay

Dear Clr Amira,

Since we last met, the rider building plans for The Crystal needed to be amended a few times due to our (and the CBRRA's) concerns regarding the basement encroaching above ground the and boundary wall being too high. This has involved a series of meetings with the architects/developer on site and in our office in order that all these concerns, as also raised in the attached letter from te CBRRA, are fully addressed.

These amendments, which involve the demolition of certain boundary walls and parts of the basement and the relocation of the entrance, are in progress on site.

The further amended rider plans were returned last week and a report is in the process of being compiled by Marius Lourens, the City's BCO, in order that the plan is recommended for approval.

The rider plan will therefore be approved this week, if all the issues raised have been addressed and the plan is deemed to be in accordance with all applicable laws.

I have asked the building inspector, Stephen Wilkinson to investigate the issue of working on Sundays and the loose sand blowing onto the neighbour's property, which he will be following up today on.

I will also be seeking advice from our Legal Advisor on responding to the attached letter, especially with regard to the press releases involving the 'last two' court cases referred to in the letter.

Regards

Ossie Gonsalves
District Manager - Table Bay District
Planning & Building Development Management

__________________________________________


26 MARCH 2010

Cllr. D. Amira (Chair : Good Hope Subcouncil, City of Cape Town)

Dear Cllr Amira,

THE CRYSTAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE HARRISON CASE, CAMPS BAY

It is now many weeks since we met with you in respect of The Crystal. The CBRRA responded immediately to the purported compliance of the plans shown to it at the meeting of 12th February 2010 (the following day). It is clear that the City's Planning Dept (PD) must agree with our assessment that the plans still do not comply with all applicable law, otherwise it would have approved the plans as it said it would on the 15th February 2010. The CBRRA notes your referring the answering of our observations in respect of The Crystal plans to Ossie Gonsalves, of the PD.

No response has been forthcoming from him and the building continues to rush towards completion. This building cannot be certified as being complete by the City until all illegal work has been rectified and you have passed the plans.

Since that date we are told of City officials’ visits to site, the erection of a (further illegal?) structure on the southeast corner in the setback line (for unknown use), the reduction in heights of completed isolated concrete screen walls and slabs on the western façade (so something must have been illegally constructed).

CBRRA finds this ongoing lack of transparency on the City’s behalf unacceptable and inexplicable. Yet again CBRRA is not being communicated with and planning decisions are being made and acted upon behind closed doors. CBRRA is also informed that there will be filling along the front of the isolated structural concrete walls all along the western Woodford Road boundary to somehow “legitimise” these walls and the basement.

While the City may consider this an acceptable operation to a height not exceeding 2.1m vertically, CBRRA hereby respectfully points out that this intended filling cannot be placed on Council property over the present unmade Council-owned pavement width adjacent to the road. This is currently being done and must be stopped.

While the cutting down of the isolated screen walls on the western elevation is correct and is to be welcomed, CBRRA again points out that the act of this height reduction simply exposes the illegal façade of the basement structure behind. The PD is of the opinion that the filling behind the reduced isolated screen walls can be placed with a sloping top surface up to the roof of the illegal basement behind, thus legalising it.

This is completely incorrect, as the definition of the critical amendments will show.

The 3m distance between the 2.1m level adjustments MUST be horizontal and not raking as the PD contends. Your Environmental Department disagrees with the PD in this respect.

This is where the City has got itself into an impossible dilemma in this matter and CBRRA would like to be told what is going to be done to properly legalise the structure and why the Contractor has been allowed to practically complete the whole project in the year since the rider plans were submitted and not passed to this date.

The CBRRA refers you to National Building Regulations A25 and once again requests that the City act within the legal parameters of the law.

You reported at your recent press release meeting that CBRRA has lost the Supreme Court of Appeal case in the Harrison matter.

Whereas this may be true, we bring the following points to your attention:

• The last two court cases in this matter have both completely ignored the whole issue on which the Cape High Court ruled in our favour in the first Harrison case in respect of from where heights of Camps Bay buildings must be measured (i.e. existing finished ground level – i.e. before raising. So, in effect, CBRRA did not “lose” this contention and this cannot be used as an argument by the City in the Crystal project or be used in future for now. (See below).

• The subsequent critical amendments redefinition of “ground Level”, to which your Senior Counsel refers, resulted directly from this first Harrison court case in which Ms Acting Justice Meer supported CBRRA’s definition of ground level as above, which definition currently is still valid to this day.

• It is important for the City to be aware that the CBRRA has submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court in the Harrison matter, appealing against the last judgement and has issued a press release as set out below.

