New water and sanitation tariffs

RESIDENTIAL WATER TARIFFS

Domestic water

RESIDENTIAL SANITATION TARIFFS

Domestic sanitation

OTHER TARIFFS

Other tarriffs

NOTES

  • Sanitation is charged to  maximum of 35 kl
  • Domestic full = stand-alone house
  • Domestic cluster = flats, sectional title units, cluster developments and gated villages

Source: capetown.gov.za

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It’s time for the WRRA Annual General Meeting! And here’s one big reason to attend

If you attend only one community meeting this year, this must be it!

Tony Abrahamson,  a transportation engineer with a special interest in land use and development, will address residents on a strategy that will help us understand the impact of future additional development and to counter proposals that are inappropriate.

Tony Abrahamson

Tony Abrahamson

This is particularly important as Wynberg is experiencing an unprecedented increase in developments that are not always in keeping with the fabric and character of our suburb. Sometimes even next-door neighbours are surprised by these monolithic high-rises constructed on their doorstep – that’s because if the developers don’t  depart from the City’s zoning scheme regulations, they are under no obligation to consult neighbours or  inform them of their plans.

And as a large part of Wynberg West has been zoned to allow buildings of 15 m and higher, this trend will pretty much dictate our future if we don’t start managing it ourselves.

Read more: To develop or not to develop

So if you’re interested in the future of our suburb (and if you want to hear what the WRRA has been up to over the past year), come to the AGM and rather watch SONA on YouTube when you get home!

Date: 8 February 2018

Time: 18.00 for 18.30

Venue: Church on Main, 3 Millbank Road (behind the library)

Map of Church on MainAgenda

• Welcome and apologies
• Minutes from the 2016 Annual General Meeting
• Report from the Chairperson
• Report from the Treasurer
• Election of Committee Members
• Any Other Business
• Guest speaker: Tony Abrahamson on development in Wynberg
• Closure

NOTES

To develop or not to develop

Collage of proposed and current developments in WynbergOver the past year or two, Wynberg residents have noticed a number of modern three- to five storey apartment buildings mushrooming in our suburb, often on sites where cosy cottages have been nestling peacefully for many decades before.

In most cases even neighbours were surprised to find these large buildings shooting up next to their homes, because developers don’t have to obtain permission from surrounding owners as long as their  buildings don’t include departures from the City’s zoning scheme regulations.

Read more: Do you know how your street is zoned?

The WRRA will also not necessarily be informed of a new development, except when special permission from Heritage Western Cape (HWC) is required. As a member of HWC, the WRRA is invited to comment on all Wynberg applications to the body.

It is therefore perfectly legal for a developer to put up a building that is insensitive to the character of the street and without consulting affected neighbours about, for example, the impact on their privacy, access to sunlight, traffic access and egress to their residences.

The Aldro and The Velden in Wynberg

An example of current developments in Wynberg: The Aldro (above), designed in an inappropriate style for the suburb and towering above surrounding cottages in Wellington Avenue; and The Velden in Cavan Road, which is more in keeping with its surrounds.

OFF TO COURT

One such development will in March 2018 be the subject of a court case brought by a resident who recently bought a home in Fairview Road, only to find that soon new neighbours will be lounging on their balconies, gazing down on his family’s comings and goings from a dizzy height of 15 metres. In fact, the third (top) floor of Victoria Square in Bayview Road is already sold out. (Full article to follow.)

Picture of proposed development

Victoria Square as envisaged. Picture: Dogon Group

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN WELLINGTON AVENUE?

Collage: picture of Wellington Ave from 1900 and one taken more recently

Wellington Avenue more than a century ago, and  recently.

Of particular concern is that developers such as Karma Properties have started to use their own developments to justify more of their own developments. This company is particularly active in Wellington Avenue, a narrow and leafy street at the bottom of Alphen Hill which until recently consisted mostly of decades-old cottages.

Karma Properties first developed 21 Wellington Avenue, a monolithic, Century City-type three-storey building completely out of keeping with the character of the street. On the other side of Wellington Avenue they are now developing The Aldro (pictured above), previously 34 Wellington. It will be in the same style as 21 Wellington.

1 Malton Road, just across the street from 21 Wellington, has also just been demolished, but it is not yet clear what will be built in the cottage’s place. It is not a Karma property.

21 Wellington

21 Wellington

The latest property Karma has set its sights on is 10 Wellington, which is closer to Maynardville and in a leafy part of Wellington Avenue that consists almost entirely of single-storey cottages. Once their proposed four-storey high-rise  has been built in that part of the street, there is very little stopping the company from using it as an excuse to put up more similar buildings in the area.

In its objection to the demolition of 10 Wellington, the WRRA argued that Karma Properties could in due course purchase all the properties in Wellington Avenue and then construct identical buildings on each one – with disastrous results not only from an architectural and heritage point of view, but also with regard to sanitation (Wynberg’s sanitation system is very old), traffic and pedestrian safety.

