From Leslie London
Rawson Properties approached the city to develop a large apartment building in William St Observatory. The objection process for this development started in September 2016. After long and tenacious engagement, in which the OCA (particularly Marc Turok) supported local residents, the Municipal Planning Tribunal rules that the development could go ahead but only if they complied with a number of conditions, one of which reduced the height from 7 stories to 5 stories and that the developers had to do a pre-construction survey of surrounding houses.
Unlike previous cases, this is an example where the MPT was forced to listen to residents’ objections and the outcome was a more reasonable compromise development.
We hope that this signals a more responsive approach from the MPT in the future to such developments.
From: Lani Roux
Sent: Saturday, 13 July 2019 16:01
Hi Everyone (apologies if you receive this email in error),
Just a bit of background: the objection process for this development started in September 2016. You can see the original plans in the attached document, with the diagrams starting from page 25. Numerous owners objected since Rawson pushed the building to the extremes of the zoning scheme as well as a bit beyond. The original plan was for a building with 7 stories.
Due to the continued efforts of, in particular, two owners, Rosalie Thompson (25 Falmouth) and Robert Muller (27 Falmouth) the building plans were changed. Another person who had a huge impact on this process was Marc Turok from the Observatory Civic Association. He not only assisted in the objection process but also contributed actively; from submitting objections to representing us at the final appeal meeting.
The two main concessions were dropping the building from 7 stories to 5 stories and requiring Rawson to do a pre-construction survey of surrounding houses (see more below).
The final concessions may not seem like much, but compared to the results of other objections relating to multi-story buildings in the area it is, in fact, a great result.
I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Marc for his amazing work. I’d also encourage everyone to support the Observatory Civic Association in their other projects (obs.org.za).
Also, thank you to Rosalie and Robert who set aside a lot of their time to represent us.
The pre-construction survey. This is done in case there is damage to houses due to the construction. As far as I understand it, the pre-construction survey is used for insurance taken out by Rawson. The engineering company did deliver letters more than a month ago, but very few owners responded. I’d strongly suggest that owners contact the structural engineer Tina at
MH&A CONSULTING ENGINEERS
TEL: 021 762-6290
They surveyed my house on Friday and it only takes about 20/30 minutes. The surveys include houses surrounding the site, but double-check if your house is included.
Finally, please forward this information to owners if you are a tenant, or if you know someone who hasn’t received the information.