• In the meantime, the inexplicable lack of communication from your PD officials in respect of the unpassed plans for the Crystal continues to mystify us and we again request another meeting to clarify matters on this project which, in CBRRA’s opinion, continues to be entirely illegal consequent upon the basement having been raised and “forced “ by isolated screen retaining walls exceeding legal heights, the structure having five not three floors contrary to the title deeds, the report of John Van Der Spuy’s proving that it has derogated the values of adjacent affected properties, the west facades being in excess of 10metres above natural existing ground level and the contravention of the “built upon” title deed restriction.

• The CBRRA hereby registers its disagreement with the legal responses produced by the City in response to Adv D. Irish’s and Mr J. van der Spuys’s opinions.

• It is obvious that we are not getting the required responses from the PD and now request that we meet with you and the senior officials of the PD in order to achieve progress in this matter and attempt to finalise this regrettable state of affairs.



Lastly, the Crystal Developers are working loudly on demolition and concreting work on Sundays, which is illegal regardless of the work being done. They are also not keeping the sand on their site from blowing over adjacent properties which is highly inconveniencing adjacent affected neighbours.

Please instruct your Building Inspector to inform them of the above illegality and forbid them from so doing in the future and instruct them to control the movement of sand.

Chris Willemse
Chairperson: Planning Subcommittee
CBRRA
Cell 0836536363
Email cwpm@intekom.co.za

cc Mayor D. Plato, Cllrs. M. Haywood, J-P. Smith, Messrs. P. van Zyl, J Theron, O. Gonzalves, G.Setember and Ms F. Ogle


Attached:
CBRRA PRESS RELEASE 22 March 2010 Supreme Court of Appeal Ruling in the Harrison Matter


Environmental and Heritage Report to Public Meeting:

1. The littering and cleansing of Camps Bay beach

CBRRA is trying desperately to get Town Council to allow private companies like TUFFY BLACK BAGS and WASTEPLAN in conjunction with Town Council's Solid Waste Department to collect beach litter and recycle it, instead of having it end up on landfill site. It's a very slow process! Added to this incentive is an endeavour with the company called DETTOL, to help assist and improve the condition and hygiene of our ablution blocks at the beach.

Camps Bay residents might also like to know, that the little hut opposite "The Bay Hotel" with the damaged roof tiles, will be repaired soon.


2. The Little Glen project.

Here again litter is the problem and a total lack of upkeep of the surrounds via City Parks, whom we are in discussion with to sort this out. But unfortunately the Director of City Parks, "Chantal Hanslo' who we met with, informed us that the reason for its state is due to a lack of manpower and money. In the meeting we requested that urgent attention be paid to;

a) the pollution of the stream, as it flows straight into the ocean full of sewage and litter and
b) the repair of the streams banks.

Also included in our requests were,
  • the replanting of indigenous trees and plants,
  • the repair and or replacement of the litter bins,
  • plus the increase of the amount of bins.
  • the placing of bins in the correct locations, like the entrances and exits to the park,
  • the replacement of the sitting park benches,
  • the removal of dead plants and shrubs and
  • the removal of the illegal squatters right in the middle of the Little Glen.
Miss Hanslo offered the Camps Bay Residents the opportunity to plants trees and shrubs, which her dept would gladly donate to Camps Bay residents free of charge.


3. The Glen.

At the moment it is an on going project with key individuals and organisations being involved in coming up with the best resolutions for this very important and sensitive area. The intentions are to upgrade it, but in the same breath to retain its natural beauty. So in essence, it's still a "project in progress". Everyone will be very pleased to know, that The Roundhouse Restaurant is fully behind retaining The Glen to it's original natural beauty. A committee has been formed called "GAB" - "Glen Advisory Body" of which two of CBRRA ManCo, namely Johan van Papendorp and Richard Dames, are members, is due to meet at the end of March 2010 to get things moving in this area.


4. Important and interesting services being offered by WOOLWORTHS and INCREDIBLE CONNECTION are,
that anyone who wants to recycle their printer ink cartridges can pop into INCREDIBLE CONNECTION where they have a box just for this. So please be environmentally conscious and dispose of them there. Failing which, people are more than welcome to drop them off at 5 Geneva Drive from where it will be disposed. The same applies for ENERGY SAVING LIGHT BULBS. Woolworths also has a bin purely dedicated for the recycling of these light bulbs. Again Camps Bay residents can drop these off at 5 Geneva Drive to be disposed.

5. Lastly, a VERY enlightening and informative Global Warming and Environmental program was screened on SABC 2 called "A vision of Paradise". This is the website where a person can play a small preview of the total episode, www.hooper.co.za/videoavisionofparadise1.htm. CBRRA strongly recommend everyone have a look at this. The website is very well laid out and very informative. A person and student can learn alot form this website in an Environmental - Earth orientated manner.

