Woodstock is a Heritage Area – the aesthetics of the area are protected by law, where changes to the street-scape (walls, fences, house façades) must have planning permission. Walls should be permeable (posts and railings, etc) to allow a consistency of appearance. A railing fence is also more secure – criminals can get up to any mischief behind solid walls.
After half a year under its new management, Don Pedros has been closed. Not a lot of information on it, but posts on the Facebook page talked about debts incurred by previous management (?). Since then there’s been a few “Save Don Pedros” nights, but in vain.
This is sad for Woodstock – which needs vibey venues – although there had been numerous complaints about Don Pedros holding live music nights when it’s liquor license did not allow this, and loud, rowdy behaviour by its patrons in the streets in early hours of the morning. Attempts by UWRA to engage with manager, Vernon Cupido, by email and letter were not responded to.
The Facebook posts from the Don Pedro’s page on Facebook were:
Sad sad news. Don Pedros has been forced to close its doors due to the fact that new management can’t pay debts incurred by the previous management. We apologise for any inconvenience. We hope that you’ll continue to party in the spirit of Don Pedros wherever you are…
Like · · Share · 2 November at 18:04 via Mobile ·
Our favourite cultural hotspot is under threat of being closed in the next week or so. Join the Don Pedro family this weekend in an attempt to keep everyones favourite restaurant open.
Drink specials all weekend. Don’t forget about open mic on Sunday
Like · · Share · 2 November at 21:48 ·
We need as much support from all of u to keep Don Pedros open. As of tomorrow, November 3rd, we’ll be serving breakfast from 9.30am till 4pm. We’ll have traffic Jam from 3pm onward, with drink specials. We need as much support as possible over the weekend.
Come support Don Pedro’s. more info call 0214476152 …
Like · · Share · 2 November at 22:37 via Mobile ·
UPDATE: NOTE that input must be submitted via UWRA or directly by end of November!
The main arterial roads out of the City are jam-packed at rush hour. The billions spent on the N1 and N2/M3 upgrades have seen little or no change in the daily bumper-to-bumper rivers of cars trying to flee the City after work. Upper and Lower Main Roads (oh, ok, Albert and Victoria) are two lanes wide, but barely passable with double-parked cars and stopped taxis and people driving like brainless cows.
So what’s new? Well, the increasing hordes rat-running through Woodstock, Walmer Estate and University Estate to get around the sclerotic arterials. City of Cape Town’s Roads Department is looking to do something about it after years of increasingly strident complaints from residents and civic bodies. Ward Councillor Brett Herron organised a public meeting at the Civic Centre to allow the Roads Dept to explain the results of their study, and what they proposed to do about it on Tues 8th Nov.
There are four main routes for rat-running: all start at the Chester Road entrance at the edge of District Six, and variously run along Upper Cambridge Rd, along Chester and into Coronation, exiting either to the M3 via Upper Roodebloem or onto the N2 at the Holiday Inn, or via Roodebloem onto the N2; or the extremely twisty Searle-Warwick-Hay-Mountain Road run. There are other routes, but these are the biggies in terms of clear rat-runners (rather than local residents returning home).
Turning Nerina into a one-way has helped a lot to reduce speeding and rat-running past the school and clinic, but there are still many vehicles that ignore the one-way and take a chance.
The stunningly lacklustre performance of Traffic Services (aka “the traffic police”) is not helping – under-resourced, under-managed and under-whelming, Cape Town’s law enforcement on the roads is spotty at best, so any solution needs to assume visible policing will not be central.
Sean Glass of the Transport Department (don’t forget Cllr Herron is Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads & Stormwater, so this may explain some action happening here at last) gave a presentation, with two main options:
- Option 1: A boom across Chester Road from Keizersgracht between 16h00 and 18h00 – this would require a boom be built, and manned every day. This would prohibit any vehicles except emergency vehicles and government ministers late for sunset drinkies entering Woodstock during peak hours. Not great if you’re a Woodstock/WE/UE resident, and requires substantial cap-ex and op-ex spend.
- Option 2:Regulatory signage – essentially a no-entry sign at the Chester Road entrance for 16h-18h00 – this is cheaper, but requires regular law enforcement at a very busy intersection. Also a major inconvenience for locals coming home.
