NOTES ON FAR SOUTH TRANSPORT MEETING WITH CITY OFFICIALS, 23 JANUARY 2015
Sub Council Offices, Fish Hoek
Tony Viera City of Cape Town : Transport Planning
Claude Madell City of Cape Town: Infrastructure
James McDaid FSPCF Transport Consultant
Simon Liell-Cock Ward Councilor;, Ward 61
Felicity Purchase Sub Council 19 Chairperson
Bruce Campbell Smith Kommetjie
Janet Holwill Fish Hoek
Allen Rose-Innes Fish Hoek
Nicki Holderness Simon’s Town
Lesley Shackleton Simon’s Town
Marti Wedderpoul Scarborough, FSPCF Vice Chairperson
Trish Wood Sunnydale
Patrick Dowling FSPCF Chairperson
Simon outlined the purpose of the meeting to be: (1) Getting and understanding of the basis of decision-making within the City with respect to development applications in the Far South area south of Silvermine, and (2) obtaining clarity about the planned road upgrades in the area.
The FSPCF concerns centre on the inadequate infrastructure in the Far South, and its ability to support more development when it was already over-capacity. This was especially relevant to the transport infrastructure. It appeared that the City and Province were basing development decisions on an incomplete and inaccurate transport study done by Gibb in 2013 and updated in 2014. The Kommetjie Residents and Ratepayers Association (KRRA), working with the FSPCF, had obtained an independent review of the Gibb study and had sent an Appeal to the DEADP with respect to their EIA authorisations at Wireless Road 1 and 2 which had been based on the Gibb study. This Appeal had been rejected by Province without providing solid justification. A subsequent legal study was commissioned by the KRRA and a further appeal has been sent to the City.
The KRRA Appeals are based on the following concerns:
- Extent of the study area
- Failure to consider proposed developments outside the study area, where several thousand additional units were being proposed south of Silvermine, all of which would seriously affect transport.
- Failure to consider the traffic impacts on Ou Kaapse Weg (OKW)
- Inaccurate trip generation rates
- Flaws in the traffic counting procedure
- Lack of clarity with respect to available budget for road upgrades
The FSPCF felt that it was unacceptable if City planning decisions in the Far South were being based on a flawed study. These decisions would seriously impact accessibility to the area for existing residents, for all Cape Town citizens for whom the area was a prime recreational destination, and for tourists who formed the basis of the economy in the Far South.
The FSPCF also challenged the count of approved developments that the TCT were using. Based on the map in the Gibb report study area, there currently are 1113 approved units. In addition, beyond the study area, but clearly also impacting the roads in the study area, are an additional 2030 approved units, giving a total of 3143 approved units. In addition there are some 4000 proposed future developments which would seriously affect the traffic in the Far South.
City responses from Tony Viera
To date only Kompanjiestuin and Milkwood Rise (253 and 6 units) developments had been approved within the Gibb study area.
Awaiting EIA approval in the Gibb area were: Riverside, Protea Ridge and Squires Close, Lighthouse Site, Wireless 1, Wireless 2 and Central Site, totalling 398 units plus an extensive commercial area.
In addition a major proposal was expected in the Imhoff Farm area. (The KRRA challenged this, as there were a total of 1113 proposed developments indicated on the map in the Gibb study.)
As a first phase, Tony reported that some R30 million would be available for the upgrade of Kommetjie Main Road to a 4-lane carriage way between the OKW intersection and 200 m beyond the Capri intersection (approximately 940 meters). These funds would be funded by the developers of Kompanjiestuin (~R12 million), and the City (~R17,5 million). This work would commence shortly (expected construction starting ~ August 2015). (It was noted that this upgrade would address current traffic problems on Kommetjie Road, but be insufficient should further developments be allowed in the area.)
Should further developments be approved, their development contributions would be used commence work on phase 2, the upgrade of OKW from the Kommetjie Road intersection to Buller Louw. This upgrade was expected to cost around R14,5 million, with ~R12,5 million coming from development contributions and ~R2 million from the City. The development contributions would become due once the first unit is sold. To date funds for this have not been budgeted for by the City.
The new development contribution policy which will be applied to any future development approvals requires a 10% contribution, escalated in terms of inflation, from the developer. In most cases these funds are spent and administered by the developer. Security to ensure payment of development contributions is provided by the City refusing Rates Clearance certificates should the development contribution not be forthcoming. Tony assured the Far South that development contributions levied stayed within the district. He was confident that the City can enforce payment of development contributions. He felt that the only way to fund required upgrades was through accessing development contributions.
Phase 3 of the road upgrade plan would extend the 4 lanes on Kommetjie Road to Pokela Road (another 600 meters). This would cost around R19 million, of which R18,7 million would be required from development contributions. These funds have not yet been budgeted for.
In response to concerns about the limited road access to the Far South – which was not being addressed by Phases 1 -3 detailed above, Tony confirmed that:
- The widening of OKW over the mountain is not an option
- Signalising the Silvermine – OKW intersection is still in process
- Nothing further can be done to increase the Main Road access
- The Clovelly bypass is still an option, all be it very expensive
- Another possibility could be a tunnel below the Steenberg golf course linking the M3 to Boyes Drive – also very expensive.
The solution lay in upgrading the railway system, which was currently out of CoCT control, and in improving public transport to the railway. Tony did not indicate that there was any plan or budget for this in the near future.
With respect to the new Mall in Sun Valley, Tony said that:
- A new traffic light would be installed at the OKW – Noordhoek Main Road intersection
- This light would be synchronised with the existing traffic light into Longbeach Mall
- These lights would be made independent of power supply
- An additional entrance off Noordhoek Main Road (ie not using Houmoed Road) would be created for the Mall
- The City does not believe that anything additional is required to ensure safety and accessibility to OKW from the new Chapmans Bay development.
It was noted that the Fish Hoek Fire Station is to be moved closer to Masiphumele and Ocean View, this will impact Kommetjie Road usage by emergency vehicles.
- The City must budget for, and undertake, a comprehensive road transport impact assessment for the whole Far South area. This must take account of the concerns expressed by the Sturgeon Consulting reports commissioned by the KRRA.
- TCT department must take the limited capacity of the Far South access roads into consideration in all Far South traffic infrastructure studies. TCT should repeatedly advise political and planning committees of the infrastructure limitations imposed by the limited access to the south peninsula.
- There must be recognition that the current proposed road upgrades will only address existing capacity problems. They will not address the impacts of future developments.
- Greater effort must be made by the City to consult and inform the public and Civic organisations of transport studies undertaken, future plans relating to proposed infrastructure development in the area.
- The City must keep the public informed about any approval or rejection of development proposals.
- Public transport within the Far South, and into and out of the Far South must be improved as a priority prior to approving further developments.
- Additional and improved cycle / pedestrian facilities must be budgeted for and constructed.
- The current SEA of the Far South being undertaken must consult with TCT.
- The FSPCF should meet with Provincial officials about transport issues in the Far South. (Province has more access to funds than the City.)