SUBMISSION IN RESPECT OF THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN’S LAND USE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT’S REPORT DATED 19 SEPTEMBER 2011 TO THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN’S GOOD HOPE SUBCOUNCIL MEETING TO BE HELD ON 17 OCTOBER 2011 AT 2-00 PM BY THE CAMPS BAY RATEPAYERS AND RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (CBRRA)
PROPERTY : REMAINDER ERF 275 CLIFTON, 157 KLOOF ROAD, CLIFTON, CAPE.
APPLICATION NO. : 161811
FILE REFERENCE LM 4555
DISTRICT : TABLE BAY
SUBCOUNCIL : GOOD HOPE NO. 16
WARD : 54
WARD COUNCILLOR : B. SCHAFER
ATTENTION : CLLR. TAKI AMIRA, MARIUS COETZEE, BEN SCHOEMANN AND GREG SEPTEMBER
17 OCTOBER 2011
THE ABOVE APPLICATION FOR DEPARTURES IN TERMS OF THE LAND USE PLANNING ORDINANCE 15/1985 AND COUNCIL’S CONSENT IN TERMS OF THE CAPE TOWN ZONING SCHEME REGULATIONS :
1. In terms of a letter dated 7 October, 2011 from The Good Hope Sub Council, the Camps Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association (CBRRA) has been granted permission for an interview and accordingly comments on the Planner’s Report dated 19 September2011 as follows :
This matter is of extreme importance as it embraces many key issues in respect of Council planning procedures and specifically addresses the attempts by the Applicant to retroactively legally rectify previously illegally constructed works – something to which the Good Hope Sub-Council has been strongly opposed in the past and at present.
The Applicant persistently attempts to contend in his documents that this is perfectly permissable practice, but your Sub-Council is well aware that this is a regrettably deceptive practice by Applicants to steamroller contentious and illegal designs through because , once built, it is exceedingly difficult to get the illegal works demolished.
CBRRA sincerely hopes that this will become a watershed case which will send out a clear message that the above back door type of plan passing by the submission and acceptance of subsequent rider plans is simply not acceptable.
1.2 CBBRA”S responses to the City’s LUM Department’s above report (referred to by paragraph numbers) are as follows :
1.2.1 Para 3.1
The report notes “that the structures mentioned have already been built.”.
This fact is completely ignored in the Applicant’s response.
Paras. 3.2 and 3.3
This application has already been rejected in principle by the City and the relevant Provincial Government Minister, who is now “functus officio” in this regard and has ruled that he cannot legally reverse his decision.
The Applicant has recently forcefully attempted to persuade CBBRA to withdraw its letter of objection, which CBBRA adamantly refuses to do.
This is because the whole principle of the title deed prevention of the construction of structures of any sort within the building setback line was re-established as law in the eyes of the authorities as a direct result of the recent Harrison Judgement in the case of CBRRA vs the City of Cape Town and others, and, having won that case, CBRRA is not going to reverse its hard – won contention, which this application so drastically wishes to change.
The City has requested the Applicant to secure the steep loose earth covered banks between the illegal stuctures on the western boundary and the street below as it contended that the construction of the foundations to the illegal structures loosened the bank’s earth. There has therefore been an ongoing danger of an earth collapse onto Kloof Road resulting in possible harm to passers – by and traffic. A collapse of this nature has already happened on the adjacent site, resulting in the extensive need for Gabion retaining walls.
The Applicant’s response , according to the City, was that he would execute such consolidation / support if the City passed this application – which the City is not prepared to do.
Whereas this side-issue is not the concern of CBRRA, it hereby gives notice to the City that this specific matter has been known and unsolved for over a year now and it calls upon the City to rectify the possible ongoing danger o the public.
Is important to note here that the Applicant has omitted in his response to inform Sub-Council that, when the original plans for this project were passed by the City, the pool was designed to be situated along the south boundary of the property, at right angles to the western street boundary, with only about a metre or so of one end of the narrow pool
projecting into the building setback area. (The City should not have passed this).
During the construction period, the Applicant took it upon himself to accept his Architects’ suggestion to relocate the pool into the illegal building setback area and he built the new pool design and its massive structural support system illegally in the building setback area over a period of six months until he was stopped by the City – without having submitted any rider plans beforehand.
The Applicant has continually pleadsed that he is not guilty of a transgression because nobody told him that what he was doing was illegal. He most certain;y would have found out if he had submitted his rider plans before commencement of the construction of the pool and its huge supports and not after completing same.
In any event, this is a naïve and legally unacceptable claim and the Applicant should be having recourse to his Design Consultants for any costs he may now be involved in if this was the case.
Of significance here is the statement in the report that :
“Notwithstanding the said notice and submission of a land use submission, building work on
the subject property continued unabated with the dwelling house ...... being completed”.
“Given the illegal building work and the substantial deviations from the approved plans, no occupancy certificate has been issued for the dwelling house”. It seems that the Council is still waiting for rider plans to accurately reflect what has been built.
Furthermore, CBRRA has learned that, notwithstanding this, the Applicant is currently
seemingly illegally occupying the completed premises.
All this is absolutely unacceptable to CBRRA and so it should be to the City.
CBBRA asks what the City intends doing about all the above as well as rejecting this application.
The “unique hanging gardens” only came into existence as a panic measure once the pool design was introduced and caused he huge sheer vertical face which now exists..
The removal of the obtrusive and overpowering illegal structures and the reversion of the design to the originally passed Architects’ plans will, in CBRRA’s opinion, immeasurably enhance the overall street façade.
CBRRA reminds the Sub-Council that , in is objection, it has also asked that proper landscaping to the value of at least R500 000 be executed in suitable positions to mask whatever is finally constructed along the west elevation of the building in whatever form it finally takes.
The Applicant has stated that “...... the dwelling house is not easily viewed”.
This is an incorrect statement. The further distance from which this complex is viewed, the more its unsympathetic and overpowering massing can be seen and, as agreed by the Council, it doe have an overall adverse effect on the surrounding environment (see also0 para 7.16).
The fact that the illegal structures do not support the dwelling is irrelevant, but will be an advantage when the illegal structures are demolished.
The so-called “support” from adjacent land owners is a somewhat hollow claim seeing that many of their letters of no – objection were identically worded and the Applicant had obviously campaigned for their support.
CBRRA’s stance in matters like this must have the general public in mind and the Council’s and the Provincial Government’s support of its objection totally vindicates its objection.
The report’s response that the proposal does not involve any significant environmental implications seems to be completely contradicted by its paras. 5.3, 7, 8, and 9.
Paras. 7, 8,and 9
CBRRA is in full agreement with all the extremely negative statements made by the City Officials in their report in these paragraphs and hereby confirms it’s unqualified support for the City’s response which it sincerely hopes will be adopted by your Sub-Council.
CBRRA views the content of this paragraph in respect of a portion of the dwelling house contravening the 5m Proclaimed Main Road Setback, with renewed and increased alarm . It is of the opinion that the statement herein typifies exactly everything that is wrong about this highly flawed design and application. It is yet another cogent reason why this application should be rejected by your Sub-Council. The response from the Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works speaks for itself and should be emulated by your Sub-Council in your adjudication of this application. .
For the above reasons, CBRRA hereby calls upon your Sub-Council and the City to completely reject all aspects of this application. In addition, CBRRA trusts that the City and the Provincial Government will oppose any legal challenges which may be made by the Applicant should your Sub-Council reject this flawed application as requested by CBRRA.
MEC Anton Bredell