No construction for rezoned property

The property in Muizenberg whose owner is applying to rezone it from single residential to general residential.

The owner of a Muizenberg property off Boyes Drive is applying to rezone the property from single residential to general residential.

The public have until Monday February 24 to comment. The property, 18 St Heliers Road, is accessible from a service road off the scenic drive or a steep walk from Upper Towers Road, Muizenberg.

Property owner, Jeff Immerman, says neighbours have no reason to fear as he does not intend building a skyscraper.

The house already on the plot has been divided into seven flats, plans which the City approved about 10 years ago.

But, according to Mr Immerman, a City building inspector deemed each flat’s kitchenette to be a full kitchen instead of tea kitchens, and Mr Immerman was advised to rezone to rectify the problem.

Mr Immerman asked to have the property rezoned to general residential 2 (GR 2), which allows a 15m building height, but then saw it advertised in the Cape Argus as an application for a general residential 4 (GR4) rezoning with a 24m building height limit.

At first, the City told him it was a mistake and the ad would be rerun, but later he was informed the GR4 zoning was, in fact, necessary because of his building’s footprint.

While GR4 technically allows for a multi-storey block of flats, in reality no property on the plot will be allowed to extend beyond the level of Boyes Drive, because it’s a scenic national road.

The height of Mr Immerman’s house, a double storey with a loft, is only 2m below the level of the road.

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, confirmed that as well as the fact that a GR2 zoning would not have been accepted due to the size of the building’s footprint.

According to Mr Immerman, the application is a mere formality because no building will take place as the flats are already occupied by tenants.

There will be no change to the existing height of the property, no loss of the original view due to positioning of the building, no noise increase and the character of the street will remain unchanged.

Mr Immerman has applied for a parking departure to have no additional parking bays instead of 14 as required by the City’s zoning scheme which indicates that the minimum off-street parking requirements is 1.75 parking bays per unit plus an additional 0.25 parking bays per unit for visitors.

Mr Immerman said he applied for the parking departures on the advice of the council due to the proximity to False Bay train station and Main Road.

“My tenants are l a r g e l y young professionals who use the train and Uber or either park on Upper Towers Road or in the little service road off of Boyes Drive,” he said.

His latest application states the development is already under the height restrictions, lower than Boyes Drive, and compatible with the character of the area of two-storey single residential houses and creates much-needed residential opportunities.

The original application for the house was approved by Heritage Western Cape (HWC) 12 years ago before the property was built through an “intent to develop” application, he said.

However, the Echo could not confirm that as HWC did not respond questions by the time this edition went to print.

Mr Immerman said fears of his house being torn down one day and a huge block of flats being erected were valid, but such a plan would need to get around the Boyes Drive height restriction and get the approval of neighbours.

He said three nearby properties had GR4 zoning (198 Boyes Drive, 4 Lakeview Lane and 6 Lakeview Lane) and it had not ruined the mountainside. Comments and objections must be submitted in writing to