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Thursday, 28 March 2013

CCT INVITATION Public Comment on Draft IDP


Special Subcouncil meetings were held in July/August 2012 which were compulsory for Ward Committees.  Subcouncils and Ward Committees had the opportunity to work through the public inputs of November 2011 and to identify those inputs (and new proposals) to be included in the 2013/14 IDP/Budget process.

In addition, six Mayoral meetings and four additional meetings were held during July to August 2012.
The inputs received and feedback from line departments were presented at the October 2012 Subcouncil meetings where the Subcouncil comments on the submissions were submitted for consideration when considering the draft budget.

Ward Committees and other interested persons/organisations now have the opportunity to comment on the City’s draft IDP document and draft Budget for 2013/14. The draft will be available for comment at all municipal administrative buildings, Subcouncil offices and all municipal libraries from 2 April 2013 up to and including 2 May 2013.

The documents can also be accessed through our website from 28 March 2013 at the following link:  www.capetown.gov.za/en/Budget/Pages/default.aspx

Comments can be submitted in writing (no later than 2 May 2013) to

  • The City Manager, 2013 / 2014 IDP / Budget, Private Bag X9181, Cape Town, 8000
  • Fax: 021 400 1332
  • city.manager@capetown.gov.za
  • submitted to your local Subcouncil
  • A verbal submission to the Subcouncil meeting on 15 April 2013 can be secured by reserving a time slot at the local Subcouncil office at least two days prior to the meeting.  

Kind regards / Vriendelike groete/ Ngombulelo omkhulu

Marius Coetsee
Manager: Good Hope Sub-council (16)
11th floor, 44 Wale Street
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
Tel 021 487-2055
Fax 021-4872208
e-mail: marius.coetsee@capetown.gov.za
"Sub-councils:  Here to serve you well"

Friday, 22 March 2013

CBRRA responds to Ossie Gonsalves re Erf 58


From: Chris Willemse
Date: 22 March 2013 12:55:41 PM SAST
To: Ossie Gonsalves
Cc: Chrissie Phillips , Barry Varkel , Tony Stern , Caro Macdonald , Mark McCain , Marga Haywood

Subject: Fwd: Erf 58 Letter to Ossie

Hi Ossie

Further to your e-mail dated 12th Feb and the attached photographs that have been in circulation.

CBRRA is having great difficulty in understanding the situation.
You claim to have visited the site and conclude that all work is progressing as per the approved plan.

With reference to the attached photos, which predate your visit, please could you explain the following:

Photo 1 & 2

A planter has been built that isn't reflected on the plans.

Photo 3

This clearly shows the intent of the developer. There has been no attempt to even disguise the fact that he intends using the deck over the garage as a trafficable area.You will note that the finished screed level of the outside patio level is the same as that of the garage roof. This is incompatible with section C-C of drwg 203. It is, of course, illogical that the "turf roof" would be at a higher level than the adjoining patio - if only from a waterproofing and storm water runoff point of view. However, the very important argument raised by CBRRA and the neighbours - that this clearly was going to be a trafficable deck, with concomitant overlooking features - seems to have escaped you.

Photo 4

This shows the early part of the courtyard construction. However, the retaining method used is of the Terraforce type - not gabions as indicated on section  A-A of the approved drwg 203.
This, in itself, is not a big deal. However, it is clear that a gabion is being erected against the house wall and, very conveniently, exactly in line with the disputed rear door from the garage (which is not indicated on any approved plan but is on the site construction plans).

Photo 5

This shows the gabion complete but short of the finished level of the garage roof and outside patio (as indicated on the approved plans) but conveniently framing the right hand side of the garage rear door reveal.

It is quite clear from this that the gabion will be used to "define" finished ground level at a later stage to circumvent the problem of the 6m height restriction that will be triggered by the direct entrance from the garage to the courtyard at basement level. For future reference, the WC High Court dismissed this type of trickery and set aside the planning approval granted by your department for the massive apartment block on the corner of Queens and Kloof Rds in Bantry Bay.
In any event, the courtyard exceeds the 6m height restriction and was only approved by means of a departure, for which the neighbours' non-objection was obtained by Bradbury and Long through duplicitous means. Any amendment to the courtyard must trigger a further departure, for which the City is obliged to advertise.

