Skyliner opposed

An artist impression of the proposed Skywater development in Century City.

A developer has revised an application for a block of flats in Century City, but residents say it’s not an improvement and have vowed to oppose it.

The new application to the City of Cape Town seeks to rezone 4 Skyliner Avenue from Community Zone 1 to General Residential Zone 3 for a three-storey block of flats.

The site, erf 7137, is owned by the Century City Property Owners’ Association, and the developer is Motion Projects.

The latest bid follows a failed rezoning application three years ago to clear the way for 105 affordable flats.

The Municipal Planning Tribunal rejected that application in 2018 because: it did not match desirability criteria; subdivision was forced leading to departures on building lines and impacting negatively on the character of the area; the proposal would have an adverse impact on the bio-physical environment as it transgresses into a transformed ecological environment; the proposal was not compatible with the character of the surrounding area given the heights proposed.

Motion Projects then went back to the drawing board and came back with a proposal they hoped would address both the tribunal’s and residents’ concerns.

That new proposal, for the Skywater development, is for 118 flats and 178 parking bays compared to the previous 105 flats.

Residents say they will object to the latest application as well because the upgrades are even worse.

The Century Place Homeowners’ Association said the development still does not suit the environment.

“The traffic proposal is unsafe, and no new survey has been done. The proposed area has been increased from 65% to 69% and includes very little open land that it is building on top of.

There are now 118 units proposed as against 105 previously – a worse scenario. The total floor space now is 9952m² from the previous 7613m² – which is also worse. The area should be retained and respected and cared for as an ecological environment,’ Mr Thomson said.

The flats will be a mix of six three-bedroom, eight one-bedroom, 14 studio and 90 two-bedroom units.

Residents fear the development will threaten birds and other creatures of Intaka Island and might also cause a nearby man-made stormwater pond to flood, if the pond were to be reduced in size to accommodate the development.

Residents had said of the previous application that the development it proposed was too high and would wall off their views.

Godfrey Mokaeane, director at Motion Projects, said although the City encouraged densification, the previous development had been slightly out of context for the area.

“We had initially created a towering and liner development that appeared to create a wall between Century City and Tygerhof. The development furthermore turned its back against the Tygerhof community. This was not a good fit for the area. The City did not approve according to Robin Thomson of the development mainly because of this. We have since drastically changed this by redesigning the entire development, reducing the height of the development by one floor, reducing the length of the development and, most importantly, by creating bigger view corridors (gaps) between the buildings to not make it look and feel like one continuous giant wall,” he said.

Mr Mokaeane said a traffic-impact study had found there were multiple entries to the main courtyard from Ratanga Road; little traffic moved in and out of the courtyard; and the main traffic lights could cope with added traffic.

The development was previously billed as affordable housing, but Mr Mokaeane said the units, while cheaper than Century City’s high-end developments, would have market-related pricing and were not gap housing of any kind.

Monday October 19 is the deadline for comments and objections. The relevant documents can be viewed at http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Have-your-say/Land-use-applications/70505521 or visit or write to the Blaauwberg District Municipal Building at 87 Pienaar Road, Milnerton, PO Box 35, Milnerton, 7435.