Have your say on densification push

A map indicating the properties that will be affected by the title deed deletion.

The City wants to change the title deeds of hundreds Fish Hoek homes, clearing the way for them to fall in line with a planning by-law that permits greater densification.

The deletion of the restriction in the title deeds would allow for sub-dividing, building on the boundaries, and three dwellings per property of up to two storeys, under the City’s Municipal Planning By-law.

The by-law was passed in 2015 and an amendment to it, which took effect in early 2020, allowed for, among other things, a third dwelling, as an additional use right, on single residential properties. However, properties in some parts of Fish Hoek have been shielded from the by-law by restrictions in their title deeds.

Homeowners have until Wednesday November 23 to comment on the application by the City, which has been given the thumbs down from the Fish Hoek Valley Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (FHVRRA).

The deletion of restrictive title deed conditions is an amendment to the title deed which means that affected properties will lose their single-dwelling status, according to the City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews .

In this case, Mr Andrews said, the title-deed condition of having one dwelling per property will be amended to allow three dwellings per property, sub-dividing, departures of up to 0 metres to the street line, as well as the name or lettering of a business on a wall, building or structure of the property.

However, Mr Andrews said, applying for departures would require a land-use application, and the application would be advertised to affected parties, including affected neighbours.

He said, depending on the zoning of the property, the height limitations for a second and third dwellings were the same for all other structures permitted in that particular zone or property.

FHVRRA chairman Brian Youngblood said the association expected that each application in Fish Hoek would be met with resistance as allowing properties to be sub-divided “negates the history of the valley”.

Mr Youngblood said the current title deeds restrict dwellings being built closer than 4.72 metres from the street line, and the amended titled deed which will allow for departures of up to 0 metres could block the views to and from the street.

Mr Andrews, said restrictive title deed conditions were imposed when the township of Fish Hoek was established and its purpose was to serve as an additional restriction to the development of a property.

The application, he said, was consistent with the City’s densification policy and in line with the City’s Integrated Development Plan, Municipal Spatial Development Framework, and Transit-Oriented Development Framework which together, pursue a denser City to improve efficiencies and long-term sustainability, and reduce the consumption of limited resources.

“Cape Town has very limited land available for development and densification is necessary to curb urban sprawl and to ensure we use the available land to its full potential,” Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews said the City had informed owners within Fish Hoek to which restrictive title conditions apply about the changes.

Properties in the following streets will be affected: Plane Crescent; Petunia Crescent; Pinoak Crescent; Pine Street; Forest Drive; Palm Grove; Plum Close; Exeter Avenue; Darlington Avenue; Columbus Avenue; Brussels Avenue; Amsterdam Avenue; Upper Recreation Road; Genoa Avenue; Fife Avenue; Nerina Crescent; Prinia Close; Emerald Crescent; and connecting streets.

Mr Younghblood said the association was not in favour of densification as it would be an invasion of privacy when properties were built closer to the boundaries.

He said allowing lettering on buildings in residential areas would “shout it’s a business area” when it is a residential area.

“We are proud to live in a bedroom community,” he said.

Send your comments to comments_objections.southern@capetown.gov.za with case no 70548814 in the subject line.