The reality on the ground currently is that a timber deck has been laid from the outside patio over the garage roof to the illegal planter. This is totally illegal and non-compliant and the CBRRA trusts that it is not going to be suggested by the City that this is part of the roof structure. As has been intended by the developer from the outset, the garage roof will be a trafficable area and the developer will probably place a few battens to represent the rail/balustrade at the time of final inspection. The City was obliged in terms of s6 of the Zoning Scheme (under which these plans were assessed) to refuse planning permission if there was an attempt to circumvent the intent of the Scheme. The City has failed the community yet again.

The frustration for the community is that the City allows illegal building work and then routinely approves such illegality retrospectively - despite the best efforts and early warnings by that community. In other words, the City cannot be trusted to administer and enforce its own laws. Sadly, in this case, you are on record as saying this would not happen - and even went as far as threatening to enforce s40 of LUPO in this regard (in May 2011).

Despite your contention that the City had assisted in ensuring that a compliant building was being erected on the Erf, the record shows that the City has failed to ensure that this developer complied in any way - he has simply built what he wants and submits retrospective plans reluctantly and only in the face of community protest. The community and in particular, Ms Phillips, has had to go to extraordinary lengths to even get the City to acknowledge that large portions of this building were being constructed illegally, post facto. Predictably, the City's response was to give retrospective planning approval each time. The only illegal item that was ultimately removed was the concrete pergola - and the reasons for this, CBRRA is reliably informed, lie somewhere between substandard concrete strength and the need for a departure which would have seriously delayed the project (even further). You have indicated that you will invite the representatives of the community to inspect the latest set of plans. Please advise when this will take place as it is essential that you receive community input prior to considering such plans.


Cheers

Chris Willemse
cnwillemse@gmail.com
0836536363







Monday, 18 March 2013

CBRRA Erf 2743 Camps Bay Letter of objection to Application


18 March 2013

The Director: Integrated Environmental Management (Region B2)
Dept of Environmental Affairs & Dev Planning
Provincial Government of the Western Cape
Pvt Bag  X9083
Cape Town
8000
FAX:  021 4833098

Dear Sir / Madam
REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS ACT, ACT 84 of 1967.

APPLICATION      LM5914 (21704)
APPLICANT          WILLEM BUHRMANN ASSOCIATES
OWNER                CAMPS BAY CORNER TRUST
ERF                    2743
LOCATION           3 CAMPS BAY DRIVE
SUBURB               CAMPS BAY

The CBRRA objects to this application.

There is exhaustive legal authority which prevents the Minister from removing restrictive title deed conditions except where it is expressly in the interests of the community. In this application, the need to amend restrictions to accommodate current (and accepted) usage is understood by the affected parties but cannot simply be achieved through wholesale expungement of conditions but rather by means of consultation with the affected parties to this application and the careful amendment to such conditions to suit specific criteria. For instance, certain business types will be unacceptable to the community and must be excluded from any future potential operation from the Erf. More to the point, the array of acceptable business operations must rather be specified.

The Western Cape High Court ruled, in the Camps Bay Ratepayers vs RBC Sub Eleven matter, that the Minister may not remove restrictive title deed conditions if it is not in the interests of the community (Griesel, AJ, as he was then). This is clearly a case where such removal is, in fact, only in the interests of the applicant and also not in the interests of the community. Other divisions of the High Court have handed down the similar rulings. The Court also ruled that this is a positive test and that the Minister may not expunge conditions if the result is merely neutral ie there must be a positive outcome for the community.

The Applicant has not attempted to show any such positive result.

If the Applicant wishes to engage with the community in this matter, the CBRRA is willing to facilitate such discussions and will withdraw this objection if there is a positive outcome to such engagement. In the alternative, the CBRRA requests an interview at the appropriate SPELUM or Subcouncil meeting that will be convened to consider this application.

