BMRA Newsletter

cropped-bmra-logo1Chairman’s Message
The year is flying along and no doubt we shall soon be preparing for the AGM. The Association has been very busy and there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day (or night). As you will see above, we have experienced some changes to the Executive Committee since the last newsletter. I wish to express my appreciation once again to those who have served on the committee and welcome those who were recently added to the committee. Michael Roper did not stand for re-election last year and Jacqueline Edmiston has this year resigned from the committee due to family commitments. She will however continue to be the Webmaster of the Associations website on a pro bono basis. Michael Borgström a resident architect was newly elected at the last AGM having been co-opted last year, and we are pleased to have co-opted Elizabeth Owen of Meadowridge and an additional “legal eagle” in the form of Andrew Buhagiar who has already made a considerable contribution to the functioning of the committee.  We still have space for further Committee members and are happy to hear from any members who would like to serve on the committee.
Once again my thanks go to the Committee for their support, the Ward Councillors Penny East and Carol Bew for their attendance where possible at our monthly meetings and to Winnie Craythorne, our secretary, without whom the functioning of the Association would be severely affected.
Recruiting of New Members
This remains an ongoing task which is by nature time consuming if left to the committee. We would encourage you, our members, to place the attached “Invitation to Join” in your neighbour’s post box, if they are not members, – or better still, hand it to him/her when next you have reason to chat. If you don’t know your neighbor, perhaps this would be a good icebreaker. Feel free to run off a few copies and cover your street. Increased membership makes us more representative and increases the potential of the Association.
Liquor Licensing
The Association was inundated with applications to extend trading hours by all the supermarkets in the area to permit wines sales on Sundays and effectively for all hours of trading. The Association has a long history of opposing the sale of alcohol in residential areas due to the increased propensity for vagrancy and anti-social behavior induced by excessive alcohol consumption. Assurances that  extended hours for supermarket sales of liquor are unlikely to exacerbate the situation have proven to be untrue since the Association is aware of the sale by a local supermarket of a box of wine to a clearly inebriated individual – which is a contravention of Provincial Liquor Legislation.
In addition, the Association has resolved to approve on – consumption licences for Lime Tree Café restaurant and Col Cacchia on the basis that no alcohol is to be served unless the kitchen is operational.