Richard Dames

Johan van Papendorp (Chair Environment and Heritage)

CBBRA March 2010

PR 22 Mar '10: Supreme Court of Appeal Ruling in the Harrison Matter


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

22 March 2010

Supreme Court of Appeal Ruling in the Harrison Matter


Regrettably, the CBRRA lost its appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein in the Harrison matter. After the Cape High Court dismissed the application to review and set aside the City’s planning approval for Yvonne Harrison’s building on the corner of Geneva Drive and Blinkwater Rd, the CBRRA appealed the matter to the Appellate division. This was heard in August 2009 and the judgement was only handed down last month – February 2010.

Clearly, the committee is extremely disappointed at this outcome and after much soul-searching and deliberation, it has been decided to petition the Constitutional Court to reconsider the matter on appeal. One can quite logically ask why, after two reversals, the CBRRA is continuing. To put this into perspective, the CBRRA notes the following:

Firstly, the SCA appeared to accept that this case is simply a dispute between neighbours. The fact that the community through its Association has been involved from the outset was ignored. Also ignored was that the City had joined on the side of the developer – with our rates money. The City claimed that important planning principles were involved. No matter what – this was clearly not a mere dispute across the boundary fence.

But on the legal side, both our Senior and Junior Counsel are of the opinion that there are a number of issues that the Concourt needs to consider. Without going into the complicated legal arguments, our case rests on the following points:

  • We submit that the City failed to properly consider all the objections prior to plan approval. CBRRA is of the opinion that these objections were well reasoned and valid.
  • The building exceeds the 10m height restriction and is indicated as such on the plans.
  • There is a retaining wall along the Blinkwater Rd boundary that contravenes the Title Deed restrictions.
  • The building is not set back from the boundary as per the Zoning Scheme regulations. Although the Cape High Court rejected this point on a discretionary basis, the SCA did agree with us. However, they decided to condone the contravention, based on what our legal team believes is a misconstruction of the PAJA Act. Interestingly enough, this was the only bit of “planning principle” ruled upon by the Court and it confirmed that the City had incorrectly passed the plans in the first place. So much for the City’s purported reasons for supporting the developer!!

The Court also needs to clearly define how the Zoning Scheme Regulation 98 rule regarding the measurement of the height of a building is made. The City seem to think that there are three possible ways of doing this but have chosen one that CBRRA considers illogical and not in terms of the Zoning Scheme. The recent appeal judgement did not address this issue and therefore the City’s announcement that CBRRA has “lost” the appeal must be tempered with the fact that this matter was not finalised and will continue to be an issue in its new appeal.



This is the basis of CBRRA’s case and we await the Concourt’s decision as to whether they will hear the matter.

To find out more, please contact the following:

Chris Willemse, Chairman of the CBRRA Planning Committee
Mobile 083 653 6363 or email cwpm@pcnetwork.co.za

OR

Camps Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association
Tel 021 438 8782 or email campsbayratepayers@gmail.com
Blog campsbayratepayers.blogspot.com

Chairpersons' address: Public Meeting 16Mar'10

Message from new chairman, Charles Wells:

Open with welcome address.

Our family has been in CB since the early 1940’s; myself – we moved back to Cape Town 15 years ago from JHB when our daughter was born. Why are we here? Although Camps Bay is one of the best-known tourist spots around Cape Town, for those of us who live here, we enjoy a unique village type atmosphere which once destroyed will not be easily replaced.

Camps Bay Ratepayers & Residents Association has for over forty years sought to preserve this very special ambience. We have built up an impressive record of service to the whole of our community. Although we are in 21st century and we need to move with the times, we also need to ensure that CB doesn't lose its charm to greedy developers or that the infrastructure is compromised. There is space for all residents of CB to feel they belong to the village.

CBRRA need to be representative of the community and not a select few of residents - eg our committee needs to 'catch' new residents when they move into CB. Maybe estate agents can help us be more pro-active. We need to be more unified with CB Watch & CB Police Forum; better co-ordination amongst ourselves.

But, what about today? Are you happy with the state of the roads and pavements, the parks and shrubbery, the grass behind the beach, your rates, and the overall level of service delivery?

Today there are huge pressures on Camps Bay –
  • From property developers who see mega bucks from building multi storey flats quite out of character with the rest of the neighbourhood
  • Our beach front is a magnet for anyone wishing to run an event – from simple charity fundraisers to commercial organizations wishing to high jack one of Cape Town’s top spots, totally disregarding the effect on ordinary residents and tourists.
  • Some of our precious heritage buildings are under attack – do we want the Round House to become a hotel, or the old stone tram drivers cottages at the bottom of Geneva Drive to be redeveloped?
  • The Council is under constant pressure for services such as cleansing, road maintenance, etc. Camps Bay must ensure it gets its fair share.
The Ratepayers is actively involved in all these matters and many more. If you are not yet a member, this is a personal invitation from me as chairman to join us.