Regards

CHRIS WILLEMSE
CHAIRPERSON
CBRRA contact:   Chris Willemse   Mobile 0836536363   Fax 021 4380703
cc       Mr Tinus Nyelele: The Director, Planning & Building Dev Management, Cape Town Region, City of Cape Town
FAX : 021 4194694

Builders damage railings in Geneva Dr, Camps Bay

30 April 2013

Hi Johan
This has been satisfactorily repaired.
Thanks for your kind attention to this matter.
Cheers
Chris

To: Johan de Beer
Subject: CBRRA: Railings Geneva Drive Camps Bay
Hi Johan
Herewith a photograph of the damage done to the handrails on Geneva Drive by the contractors at 39 Central Drive, Camps Bay. The house in question is the second dwelling at the top end of the erf.
If you require further photographs or written submissions from our side confirming that the bulk sand delivery trucks caused this damage, please let me know.
Have a good weekend.
Cheers
Chris Willemse
cnwillemse@gmail.com
0836536363


Monday, 11 March 2013

CBRRA Erven 749 & 750 Application for removals, subdivision and departures


CBRRA Erven 749 & 750 Application for removals, subdivision and departures


8 March 2013
The Director: Land Management (Region2)
Dept of Environmental Affairs & Dev Planning
Provincial Government of the Western Cape
Pvt Bag  X9083
Cape Town
8000
FAX:  0214833098

Dear Sir / Madam

REMOVAL OF RESTRICTIONS ACT, ACT 84 of 1967, SUBDIVISION & DEPARTURES ito LUPO 15/1985

APPLICATION      LM6006 (220971)
APPLICANT          FRANCIS CONSULTANTS
OWNER                PETER MATS KLIPE
ERVEN                 749 & 750
LOCATION           2 ATHOLL RD
SUBURB               CAMPS BAY

The CBRRA strongly objects to this application.

Firstly, this application is only in the narrow financial interests of the Applicant. It is common knowledge that his attempts to sell the Erf and improvements thereon have been unsuccessful to date. Clearly, this is an attempt to achieve the same sale price by altering what is on offer to include the same house plus an additional plot. In fact, this option was specifically on sale at the “show day” held at the property on 10th March 2013.

Unfortunately, this subdivision will have an extremely negative effect on the area and the affected neighbours in terms of increased density without the concomitant statutory setbacks from the lateral boundary which will destroy the sightlines from the rear properties.

It must be pointed out that this applicant has not approached the community to discuss the future usage of the property and measures that will possibly improve the currently unacceptable situation – he simply hopes to head off the legal rights of the community in order that he may continue to abuse their rights for his own financial gain. It is our legal advice that this is unachievable in terms of case law, a point which will be dealt with later.

The Western Cape High Court ruled, in the Camps Bay Ratepayers vs RBC Sub Eleven matter, that the Minister may not remove restrictive title deed conditions if it is not in the interests of the community and especially if it is only in the narrow financial interests of the developer (Griesel, AJ, as he was then). This is clearly a case where such removal is, in fact, only in the narrow financial interests of the applicant and also not in the interests of the community. Other divisions of the High Court have handed down the similar rulings. The fact that so many property owners in the precinct have objected to this application confirms that the removals will not be in the interests of the community. Further, the CBRRA has been mandated by the community to resist this development in its present form. The Court also ruled that this is a positive test and that the Minister may not expunge conditions if the result is merely neutral ie there must be a positive outcome for the community. The Applicant has not even attempted to show any such positive result, clearly because there is not any. It may be argued that such densification serves the aims of various spatial development plans and whereas this point may appear convincing, the actual reading of the Act states that it must be in the interest of the community of which it is in favour. This includes only Brighton Estate Ext No 3 (Section1) which was established in 1939. Any other interpretation is merely opportunistic.

