Densification key to George’s development
The Draft Spatial Development Framework (SDF) does not support “islandlike” developments of low-cost housing in the rural areas around George, such as Oubaai. Such developments would show significant long-term costs to households which might already be under financial pressure. What the SDF does propose, is densification within the urban edges of George, the integration of communities, and a facelift for York Street.
Catherine Stone of GAPP Architects and Urban Designers addressed interested members of the public at a presentation of George’s Draft Spatial Development Framework at the George banquet hall on Monday 22 October.
Residents have until 5 December to give their written input on the various proposals, as set out in the document (to view the document follow this link: http:// www.george.org.za/ resource-category/spatialdevelopment-framework). Thereafter the document will be reviewed and revised, and tabled for Council in the new year.
In her address, Stone said most people in George are walking, so the aim is to make it easier for them to walk.
“How do we make the quality of their walk better? How do we take advantage of the use of public space to create economic opportunities and how do we build up in areas so that life is more convenient for everybody?”
She also noted that the quality of York Street can be significantly bettered if there is “infill”. “A more detailed study and a survey of the use of the parking areas should be done.” She said the quality of George is completely lost in the quality of York Street. The proposal includes cosier street space
and space for cycling and walking.
Open spaces, roadsides
Answering questions from the floor, Stone said large areas around existing schools that are not utilised by the schools themselves, may be made available to development. “The idea is to engage with schools and find out what land they need, and release the rest of the land for development,” said Stone.
“It could generate revenue for the school but also provide opportunities for housing.” A member of the audience stated his concern about the proposed densification along the roadsides, especially in the green strip in front of Lavalia, next to Knysna Road. “You are identifying large areas along roads that need to be densified. At present we can’t even build a building because we can’t comply with the parking requirements. How on earth are you going to generate that type of density with the municipality’s parking requirements and their capital contribution requirements?” he asked.
Addressing his concern, Stone said that she fully agrees with him and that a recommendation has been made for a review of the parking requirements in the zoning schemes. Delia Power, a senior planner at the municipal directorate of planning and development, addressed some tough questions about the old crocodile farm, the George Riding Club and the Glenwood Golf Course. Power said that, although it might not happen right away, residential development will eventually take place in these areas.
Representations must be addressed to the Municipal Manager and be submitted in writing no later than 5 December 2018 at: 5th Floor, Civic Centre, York Street, George, or mailed to PO Box 9, George, 6530 / dpower@ george.gov.za.
Albé Strydom (left) of Groeneweide Park was very interested to find out what’s in the pipeline for the development of the old crocodile farm and the George Riding Club. With her is Browen Johnson, ward committee member of Groeneweide Park.
Catherine Stone of GAPP Architects and Urban Designers addressed interested members of the public at a presentation of George’s Draft Spatial Development Framework.