A rezoning bid that would pave the way for group housing on land near an endangered toad’s breeding ground near Clovelly has environmentalists and civic groups worried.
The application to rezone the site as General Residential 1 was lodged by a town-planning firm, Blaauwberg City Developers Incorporated, on behalf of the Fish Hoek 11825 Trust, which owns 24 Carlton Road, (Erf 17336).
The property is unzoned, according to the City of Cape Town.
The trust says the outcome of the zoning application will help it decide whether to sell or develop the property.
The plot is near the lower Silvermine wetlands conservation area, and, according to Toadnuts co-founder, Alison Faraday, the number of western leopard toads in the area has dropped sharply.
Carlton and Banks roads were popular spots for the toads, which used the roads to reach the wetlands during the breeding months of July to September, she said.
“The population of toads is already compromised and they could face local extinction,” she warned.
The Silvermine River Rovers and Fish Hoek Valley Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (FHVRRA) says it is not opposed to the plot being zoned for residential development as long as certain restrictions are imposed, such as no high walls or gated complexes.
In 2004 the trust’s application for a group-housing development failed to get off the ground because the land was unzoned.
Group housing refers to a group of separate and or linked housing units with integrated open spaces which may be subdivided but are designed and built to look the same.
GR1 allows for flats, up to 35 dwelling units per hectare, home child care, rooftop base telecommunication stations and buildings up to 10m high.
Carlton Road resident Eileen Sharples fears rezoning will lead to more traffic in the area.
She said that after the lower Silvermine wetlands conservation area had been completed, she had had people park on her pavement from 7am till 7pm, seven days a week. Some days she would count as many as 30 cars coming and going and parking on her pavement and along Carlton Road.
Her complaints to the City had been ignored and she had had to seek legal advice, she said.Ms Sharples said that during the
building of the Greenside complex next to the wetlands her walls had shaken from the earthworks and her boundary wall post had collapsed. There had also been more traffic after the complex had been built.
Kim Kruyshaar, of the Silvermine River Rovers, said that in their objections to the City they had suggested certain conditions, such as prohibiting the building of flats and high walls and ensuring that fences along the wetland and footpath were see-through.
City spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo confirmed the zoning application had been received and was being assessed.