Members : UBRA members are owners of property in the Umdloti area as well as adults who have been resident in the Umdloti Beach area for a period of not less than three months.
CHAIRMAN : BRUCE STEPHENSON
P O Box 256, UMDLOTI BEACH, 4350 tel : 031 568 1033 :: fax : 086 671 6595 :: e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted by Lizzie Harwood (Cub Reporter) 21 November 2007
There was a great turnout of Umdloti residents. The cash bar was popular before the start of the meeting, and many thanks to Neil Slatter, Umdloti Resort for providing such a scenic venue.
The meeting was very well organised and chaired by the outgoing Chairperson Mr Richard Siedle, who made the announcement that he would be standing down after the AGM.
Mr Seidle outlined the complex structure of sub-committees reporting to the Ratepayers Committee, for those of us who can find these things difficult to follow. I think the forum really appreciated this:
Not sure whether "Coastal Conservancy" still exists or has been replaced by Envirowatch???
Councillor Geoff Pullan, from the floor, announced that Umdloti has been granted 'pilot blue flag' status, which is fantastic news for residents and tourism in the village.
Mr Seidle also made a brief presentation on proposals for establishment of an Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) for Umdloti, which would involve setting up a Section 21 (not for profit) company to provide supplemental services to those provided currently by the municipality, in return for a levy on the rates bill of all residents. The levy could be in the region of 5% of current rates bills. The UBRA committee was given a mandate by the Forum to look into this further with a view taking a vote on the proposal after July 2008. If 66% of ratepayers in Umdloti voted in favour, then the proposal can go ahead, and the levy will be collected from all ratepayers in the area.
Don Smith, currently the Vice Chairperson of UBRA (and whispered to be going on to greater heights with the departure of Mr Siedle as Chairperson) outlined proposals for security and parking arrangements over the festive season. It has been agreed that two lanes into Umdloti will be provided to separate residents and visitors, and speed up access. Residents’ discs will shortly be available from the "Friendly Grocer" 'Friendly Grocer'.
Then came the moment to elect the UBRA committee for the following year. All existing Committee members, excluding Marlene Elker, made themselves available for re-election, and were unanimously re-electing, including Mr. Seidle. Other committee members include Lynne Temlett, Judy and Pat Bean, Bruce Stephenson and Don Smith. Don Cockerel and Sandy Peake were elected as replacement members. Congratulations to all.
The meeting concluded with a special report from Rory Wilkinson of Tongaat Hulett on Sibaya Precinct. Mr Wilkinson is going to make a copy of his presentation available to me.
The Forum then moved on to a separate open meeting of the CPF sector 7.
5.30pm - Ratepayers AGM……..followed by:
7.00pm Community Policing Forum (CPF) Sector 7, open meeting
The CPF meeting is specially being held in the evening to encourage Umdloti residents who are unable to attend daytime meetings, to participate.
To assist readers in preparing for the above meetings we have copied the Chairman’s report on last year’s AGM
below, followed by his April 2007 and June 2007 newsletters. The Community Policing Forum has its own page at (just click on the link) www.umdloti.org/cpf.html
We held our last AGM on 29 November 2006 at the Umdloti Holiday Resort Conference Centre with thanks to Neil Slatter for arranging the venue for us. Some eighty residents were present plus our guest, Guy Butler from GAEA Projects. The following were some of the issues discussed at the Meeting.
This is now the third year that our Committee have been involved in traffic and crowd control procedures to combat the antisocial behaviour and breakdown of law and order in Umdloti, which had occurred in previous years.
Metro Police will have a mobile home control point at the entrance to Umdloti on the Main Road near the Wellesley Stables turn-off.
Residents' permits are available from the Friendly Supermarket, details of which were distributed last week by special brochure, entitled "Festive Season Traffic & Crowd Control".
Let us all hope these procedures will enable both residents and holidaymakers to enjoy a happy holiday in Umdloti during the Christmas and New Year season.
Our Committee continues to host regular monthly meetings with Council Officials and residents interested in maintaining and improving our village.
These meetings are held at the Umdloti Holiday Resort Conference Centre on the first Tuesday of each month and residents are welcome to attend at any time. My thanks to Neil Slatter for hosting these meetings without charge as part of his way of supporting our community efforts to maintain and improve our village.
Of particular importance are the following achievements:-
Parks & Gardens, in association with Umdloti Coastal Conservancy, are doing a fine job rehabilitating the verges on either side of the Main Road into Umdloti. They have planted a large variety of indigenous trees and shrubs on either side of the Main Road, most of which are growing beautifully following the recent rains. We are looking forward to witnessing the transformation of the entrance in a few years time when the trees are established, providing residents and visitors alike with an attractive leafy glade as they drive into the Umdloti village.
Parks & Gardens, together with UBRA, have also been a great help in rehabilitation of the corner of Main Road and Bellamont Road with trees and shrubs surrounding the Umdloti Conservancy dolphin sign which provides the focal point of this attractive area.
Businesses and Residents in Umdloti are now being invited to ‘adopt a spot’ both in front of their homes and also the verge along the Main Road.
