GUPTA Erf 770 letter to CoCT-27July 2016            GUPTA MPT

What, EXACTLY, is going on here???
The CRRA received a copy of application number 70283238 in June 2016 in connection with proposed deletion and amendment of restrictive conditions, consent and departures, to erf number 770, Constantia, 10 Dawn Avenue.
The application was made by Sydney Holden Town Planners/Property Consultants on behalf of the owners, Islandsite Investments One Hundred and Eighty (Pty) Ltd, a Gupta company.
The property was purchased in 2005 for R17M but is currently valued at R13.5M on the valuation roll on the city website.
The purpose of the application was to:
1. The deletion and amendment of the following restrictive conditions;
a. Deletion of Condition C4c of Title Deed to permit structures to be erected closer than 30 feet (9.45m) to the boundary of the subject property;
b. Amendment of condition C4B of Title Deed to permit 2 dwellings on the property together with such outbuildings as are ordinary required to be used.
2. Consent to permit a second dwelling on the property;
3. Departures from the Cape Town Development Management Scheme;
a. To permit the proposed maximum floor space of buildings on the property to be 1 956m2 in lieu of 1 500M2
b. To permit portions of the proposed dwelling and to be 1.772m and 0.662m in lieu of 6m from the southern/south western common boundaries;
c. To permit the proposed gate house and generator room to be 4.255m in lieu of 6m from the street; and
d. To permit the height of the second dwelling which is separate structure to be 7.46m in lieu of 6m from the wall plate.
A motivation report (attached) was provided by Sydney Holden Town Planners/Property Consultants.
In July 2016 the CRRA expressed concerns as evidenced in our attached letter to the City of Cape Town:
1. There is no reason to believe that we have been given accurate information and correct motivation for the redevelopment. For instance one of the motivational reasons put forward by the applicant was that “the 2ND dwelling provides a source of income for the owner”.
2. It is difficult to find logic in the necessity to expand the existing second dwelling if the main dwelling already exceeds the allowable space under the zoning scheme.
3. Before consideration is given to any relaxation of the setbacks, we propose that a professional land surveyor certifies setbacks as the existing structures already transgress the erf boundaries as seen on the aerial view on the city website.
4. The flat concrete roof forms part of the usable space and is accessed by an external staircase increasing the floor space to 30% above the allowable.
5. We are concerned about the increased visual impact on the neighboring property if the thatch lapa is changed to polycarbonate;
6. Given the scale of proposals and the purported usage, we are concerned that this property will be used for purposes other than residential.
These comments are largely similar to that reported in the Mail & Guardian of the Saxonwold Ratepayers Association’s representative when the Gupta home in Saxonwold came before that Municipal Tribunal.
The CRRA was requested to motivate for an interview at an MPT meeting but no date for this meeting was given to us. When the matter did not appear on the agenda that we were given for the 19 April 2017 meeting we assumed that it would be tabled at the May meeting. We submitted an interview motivation only to be told that the matter had in fact been dealt with by the MPT meeting in April.
At the MPT meeting on 19 April, the application was unconditionally approved, the tribunal accepted the reasons put forward by the planner which includes that “the proposal will have a positive socio economic impact”.
This matter will now be brought to the attention of Councillor Penny East, chairperson of the Area Based Oversight Committee South.