As members you enjoy
  • Access to our committee, which includes seasoned professionals dedicated to good town planning and protection from unscrupulous developers. Residents MUST be involved so we can be part of shaping our community.
  • Help with rate appeals – one of our members recently got a rebate of thousands of Rands thanks to the help he received from us in appealing his rate demands
  • Coordinated community projects and events
  • Knowledge of what is happening and being planned in the area
  • Support from us, a respected civic body with the ability to get things one

Your membership means
  • A stronger organization with increased validity and vitality – unity is strength
  • Increased bargaining position with the council
  • Better community spirit
We not only invite you to become a member of the Association, we also invite new and existing members to become more actively involved by joining our Manco.

The rest of the meeting will give our portfolio chairmen and women the chance to report in more detail what is happening and what we have achieved in the past few months. I think you will be impressed.

Charles Wells (CBRRA Chairman)


Message from outgoing Chairperson, Trudi Groenewald:

CBRRA Management Committee (ManCo) had gained two new members, Richard Dames and Charles Wells. At the beginning of 2010 because of pressure of work I asked to be allowed to withdraw as chair of CBRRA but had remained on ManCo. Charles Wells had been elected chairman, with John Powell as vice chairman.

We had been a meeting with the security sector – Camps Bay Watch, Camps Bay Community Police Forum, Camps Bay Community Security Initiative, to ensure liaison.

Events had been scrutinized by Brenda Herbert to ensure that the general Camps Bay community was not inconvenienced and that commercial interests were not allowed to dominate the beach. A liaison meeting had been held with the City’s Events Dept.

Environmental issues were ably dealt with by Johan van Papendorp and Richard Dames.

The Supreme Court of Appeal Bloemfontein had dismissed the case brought by CBRRA and PS Booksellers regarding a house partially built on the corner of Geneva Drive and Blinkwater Road. There would be a fuller report later in the evening by Chris Willemse. However, I would like to express particular thanks to three benefactors: Doug Cleland, J Copeland and Chris Willemse, who had provided interest free loans to the association in order to fight the case.

Dogwalking on Camps Bay beach is a contentious subject. CBRRA plans to approach the City Council to bring in a new bylaw. This proposal would be posted on the CBRRA blog and CBRRA ask for feedback from the general public before we submit to the Sub-council Ward Forum. Proposed (not confirmed): In summer up to 09h00 dogs could be walked off leash. From 09h00 to 18h00 dogs would be banned. From 18h00 onwards dogs could be walked on leash. In winter, dogs could be exercised up to 11h00 off leash and then for the rest of the day they could be walked on leash.

I thank all the members of the ManCo for their hard work and support.

A thank you also to The Bay Hotel for providing the venue for the meeting.

Trudi Groenewald (Ex-chairperson)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A successful meeting

CBRRA held a very successful meeting at 19h30 on 16 March 2010 at the Rotunda, Bay Hotel, Camps Bay. Residents braced the strong South-Easter on Tuesday to make their way to the venue, joining the community for refreshments and a report back from CBRRA. After a report back from previous chairperson, Trudi Groenewald, the new chairman, Charles Wells, took the stand and promised residents and ratepayers of Camps Bay the full support and a renewed energy of the committee to further assist the community on civil issues.

An indepth presentation on the recycling initiative from Council run by the company Waste Plan, was given by Bertie Lourens, CEO of the company, urging residents to actively take part in the recycling initiative. Look out for Waste Plan's presentation on this blog or visit their site on www.wasteplan.co.za. Cllr Margo Hayward gave a report on the latest from the Ward and was addressed with questions from the attendees.

Chairman of the Planning Sub-committtee, Chris Willemse, gave a detailed report on the status CBRRA's involvement in the Harrison case, other court cases and planning matters in general with a particular emphasis on The Crystal development in Woodford Avenue.which it suspects has many illegalities..

John Powell, vice-chair and member of a number of sub-committtees, gave a detailed talk on assisting ratepayers with their rates appeal applications. Link on the City's website ‹‹here››.

A new member of CBRRA ManCo, and sub-committee member of Environment and Heritage, Richard Dames, talked to residents about the uplifting work he is involved in through the upgrading of the Glen, Little Glen and continued cleaning of the beach with council.

A full set of minutes and copies of the reports given will be posted on the blog soon.

The meeting ended at 21h35.