A Call to Responsible Planning….or not?

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April 2, 2019

A Call to Responsible Planning….or not?

Plett Ratepayers’ EXCO member Christo Vlok prepared the following report in May 2017 in response to a council proposal to build low-cost township housing on ERF 4367 located between Shell Ultra-City and  Santini Village.  The project is again being proposed by Bitou Council and a Municipal Planning Tribunal meeting has been scheduled for 10 April 2019.  Plett Ratepayers Association will oppose the application on the grounds that the proposal doesn’t adhere to Plett building regulations and by-laws, it will create traffic, parking, security, and noise issues, and we have architectural objections since it is located at the entrance to our town.

The following concerns have been raised and proposals made:

Unit Size.  80 single-story units on an erf size of  120m², with an open space of 12.5m² are proposed.  Approximately 67% of the units will be two bedrooms with a maximum floor size of 45m². This is below the minimum suitable for a development in this neighbourhood.  Should a 3rd bedroom be required, the units will extend over the building lines, which is unacceptable.

We propose fewer and larger units to avoid over-crowding.

We suggest that the proposed township development be similar in design and space to Santini Village.

1.Traffic Impact.

There are no designated parking spaces for visitors, only one car per Erf and no traffic impact study has been done. This is a complete violation of the town planning laws.

The proposal states that there is only one road into the development and the same road to exit from the direction of Bowtie Drive, leading up to Challenge Drive and onto the circle in Marine Drive.

No traffic impact study has been done and this is going to greatly impact on Santini Village, the pre-primary school, the Plettenberg Bay Community Church, surrounding residential homes and other existing apartment blocks.

The proposal includes relaxing the road width within the development from 13m to 8m, to allow vehicles to have road side parking.

With no  extra parking available, residents in the new development will be forced to park on the Santini circle and surrounding areas which could be dangerous to other road users.

Refuse vehicles, storage and removal of refuse, emergency vehicles, taxis and other large vehicles would have to make three point turns in this area.

Traffic flow disruption will occur in Challenge Drive, which already has high traffic conditions coming from Bowtie Drive. The residents in Challenge have already requested Traffic Calming Devices (Speed Humps) to improve the safety of vehicles moving out from houses on the inner curve of the road.

Narrow road reserves lead to visitors parking problems as well as the space for municipal infrastructure problems with services being placed so close to each other eg the possibility of the excavation for water pipe repairs in close proximity to electric cables. We propose a full traffic impact study be conducted including an allocated parking area within the development for each unit and visitors parking and for emergency vehicles to enter unhindered.

2. No Home Owners Association.

The document has specified that they do not require the establishment of a Home Owners Association (HOA), which is a grave concern as this will result in many of the by-laws not being adhered to: – Examples:  Public Nuisance and animal bylaws, Roads Bylaws, Housing Bylaws, and Building Regulations Bylaws.

Without an on-site HOA, it will be up to external residents and businesses to try and enforce bylaws after the fact, and this is unacceptable.

We propose a sectional title with an HOA / Governing body as a requirement of the development.

The township proposal proposes that building lines be reduced and relaxed to 1 metre on the periphery of the site, which will result in the proximity to other establishments being greatly reduced, this raises noise control and security concerns.

We propose that this change in township development is removed from this proposal and only Bitou current bylaws should apply.

Devaluation of the surrounding properties is expected if the proposal is instituted.

3.Municipal Services.

Strain on municipal services.  Highlighted in the original Integrated Development Plan 2012 – 2017, is the fact that currently there is already a strain on the water, sewerage and refuse municipal services and if this project goes ahead without a proper implementation plan, this area will not be able to handle the influx of backyard residents or further influx over peak holiday season.

ERF 4367 was used by SANRAL during the building of N2 to dump boulders and rubble, so the land has not been compacted and will need extensive preparation at additional expense.  We propose a complete Municipal Engineering Services impact study to be done to incorporate all engineering services for this type of development and costing must be mentioned and quantified.

 4.Security

A security system within the new development will need to be included. This area is already considered a high-crime area, with the PBCPA, SAP and other security companies, working to combat this situation, and the residences and complexes in the area have already invested large amounts of funds to secure their properties and make them safe for the residents.

We propose a full security solution to be included in the development, including electric fencing combined with CCTV systems, and strictly monitored access control with Home Owners Association.

Developers who flout building restrictions can only lead to other developers also requesting such deviations in other parts of Plettenberg Bay, and will set a precedent.

We propose that to avoid such flouting  of building restrictions, only a development similar to Santini Village be given permission for development on Erf 4367 and that all bylaws be adhered to.  

If you have additional concerns about the proposed township development, please forward them to [email protected].   

Plettenberg Bay Ratepayers Association 

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