Harry Goemans Garden Centre
Some members may recall that in 2000 after public consultation with the community in respect of the redevelopment of the site, the community raised concerns of retail liquor outlets being allowed and the South Peninsula Municipality agreed to impose a rezoning condition prohibiting a bottle store or liquor outlet from the premises.  However, five years later, despite objections and appeals, the then Councillors amended the condition to allow the Kwikspar Superette to sell wine and recently the Subcouncil agreed to them extending
their trading hours including wine sales on Sundays.  The prohibition of a bottle store remained in the condition.  Recently Kwikspar applied for a licence for a TOPS bottle store to operate at the Centre but because the condition still prohibited it the application was blocked and now the owners of the Centre have applied to Council to further amend the condition to permit a bottle store to operate on the premises.
The Executive Committee of the Association has decided to oppose this further amendment and has made a Petition available for members of the community who wish to oppose the amendment to permit a bottle store because of the anti-social behaviour and negative impact on the community commonly experienced where bottle stores are located, particularly as the Centre is surrounded by residential premises and that there is already a bottle store nearby. We would encourage our members to submit individual objections to the relaxation of the condition, the result of which will be to allow yet another bottle store in our area with the attendant social problems. Perhaps Councillor East is correct in suggesting that the solution to the plethora of bottle stores lies in permitting supermarkets to sell beer and ciders.
Municipal Affairs
The City continues to churn out policy documents and draft by-laws for comment. The Association tries, as a civic association to contribute, but this is time consuming – particularly when the quality of draftsmanship leaves much to be desired or there is a lack of appreciation of the import these policies and bylaws will have on the functioning of civil society. The most recent bylaw is for the creation of a City Ombudsman and we shall be submitting comments particularly as the drafting is poor in comparison to the one drafted by the Association’s former Chairman, Dr Donald Craythorne. We shall also be submitting comment on the policy regarding Library Hall usage as this affects us directly. We aim to upload all policies open for comment onto our website for perusal by the community and would welcome timeous comments from members.
Amenities
Our area is blessed with a number of recreational facilities. In some cases, local residents have taken a keen interest in making the parks inviting and safe for the enjoyment and benefit of the community. Hiddingh Road  Park in particular is one that we can be proud of and it would be nice to see the residents surrounding the other parks taking “ownership” of these areas. If you have any ideas for your local park or public open space, let us know and we can see what we can accomplish.
Roads Verges and Traffic
Non-Motorised Transport Upgrade:  At the request of the Association, the City Council’s Traffic Services undertook an investigation regarding the dangers of right-hand turns from the access point onto Ladies Mile Road and agreed with the Association that it was hazardous and introduced “left turn only” signage.  However, because many motorists were ignoring the signage and making right-hand turns, the Association requested more visible signage and that the entrance be re-shaped to enforce the left-turn only.  This has been done, but old habits die hard – it seems. We have been informed that in the coming months, work will begin on the Non-Motorised Transport Cycle and Pedestrian network along Kendal, Ladies Mile, Firgrove and Spanschemacht  for the area which will include a median island at the Engen Service Station to restrict this access to Left-in/Left-out only. In addition, this upgrade will see the landscaping of the verge between Kendal Road and the Service Road in Meadowridge including the upgrading of the existing fence. Traffic signals at the intersection of Kendal Road and Edison Drive have also been approved. Informal Trading and Signage on Verges: The Association has reported illegal trading in Ladies Mile adjacent to the Baptist Church as well as at the intersections of Ladies Mile and Main Road, and Dreyerdal and Main Road where signage trailers feel entitled to park. The Association has also reported illegal signage advertising Tango’s restaurant. Members are urged to report contraventions to the Association or direct to the City using the SMS number 31373.
Repair of Pavements: The Association has been requested by the City to supply a list of pavements that require remedial work. Please advise the Association urgently in writing of any such cases  – specifying the Street and house numbers.
Meadowridge Park and Shop Parking Area: The Association is urgently pursuing the erection of a barrier along Firgrove Way to prevent vehicles accessing the parking area other than through the three access points provided and the repair of the kerb.  Councillor Bew has undertaken to chase this up.
Town Planning and Land Use
The Committee has dealt with a number of town-planning applications mostly involving the contravention of building lines, but also consent for a second dwelling, lease of Council land, an Early Childhood Development Centre and an application for subdivision.
The Association has received correspondence from the local Dutch Reformed Church to the effect that the installation of a cellular mast is not to be proceeded with due to the opposition from members of the community.
The Association’s request for a condition limiting signage in Bergvliet Road at the proposed nursery site was declined by the Provincial authorities on the basis that the City’s advertising bylaw dealt with the situation.

INVITATION

 

If you are not currently a member of the Association I would like to extend an invitation to you as a resident in our area to join.   The annual subscription is presently R50.00 per household.
The Bergvliet/Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association (BMRA) has a long history stretching back to 1947 when the first Bergvliet Ratepayers’ Association was established.  Some ten years later when Meadowridge was established a Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association also came into being and eventually the two associations amalgamated to become the Bergvliet/Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association.
BMRA, like all ratepayer and civic associations, is registered with the City of Cape Town which, together with the Provincial Government, consult us on matters affecting our area of operation.  BMRA is able to comment on, object to, or support land use applications, proposed subdivisions, departures, the Council’s zoning scheme regulations, new by-laws and other proposed legislation. BMRA also deals with various local government complaints, eg repairs to roads, traffic, signage, dumping, refuse collection, etc. All members of the committee are community volunteers, working for the benefit of all residents.
The Bergvliet/Meadowridge area has always had a strong community spirit and has fought
gallantly against the location of bottle stores, hotels, and other unsuitable forms of development which would harm the nature of our garden city suburb.
The Bergvliet/Meadowridge area is a quiet, restful, tranquil garden suburb and deserves to be protected against those who would jeopardize that through self-interest. BMRA endeavours to protect the residential integrity and preserve the built and natural environment of the area particularly our valued public open spaces. If you wish to preserve or indeed enhance the environment in which you live, please join the Bergvliet/Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association so that we can demonstrate our strength and unity to the authorities and their officials.

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