The aforegoing is further reinforced by the Land Use Planning Ordinance (15/85) which holds that desirability is the only criterion for the assessment in terms of that particular piece of legislation and which is applicable to this application. There is, again, no attempt by the Applicant to show any desirable outcome from this application, other than his narrow financial interest – which is only implied.
The fact that this proposal does not fit on the property and therefore requires departures and Title Deed removals evidences the inappropriateness of the design. This is simply a means by which the applicants wish to gain approval for over-developing a site for his profit - at the expense of the community. This has also been held by the Western Cape High Court to be reason enough for the Minister to refuse planning permission.

The High Court judgement (Case 6866/04 Bloubergstrand) handed down by Yekiso, J, has established that applications must conform with all applicable law before the relevant Authority can consider them. It is common cause that this application does not comply and as such cannot be considered until all affected parties have waived their rights to the concessions sought. Clearly, no affected parties have indicated that willingness and will continue to resist this application.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (in the True Motives vs Madhi case # 543/07) has also added that such a proposal must be considered ito s7 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, when the application does not conform with all applicable law. In this specific instance, the building will derogate from the value of affected neighbours’ properties if the removal/amendments of restrictions and departures are granted and therefore planning permission must be denied in terms of s7 b (ii). Granting such rights will derogate from the value of the neighbouring dwellings, as there will be loss of amenities of certain affected properties. The community has a right to enjoy the amenity of their properties and also have a legitimate expectation of the Minister not interfering with those rights, especially given the many rulings handed down by the WC High Court in similar matters.
In summary, this application is not sensitive to the surrounding area, will seriously derogate from the value of adjoining neighbours, is unacceptable to the community in its current form and the CBRRA requests that the Minister rejects this application in its entirety.

If the Applicant wishes to engage with the community in this matter, the CBRRA is willing to facilitate such discussions and will withdraw this objection if there is a positive outcome to such engagement. In the alternative, the CBRRA requests an interview at the appropriate SPELUM or Subcouncil meeting that will be convened to consider this application.
Regards

CHRIS WILLEMSE
CHAIRPERSON

CBRRA contact:   Chris Willemse   Mobile 0836536363   Fax 0214380703

cc        
Mr Kajabo Ernest Ngendahimana  : The Director,  Planning & Building Dev Management, Cape Town Region, City of Cape Town
FAX : 021 4194694

Saturday, 9 March 2013

CBBRA Comments on the Draft Land Use Planning Bill


The Director: Environmental &Spatial Planning
Dept of Environmental Affairs & Dev Planning
Provincial Government of the Western Cape
Pvt Bag  X9083
Cape Town
8000

ATTN  Ms Chrizelle Kriel
PER e-mail: Chrizelle.Kriel@westerncape.gov.za

Dear Ms Kriel

COMMENT ON THE DRAFT LAND USE PLANNING BILL

The CBRRA has many concerns regarding the proposed legislation but to avoid repetition, strongly allies itself to the comments as noted by the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance in this matter.

Of specific concern to the CBRRA is s45 of the draft bill which deals with the removal of title deed restrictions. The CBRRA has been successful in numerous High Court applications to compel the Province and City to treat such restrictions as praedial servitudes, which may not simply be expunged, amended or relaxed without proper due process and subject to the stringent conditions of the Removal of Restrictions Act, as endorsed by the Court. For the Premier or Minister to now simply delegate that power to the Local Authority is both a dereliction of duty and unconstitutional.

Removal of title deed conditions must remain in their current domain and, in fact, need to be accorded the gravitas that the law bestows upon them. Any reference to the removal of title deed conditions must be deleted from this draft bill as it is covered in the Removal of restrictions Act and legally cannot (and certainly should not) be circumvented by Provincial legislation.

A general concern is that NGO’s and Civics are effectively excluded from all due process. This will definitely result in a Constitutional Court challenge if enacted as is. It is interesting to note that the current DA-led Provincial Government is attempting to introduce a lack of transparency in this bill that it so loftily challenges on behalf of the SA citizens’ rights in the so-called “secrecy bill” debate in the National Assembly. It is essential that registered NGO’s and Civics, who represent all walks of society (and are often the only voice of ordinary citizens) have their right of representation endorsed by legislation. It will be sad day for our Constitution when legislation favours short-term development profits over the rights of the citizenry – albeit that the Premier has stated that she intends favouring developers with preferential fast-track service and marginalising the so called “serial objectors”. This is clearly unconstitutional and foolhardy.

