Protect our lake and our property rights
Protect our lake and our property rights
Dear Blaauwberg District Land Use Applications department,
As surrounding residents of the Lake in Century City we are very concerned about a proposed development along the bank of this lake – erf 5497, Skyliner Avenue, Century City.
Motion Projects have applied for rezoning, subdivision, consent use, city approval and regulation departures in terms of the municipal planning by-law.
At the Municipal Planning Tribunal (attended by residents Susan Magner and Robyn Ilcheva), their request was ADAMANTLY denied. However, they have since reapplied even though they were strongly denied by all tribunal members. Due to the number objections they even did a site visit.
As a community we want to respectfully request that you deny this application again, for the following reasons and our own analysis of the building guidelines policy found below:
1. The lake is definitely considered a wetland now as well as it's original intent- a storm water pond. The salt pans and animal life were here long before Century City. This lake was enlarged to regulate the water levels for all the canals in Century City and over time has been looked after by Intaka Island staff ensuring that it turns back into a natural wild habitat for many birds, animals, fish and plants. Removing 2 entire banks, the construction work (including PILE DRIVING) and the resultant overhanging balconies will destroy the animal and bird life.
2. Access to a new development at the Century on Lake gate is not a viable option. If there is even one car waiting at Century on Lake it blocks access completely to Skywater and 2 cars block Skywater and even currently Century Place. Section 13 of the new proposal literally states that people exiting Skywater have to GAP IT through the Century on Lake traffic. Their other justification as that we are all driving slowly. Can you imagine the chaos and road rage where these 6 entrance/exits gates converge?
3. It is a “forced development” - they are not proposing building ON the tiny strip of land. They want to REMOVE the strip of land and put a building on stilts into the water as per the below diagram
4. Property values will be significantly reduced for all properties in Century on Lake, Century Place, Century View and Skyliner Avenue. The residents are very upset with CCPOA for giving the go ahead to this project and not looking after their best interests.
5. The Environmental Impact Assessment has been redone as they "lost" the documents last time. They are now claiming that as the endangered Strandveld growing there was planted by the CCPOA, it is 'artificial. Obviously it was planted as it is endangered. It is still endangered, they should be planting more, it is the perfect habitat for it. The CCPOA have also been letting alien species to over grow just so that it does not look good to the tribunal. They have been mandated to keep that area clear but have not been doing it.
6. The tall building policy had not been looked at including the following factors:
Urban Design Guidelines for tall buildings
a) Relationship to the wider, existing context - building a block next to a lake does NOT fit with the current skyline and the long driveway will be reclaiming land from the lake.
b) Transitions in scale – there is no transition in scale, there will be a stark contrast to the water level height & neighbouring house height, with a massive skyline visual impact.
c) Prominent sites - the lake is definitely considered a prominent site i.e. open space. There will definitely be a strong visual impact from all 3 sides on the lake.
d) Building placement and orientation - new tall building developments must be positioned and organised on the site so as to integrate appropriately with the existing context – this is clearly not possible.
e) Local access and permeability: Entrances – long driveways are inappropriate as entrances to tall buildings. Rear vehicular drop offs are not possible as access to the site from the rear is not allowed. They are also widening a tiny strip of lovely embankment into a massive double tar road, taking away volume of water which means they do not comply with the the 100 year RI storm flood levels anymore. Their entire bottom levels will get flooded along with Century City as this lake regulates the canal levels for the whole of Century City.
f) Site servicing and basement parking – they are REMOVING vegetation and are not able to make provision for tree planting as they are removing the entire bank to build parking space below water level.
g) Response at the scale of the site - it is critical that sufficient open space for residents and users of the tall building is provided – there is clearly no space for communal or open areas as they are forcing a deep garage and 3-5 stories on a tiny strip of land between a lake and a road - they they are actually removing anyway.
h) Impact on the Public Realm – there is a LONG driveway and those relying on public transport will have a long walk in the elements as there is no mention of a covered walkway.
i) Wind impacts at street level - tall and wide building facades that are orientated towards the prevailing wind direction are to be avoided - the entire block and all the balconies directly face the prevailing high South Easter wind.
j) Sustainable Design - the impact on the existing environment / wetlands will be substantial, the opposite of a green design. Rabie who is a share holder of Motion Projects are going against everything they stand for.
Land Use Application decision makers, it is clear that the proposed development can not be allowed to go ahead and we call on you to take the appropriate action to prevent this. We shall be at the Municipal Planning Tribunal to make an oral submission as we feel very strongly about this development going ahead.
We will be happy to meet with you to discuss the matter further.
Susan Magner (on behalf of the concerned surrounding residents of the Lake)