Green light for land sale

The City of Cape Town last week approved the sale of erf 20907, a 31 912sqm vacant property zoned for residential use in Olienhout Avenue, Plattekloof.

The planned sale has been years in the making as former ward councillor Sakkie Pretorius submitted a motion to council as far back as 2009 to oppose it.

Last week he said he was awaiting a report from council and could not comment but mentioned he was against any development on the erf also referred to as the “hotel premises”.

“Ek het destyds beswaar gemaak met dit wat hulle moontlik beoog,” he said.

A condition of the sale is that “the site be disposed of medium density mixed use development with a requirement for a component of any future development on the site to be affordable GAP housing”.

Mr Pretorius’s was one of the 33 objections received by the City of Cape Town when the sale was advertised for public comment in 2015.

Mr Pretorius mooted for erf 20907 to be consolidated with erf 20908 and rezoned as public open space.

In his 2009 motion he said it would be a travesty if a hotel or a housing project is developed on this land, instead it should be preserved as a park for future generations.

Other objections from residents cited increased traffic on Olienhout because of the retirement village being built at the top of Olienhout and adjacent to erf 20907, and access from Baronetcy Estate.

“I believe it would be irresponsible to over-crowd this area, especially without proper investigations relating to changes that the increased density will cause,” one resident wrote.

In other objections, residents said, “Road infrastructure that was planned for at least 30 years ago simply cannot accommodate any more traffic”, while another said, “please prevent that another part of nature must give way for commercial use”.

Resident Dave Wilken, a retired senior official from the old Tygerberg municipality, said he hoped residents would have another chance to have a say on the future plans once development proposals are submitted to council.

He said the land was the only green lung in an otherwise built up area.

He said despite its usage as a public open space, erf 20907 was never proclaimed as such.

“Dit is wat hulle (City of Cape Town) nou na gryp,” he said.

Mr Wilken said residents were not opposed to development, but any housing plans should be in sync with the rest of the neighbourhood.

“Gaan ons dan minder belasting betaal? Daar kan anders ’* wanbalans wees, want belasting word bepaal op die waarde van huise in die omgewing,” he said.

He said more green spaces should be developed, as residents use it.

Mayco member for assets and facilities management, Stuart Diamond said the land could be used more effectively by selling it to the private sector to be developed.

He said erf 20907 was always zoned as general residential “and has never been intended as an open space as some residents now claim”.

He said objections from residents centre on the loss of an open space and concerns about traffic congestion.

Northern News asked the City if conditions would be placed on developers because of its proximity to Tygerberg Nature Reserve.

Mr Diamond said development conditions would apply.

Although he did not specify, it is the condition that a component of any development consist of affordable or GAP housing, that would get residents’ backs up.

But he said the decision to let go of this property was in line with the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan “which seeks to promote dense and transit-oriented urban growth and development”.