Request for By-Law Enforcement in the suburb of Melville

Request for By-Law Enforcement in the suburb of Melville

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Andreas Gerdes started this petition to Member of Municipal Council for Public Safety of the City of Johannesburg, Clr Yao-Heng Michael Sun

Petition to the Member of Municipal Council for Public Safety of the City of Johannesburg, Clr Yao-Heng Michael Sun

Title: Request for By-Law Enforcement in the suburb of Melville

Dear Councillor Sun,

Melville has always been a very vibrant suburb with a large variety of land use. This ranges from the shops on Main Road and in 27 Boxes, a growing number of restaurants and bars on 7th Street as well as offices in some sections of 4th Avenue. While this vibrancy is good for the suburb as it offers opportunities for employment and entertainment to its residents within walking distance and also for visitors from far and wide, but it also creates a greater number of conflicts ranging from noise complaints to parking problems.

Some examples of these problems are as follows:

1.       Drinking in public; while the actual drinking in public itself does not disturb anyonemany, the resulting noise from ad-hoc public drinking sessions as well as the pollution from used bottles and the public urination are quite disruptive.

2.       Noise; this is generated by either establishments such as (but not limited to) Melville Grill Lounge, Ideal Café and Baalbek * which create enough noise to be audible in neighbouring streets, several 100 meters away in respect of which complaints have been received. Some establishments also have live music without having the appropriate zoning or noise exemptions. Some noise is also generated by “spinning” on Main Road as well as by parties held in the municipal parking lot next to Main Road, behind the Meldene medical centre at all times during the night but mostly on Thursday through to Sunday nights into the early morning hours till 5 am.

3.       Drag Racing; this is becoming ever more popular down Main Road and requires some covert speed enforcement at night. This is usually along Main Road but sometimes even occurs in the suburb.

4.       Parking; due to the large number of restaurants, that are steadily becoming more, certain points are becoming problematic to access such as along the corner of 4th Avenue and 5th Street, the section of 4th Avenue between 6th Street and 7th Street, all along 7th Street where the majority of restaurants are and the corner or 7th Street and 1st Avenue. Illegal parking along 4th Avenue furthermore also make it extremely difficult to drive along 4th Avenue between 6th and 7th Street. We hereby humbly request that cars parked illegally start being towed away in order to create some disincentive for this kind of behaviour.

5.       Displaced persons; previous complaints about these have been made previously and some action has been taken but the problem is recurring. Large numbers of homeless people have settled on 2nd Avenue next to and off Main Road, adjacent to the service station as well as on the corner of 4th Avenue and Main Road, next to the bus stop on the eastern side of Main Road and also on 4th Avenue at the intersection with Main Road to the east and on the southern side of 4th Avenue. This has reached the level where the use of the pavement as a public toilet may soon create a public health risk to the residents and non-residents alike that would like to use these pavements. While we empathise with their situation, they need to be accommodated elsewhere or removed. We empathise with their situation and want Council’s urgent attention to providing a public shelter, toilets and showers, which would greatly assist in addressing the needs of the displaced as well as reducing public urination in the street.

6.       Deaths; there have been 3 deaths in the suburb in the last 3 years. Some of these seems to be related to a lack of by-law enforcement or may have been related to drinking or drug consumption.

7.       Problem buildings; 31 and 33 Fourth 4th Avenue are being rented out by slumlords as accommodation and are unhygienic and overcrowded. The city needs to intervene as these properties pose a risk to their occupants and to the rest of the suburb. It is also suspected that both liquor and drugs are being sold from these premises.

We believe repeat raids are necessary to curb all these problems persistently. This should include arrests where possible as well as towing cars that are parked illegally in order to make a difference, this needs to be accompanied by constructive and supportive interventions on the homelessness issue

The Melville Resident’s Association and the Melville Security Initiative are open to meet with the various authorities from the city and police that can assist in resolving these problems and to help plan enforcement action to improve the suburb.

We look forward to your assistance.

The Melville Community

*No guarantee of accuracy in respect of these third party complaints is made by the MRA.

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