Regards

CHRIS WILLEMSE
CHAIRPERSON
Mobile 0836536363   Fax 021-4380703
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––


From: Chrizelle Kriel
Subject: RE: CBRRA Comment on Land Use planning bill
Date: 11 March 2013
To: Chris Willemse




Good day

Thank you for the time taken to comment on the draft bill.  It will be discussed by the drafting team and if there is any uncertainty or if there is a need to discuss specific issues mentioned by you, we will contact you.

Regards,
Chrizelle Kriel Pr. Pln
Chief Town & Regional Planner
Directorate: Environmental & Spatial Planning
Department Environmental Affairs & Development Planning

1st Floor Leeusig Building, 1 Dorp Street, Private Bag X9086, Cape Town, 8000

Tel:  021 483 0765
Fax: 021 483 4527
E-mail: Chrizelle.Kriel@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp


Thursday, 7 March 2013

New July 2012 Municipal Property Revaluation - What do you do now?


YOUR NEW JULY 2012 MUNICIPAL PROPERTY                  
REVALUATION  - WHAT DO YOU DO NOW ?

PUBLISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE
BY THE CAMPS BAY  RATEPAYERS AND RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (CBRRA)

The City Council of Cape Town has revalued all the  approximately 800 000 properties in the Cape Town Unicity for its latest 2012 Municipal General Valuation (GV2012)  which was carried out on 1 July 2012.

The City’s Valuation Office has recently posted its revised draft valuation of your property on the City’s website www.capetown.gov.za and you will already have received or will shortly be receiving in the post a notice from the City officially notifying you of its GV2012 revaluation of your property with a request that you either accept it or object to it before the end of April 2013.
 
What can / should you be doing now that you have received your new draft rates revaluation ?

It is very important, as a first step, that you read and fully understand the extensive notes accompanying your revaluation entitled “What you  need to know for the 2012 Valuation Roll”.

Since 21 February 2013 you have been able to access the City’s website details of your own property.

Alternatively, you can visit one of the City’s seventeen information centres as listed in your new revaluation covering letter.

While there you  can access the “Valuation Attribute Data” for your property: which will enable you to check that the residential details used for the valuation of your property are correct (i.e. that it is not listed as having a swimming pool if it does not have one, etc.) and you can access the localities of sales in your area which you can use for your objection should you elect to make one.

You  should now be establishing the factors / characteristics of your valuation should you feel that you have been overvalued.
 
Typical examples could be :


  • A Council  registered water course (river!) and immense rocks on your property which eliminate your  ability to develop further on your property as owners around you can with  double / second dwellings, granny flats and the like. 
  • The presence of a large overloaded Provincial registered trunk road (say a suburban main road) on your front boundary which has loud and dangerously speeding traffic including tourist and My-City buses on it and causes you difficulty in accessing / leaving your property by car for some  hours during rush hours. 
  • The exposure to high winds and possible harm from fires in adjacent public open spaces. 
  • A City electrical or drainage servitude running through your property. 
  • A lack  or loss of views  compared with surrounding properties.
  • Steeply sloping and /or irregularly shaped sites inhibiting the ability to develop them properly or  taking advantage of the available view.
  • A south-facing house.
  • Excessive distance from shops, schools, churches, beach etc. necessitating wheeled transport for  every journey.
  • Alternatively, the immediate closeness of dense business areas with undue density of traffic and noise.
  • No on-site garages

If you have not received your revaluation within a short time, or cannot find it on the City’s website, the onus is on you to visit the Council Valuation Department or an information centre to obtain it, because the end objection submission date will not necessarily be altered if you do not do this.

