August 25, 2019

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Friday, July 19, 2019

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COUNCIL APPROVAL OF PRECINCT PLANS IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

It was a moment of great pride during the City of Johannesburg Council meeting, last week, when the Keys Avenue Arts Precinct Plan Amendment and Glen Austin Extension 3 Precinct Plan were respectively approved.

In 2016, Council approval was granted for the Keys Avenue Arts Precinct Plan, which included the proposal to develop a privately-owned midblock park.

The Urban Design Advisory Committee (UDAC), however, acknowledge that this proposed development was impractical to implement, and recommended an amendment.

Reasons why the midblock project would not have worked are:

·       The full extent of the midblock park as illustrated in the Keys Ave Arts Precinct Plan is no longer possible;

·       A structure has been built across the midblock park negating the original intention to provide a continuous green strip of private open space;

·       Some erven fell out of the original Precinct Plan boundary, which diminished their redevelopment value;

·       Landowners within the precinct were required to provide a 10m building line along either their east/west boundary, for the construction of the midblock park.

The approval of this amendment was therefore necessary to allow for applications and Site Development Plans (SDPs) to be processed by the Land Use Development Management Directorate, without the expectation to set aside the generous building line.

There would also be no diminishing the redevelopment potation of erven, resulting in increased Gross Lettable Area (GLA), and increased rates and taxes for the City.

Furthermore, alternative greening and landscaping will be provided to the satisfaction of Council.

The development of the Glen Austin Extension 3 Precinct Plan is based on the increasing pressures for the development of the Glen Austin area.

The precinct is a host to Pearson Institute, also known as the Midrand Graduate Insitute (MGI); also in close proximity is the Midrand Metropolitan node.

These two elements have given rise to noticeable development pressures within the precinct, which have also resulted in the prevalence of illegal land uses.

The current local development framework – President Park, Glen Austin and Austin View Development Framework (1997) – applicable to the precinct and its surrounding areas, is outdated and does not adequately respond to the current development trends.

It was on this basis that the City Transformation and Spatial Planning Directorate set out to develop a precinct plan to enable and guide development of this area, in line with the City’s Spatial Development Framework (SDF) 2040, as adopted by Council in 2016.

The benefits of the development of the Glen Austin Extension 3 Precinct Plan are that it helps to guide the development of the area in a more orderly fashion, thereby protecting existing investment in the area, and creating opportunities for future investment. It responds to the piling development pressures that exist in the area, and will therefore reduce the number of illegal land uses in the area, and result in a safer, and more manageable precinct.

The precinct plan is also expected to introduce a mix of land uses in the area, which may also create a number of job opportunities. Finally, it provides clarity on what land uses are and are not allowed in the area, which may improve by-law enforcement.​

These precinct plans highlight the City of Johannesburg’s objective of implementing development legislation that seeks to empower the residents of Joburg.

I wish to thank all City of Joburg Councillors who took the time to apply their minds and interrogate the proposed precinct plans for the benefit of our residents.

Poppy Louw

Stakeholder Manager: Office the MMC for Development Planning

poppyl@joburg.org.za

081 235 4999

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