SHOULD HERITAGE COTTAGES NOT BE PRESERVED BY LAW?

Heritage Western Cape has to approve the demolition of homes older than 60 years.

However, some of the houses in the developers’ sights are either not that old (as is the case in Bayview) or have lost their claim to heritage protection because owners have over the decades made inappropriate additions and changes (as happened with 34 Wellington).

Picture of stoep and car port

34 Wellington before demolition.

Until about a year ago, the WRRA did not object to the demolition of properties with no heritage value. However, since it became clear that demolished properties are generally used for inappropriate high-rise developments, the association has changed its stance and will object to any demolition where . . .

  • It is unclear what the property will be used for after demolition; and
  • The neighbours have not been consulted about the demolition and the subsequent plans with the property.

The WRRA is also working on a plan to have the part of Wynberg between Maynardville and Constantia Main Road declared a heritage overlay zone – similar to the Old Village – which, if successful, will be a development game-changer.

WHY THE WRRA IS CONCERNED

  • Many new developments in the section of Wynberg between Bower and Main Road are insensitive and unsympathetic to their architectural and conservation surroundings and undermine the historic charm of the area.
  • Most of the new developments do not respect the scale of neighbouring buildings.
  • Developers are using their own developments as justification for more of the same.
  • If developers adhere to the zoning restrictions, they can put up any kind of building without consulting the neighbours, as long as they adhere to the City’s zoning restrictions.
  • Wynberg has an ancient sewage system which will not be able to cope with all the added bathrooms – one new block of flat replaces two bathrooms with up to 24.
  • If all the new units have a minimum of two parking bays or garages, that means an additional 12 to 24 cars per building accessing extremely narrow streets that are already heavily congested, especially during school terms and rush hours.

In short, the WRRA is not against development – but we want it to be in keeping with the existing urban environment and we don’t want it to destroy our suburb’s unique heritage.

As a result, we are working with experts on a precinct plan to develop a strategy that can be used to approach the City of Cape Town with objections when developers submit plans for developments that have unacceptable negative impacts on the residential area. More about this at the WRRA’s upcoming annual general meeting!

Read more Development Watch articles:

10 Wellington Avenue

34 Wellington Avenue

1 Malton Road

12 Seaview Road

Corner of Brodie and Church

Development Watch: 10 Wellington Avenue

Picture of 10 Wellington plus examples of flat buildings that look like the proposed building on the site.

Above: 10 Wellington Avenue. Below: 21 Wellington (left) and The Aldro (right), examples of what the proposed development at 10 Wellington will look like.

Address: 10 Wellington Avenue

Status: An application for the demolition of the house has been lodged with Heritage Western Cape.

WRRA response: The WRRA has objected to the demolition because Karma Properties – the developer who bought 10 Wellington – plans to erect a 15-meter-high apartment complex on the site in the style of 21 Wellington Road and The Aldro at 34 Wellington, which is currently under construction. Both 21 Wellington and The Aldro were developed by Karma.

The WRRA’s main objections to the development are:

  • There was no consultation so neighbours were not given the opportunity to object, for example, that their privacy, access to sunlight, traffic access and egress to their residences will be adversely affected.
  • The envisaged apartment complex does not reflect the character of the neighbourhood. The proposed bulky, concrete monolithic block is more suited to Century City than to Wellington Avenue and its surrounds, which present a coherent and intact urban environment comprising single-storey houses that follow the street layout.
  • The building is grossly over-scaled – four storeys in a mostly single storey historic street of cottages. It has an alien urban form (terraced apartment block) and is dead on the street edges – the hostile aesthetic of the building negates the promised retention of the boundary wall/hedge and iron wrought gate.
  • Congestion and parking – if all units have a minimum of two parking bays/garages, that means additional 12 to 24 cars per development accessing extremely narrow streets that are already heavily congested, especially during school terms and rush hour.
  • Karma Properties has used its developments at 21 and 34 Wellington as justification for this new building. Using this “logic”, the company could in due course purchase all the properties in Wellington Avenue and then construct identical apartment complexes on each site. It would then clearly be impossible to utilise existing services, such as sanitation and accessible traffic routes, if there was such an exponential increase of residents, bathrooms, pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Karma has already shown a total disregard for the heritage value of this area by constructing inappropriate blocks. The end result could only be the destruction of Wynberg’s unique heritage.

Development Watch: 1 Malton Road

Picture showing Malton road before and after

Malton Road before (above) and now (below). To the right is 21 Wellington, to the left the empty property on which the house was demolished. Note the narrowness of the street.

Address: 1 Malton Road (c/o Wellington Avenue)

Status: The building has been demolished and the trees retained along Wellington Avenue, although severely pruned.

WRRA comment: We have not received any information about what’s planned for the site, but we are concerned that it might be a building similar to 21 Wellington across the road.

21 Wellington Avenue

21 Wellington