- Option 3: Regulatory signage ‘inside’ the suburb to allow freer movement for locals, but makes rat-running difficult. No-entry signs 16h-1800 would be placed on Upper Melbourne Road prohibiting entry into Coronation, Chester and Eden Roads, and on Upper Mountain stopping passing through Rhodes Ave. A further no-entry 16h-18h00 would be placed where Queens Road enters Hat Street. A ‘no right turn 16h-18h00 would be placed at the bottom of Upper Mountain to stop access to Roodebloem Rd onramps to the N2.
What do you think? Council wants to get feedback by latest end-November, so Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the WoodstockZa Facebook page (please don’t paste into the Group, it needs to be shut down and everything moved to the Page).
With regard to other hot-spots for residents, especially those with speedster probelms, Upper Cambridge Road has had traffic calming measures (essentially speed bumps) approved and is now waiting funding (which may take six months or more). Other roads (Mountain, Roberts, etc) are being considered for more traffic calming.
In terms of enforcement, Cllr Herron acknowledged the terrible state of Traffic Services generally in Cape Town, and said it is being addressed (although no specifics forthcoming). What will help is that two neighbourhood Safety Officers per Ward are being put in place. This sounds good, although Ward 57 is most of the City Bowl suburbs, so a massive, densely populated area. These two should start work in the next few months once training is done. Metro Police have also motivated that reservists be authorised to issue tickets in their areas for illegal parking, etc. This could make a big difference to easing congestion and tempers.
So – look at the proposals, give it a think, give your feedback. To see the proposed rat-traps in Option 3, check here (click for full-size version).
See attached info from City Council with people and numbers to call when you are confronted with illegal dumping in your street.
Anyone thinking of starting a business from home should first check with the City of Cape Town to find out whether the zoning scheme regulations for their area allows this activity.
The City’s Planning and Building Development Management (PBDM) Department is responsible for enforcing compliance with the zoning scheme regulations created in terms of the Land Use Planning Ordinance no 15 of 1985. These regulations define what properties can be used for.
The PBDM Department has recently increased the staff complement in its Land Use Enforcement Section. Thirty seven personnel have already been appointed out of an eventual 40 who will be allocated to different districts.
The department uses an eight district model and four enforcement regions, each comprising two districts. Each region will be headed by an Enforcement Coordinator. At present, one Enforcement Coordinator has been appointed and three people are acting in the remaining positions.
The Enforcement Section’s staff are guided by a Land Use Enforcement Policy which was adopted by the Planning and Environment Portfolio Committee (PEPCO) and came into force on 01 January 2009. The approach taken is to ensure people cease an activity which contravenes the zoning scheme regulations until such time as the land use rights are in place.
The process is complaints-driven and once a written complaint is received, it will be investigated and if necessary, a notice will be served. Transgressors are given deadlines and if they fail to close down in time, the matter is prosecuted in the criminal courts. If the prosecution is successful, the Land Use Planning Ordinance allows the Magistrate to impose a fine of up to R100 000.00 or a term of imprisonment.
Cheryl Walters, the Director:PBDM, says, “While the department is dependent on the criminal court process, which can take a long time to complete, it has nevertheless achieved notable successes since the enforcement policy was implemented eight months ago. In excess of 500 cease unauthorised business notices have been served, 286 unauthorised businesses have closed down and in 32 court cases, 29 guilty verdicts have been handed down and fines imposed”.
“It should be noted that a prosecution will be instituted even if a person has, subsequent to the notice, submitted a land use application to rectify the unlawful land use,” she added.
Anyone thinking of starting a business from home should therefore first contact the PBDM Department’s district office to find out whether the zoning scheme regulations for their area permits this. If a home owner or tenant wishes to run a business or a crèche in a residential area, they will probably first need to apply for some form of permission from the Department.
Application forms for permission to use a property for a use other than the allocated zoning are available on the City’s website www.capetown.gov.za or at the eight district offices. Completed application forms must be submitted to these offices.
Should anyone wish to complain about an unlawful activity, they must lodge a written complaint on the standard complaint form by fax or e-mail with the Regional Manager’s secretary.