Should you decide to object to your new property revaluation in the document which you will obtain from the City, the  City will inform you as to where it has opened seventeen information centres which will assist  you in the compilation of your objection. At these information centres, you  will be able to ascertain the sales amounts and other  details of the  properties near your property to enable you to make an accurate comparison between such sold properties and your property.

Should you decide to approach a Valuer for  professional advice, first negotiate a fee quotation (probably on an hourly rate  or a percentage of the saving which is achieved basis) before investigating with him / her as to whether your  contention that the revaluation is too high is valid or not. If the Valuer  disagrees with you, you have at least been given a quick and reasonably  inexpensive professional opinion upon which you can decide whether to proceed  with your objection or not. Should you be advised to or should you decide to proceed, you should then appoint the Valuer to assist you with your objection to the City on the official objection form.
 
Estate Agents are also able to assist you with  your objection and can help you considerably by presenting you with their written assessment of what your property could have sold for in July  2012 and assist you with the sales prices of properties in your vicinity around that date.
 
The objection document is daunting, so  CBRRA therefore suggests that you do not submit an objection without a technically  correct motivation which is best prepared with professional assistance.
 
The  South African Institute of Valuers can assist you with names of Valuers (Address c/o J.J.Hofmeyr & Sons, 13 Piers Road, Wynberg, 7800. Telephone  021 7611803).  Alternatively look up the Yellow Pages.

Should you have submitted an objection to the City’s revaluation of your property,  and the City rejects your objection by not agreeing to your applied-for lower revaluation,  and you are not in agreement with the City’s response, you are then entitled to appeal to the Valuation Appeals Court (VAC) to state your case and attempt to lower your valuation. The VAC is an independent legal entity appointed by the Provincial Government and its decisions are final.

Should the City not agree initially with your objection, it is obliged to
supply you with its reasons for having done so before you decide to continue
your appeal to the VAC. Again should you decide to continue your appeal, you are well advised to do so with the professional assistance of a Registered
Valuer.

Your objection / double objection process may well last longer than July
2013, when your first adjusted 2012GV rates bill is due to be sent to you.
Should your objection / appeal process not have been finalised by this date,
continue to pay your rates based on the current rates bills you have been
receiving.  Do not stop your payments.  Once your revised revaluation has
been finalised between you and the City, it will adjust the new rates bills
to reflect this finally agreed revaluation and you will have to pay in any
shortfall plus interest at that time.
 
Remember that if you live in a sectional title apartment block, you will
again be billed separately  and directly for your unit and not in your levy
which used to reflect a  proportion of the overall building rates bill but no
longer does.
 
Should your valuation have increased, this does not necessarily mean that
your rates bill will escalate pro-rata to the valuation increase.
 
This is because the  variation in the total overall value of all properties in the Unicity since  July 2009 will probably mean that the Rate in the Rand may hardly be adjusted in this 2012 GV year and may even be reduced. The current recession may have had its effect on the new valuations, but this movement will differ from one suburb to another depending on the situations and market attractiveness of such suburbs which
is reflected in the valuation.

It could well happen again in this 2012GV that the new rates bills in July
2013  may result in lower rates bills in some areas and much higher rates
bills in others.

Remember that the increase in your revaluation reflects the increase over the three years since the 2009GV. Therefore, if your increase is, say, 15%, this means an average increase of 5% per annum since the 2009GV which, under the present state of the property industry is probably a fair reflection of your market value and, accordingly, it will not make sense to object to your 2012 GV.
 
For the next few years until the  next GV, probably in 2015, your  new
revaluation will remain constant (unless it is adjusted by a  supplementary
valuation in due course, which the City is entitled to do)) and your future
rates bill increases in ensuing years will be based only on the subsequent
annual increased Rate in the Rand applicable to all properties.
 
One way or the other, be aware of your rights and start  preparing to be
possibly paying more rates than your present rates bills from July 2013
onwards, the extent of which will only be revealed to you after the new Rate in the Rand is announced by the City when it  announces its 2013 overall budget.
 
Chris Willemse
Chairperson
CBRRA