Garden’s clubhouse to be leased

The City will now consider public bids to lease Durbanville Rose Garden’s clubhouse, two years after parting ways with the Western Cape Rose Society.

Sub-council 7 supported a City proposal that the clubhouse be leased through public competition for R9 000 a month (excluding VAT) for a period of three years, with an option to renew for a further three years, and the rent increasing by 8% annually.

The Rose Society had been based at the garden since its inception in 1979, but in 2014 the City told it that its lease — which ended in March 2016 – would not be renewed (“Rose society entangled in thorny issue,” Northern News/Tygertalk, October 16, 2014).

At the time, Belinda Walker, Mayco member for community services and special projects, said the City wanted to “create a more inclusive facility” and that “having a lease in place for the facility has proven to limit the City in making it available to the broader community”.

She said the City would call for proposals to see how best to use the facility.

According to Sub-council documents, the City then did a feasibility study on how best to make the clubhouse profitable while establishing the Rose Garden as a popular district park

Meanwhile, the City has received three comments from abutting property owners worried about traffic, parking, rules of conduct and signage.

One resident stated: “We are concerned that if the clubhouse is to be leased out to irresponsible parties and if there is no strict discipline the safety and privacy of residents will be disadvantaged.”

Ward 21 councillor Taki Amira said the Rose Garden had suffered since the Rose Society had left.

He had used some of his ward allocations for clubhouse equipment.

“We need to give the lease to someone who not only sees the possibility of a high-end tea garden but must be made responsible for the garden as well. Furthermore it must be of a standard that the garden enjoyed when it was under the Tygerberg/Durbanville municipality — which was the most visited venue.”

The City also received two comments expressing interest in running a tea garden at the clubhouse.

Durbanville Community Forum chairman George Sieraha said they had been in talks with the City on this issue since 2014.

He said the garden was renowned locally, nationally and internationally and was considered one of the jewels of the north.

“The Rose Society had an absolute passion for the garden and lovingly took care of the rose bushes,” he said.

“Whoever took over the lease should show a similar passion.

“This is not just renting a building but it is part of our Durbanville Heritage.”

The Durbanville Rose Garden was established by Linda and Dick Lidner, who planted the first roses in 1979 and started the trail garden in 1981.

The garden in Durbanville Avenue is on part of the old wine farm, Eversdal, which belonged to the Schabort family, who donated the property to the municipality on condition the family’s graveyard be situated in the garden.