Tongaat-Hulett are also co-operating by removing alien vegetation in the water course.
We are now busy with two new projects namely:-
A new thatched gazebo similar to the one at St Lucia, is planned at the entrance of Umdloti near the traffic circle to formalize activities near the Bus Shelter and provide facilities for legitimate traders particularly the tourist related vendors and the fruit and vegetable sellers.
Umdloti has at last been recognized as a candidate for BLUE FLAG status. To achieve this, the present Lifesavers Complex at the Tidal Pool will have to be upgraded. This is a major issue, as funds will need to be approved and financed by eThekwini Municipality.
Tidal Pool Project : We have, in the meantime, initiated a project with Residents and Ratepayers in the Tidal Pool area, particularly Body Corps., such as Cozumel, Cascades, Surfside, Tobago and Lazy Lizard to deal with the many problems in the area.
Building development in Umdloti continues at an alarming pace, and I sometimes wonder when it is all going to end.
As I reported, last year, there is a need to have a committee who are prepared to keep a watchful eye of these developments. To achieve this, we formed UMDLOTI ENVIROWATCH Forum that, like KUB, meets on the first Tuesday of each month; also at the Umdloti Conference Centre.
Input from residents is encouraged even if you are not able to attend these meetings.
Our Association has tried repeatedly, for several years, to bring residents and businesses in Umdloti together. Ideas of a control hut at the entrance to Umdloti complete with CCTV cameras have been looked at but, each time, costs to introduce a security system have been revealed, people have lost interest. The Neighbourhood Watch, which was established a few years ago, did not survive.
We did succeed in persuading ADT to provide Umdloti with a 24 hour vehicle patrol with armed response and medical backup which continues to be in place even though less than 50 % of residents do not subscribe to their services.
Both Terry Hough and Don Smith, members of our UBRA Committee, are also members of the DbnN/Umhlanga CPF. The CPF, together with SAPS and Metro Police officials, meet monthly at the La Lucia Library and Terry and Don regularly bring to their attention crime incidents in Umdloti. They are told that Umdloti is regarded as a relatively low crime area. Police officials are not even allowed to report crime statistics for different areas. The City Manager Mike Sutcliffe, in the latest MetroBeat maintains that Burglary at Residential premises is down 6.8%, Theft of or out of Motor Vehicles down 11.2% for the greater Durban area, so what are we all complaining about?
There are currently an increasing number of incidents, notably burglaries and car thefts, taking place in Umdloti. This needs to be addressed.
UBRA is not a security company but we do recognize the need for residents in our Village to be proactive in finding acceptable solutions to our growing crime problems.
We are, therefore, supporting an initiative by Michael Ryan and Don Cockerell who are arranging a meeting on Thurs 14 Dec. with the intention of establishing a Localized Security Service (LSS), together with ADT Security implementing an access control and roads patrol encompassing the area from Second Ave. to Sixth Ave. in the Umdloti South, bordered by S.B. Road and Newsel Road. (Michael Ryan's contact number is 0838212208).
As this LSS cell is confined to a small area in Umdloti South, it should be regarded as a pilot exercise, in that other residents in other areas of Umdloti could establish other similar cells.
The good news, by the way is that Crime in Umdloti was down sharply during last years Festive Season due mainly to the high level police presence, so let's hope this will be the case again this year.
At our AGM last year we had an interesting presentation from Rory Wilkinson of Moreland Developments who indicated that they were planning two hotels and flat complexes between two and four stories high, for a total of 450 residential units between the M4 and the Western boundary of Umdloti. In addition a further one or two hotels plus a further 400 units near the turn-off from the M4 into Umdloti.
Of the 855 hectares, 40 % would be developed, 60 % open spaces, and10 % coverage.
Guy Butler of GAEA Projects, who are managing the EIA process and who addressed us at out AGM, confirmed that there has been a dramatic rethink by the developers Moreland who have announced their intention to build 6000 Residential units, 8 Hotels/Resorts and 186 000m2 - commercial bulk.
We as an Association are concerned about the impact such a huge number of new residents and holidaymakers will have on the already over crowded beach facilities in Umdloti during peak holiday periods.
Guy Butler was requested to convey these concerns to the developers in order that a suitable "management plan" can be put in place to investigate the impact on Umdloti Village. He advised that Specialist Study reports would be available for review in January 2007, to be followed by a Public Meeting in February 2007.
Our committee has been very active in investigating the implications for Umdloti should the proposed new airport go ahead.
An EIA is presently in progress and the first Draft Scoping Report was issued by Institute of Natural Resources (INR) in August 2006. Most of you will have received my Newsletters on the subject by post box drop, or e-mail.
We have now joined forces with other ratepayer associations and civic organizations in the vicinity of the proposed new airport, from Virginia Airport in the south to Ballito and Tongaat in the north. Our new forum is called LA MERCY AIRPORT ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM (LAEF) and was formed to study and respond to the Scoping Report.
Our Forum is not in fact against the new airport, but is determined to ensure that the EIA process is done properly, all issues and concerns addressed, and NOT steamrolled by Political pressure.
Following pressure from the LAEF, the INR, who are conducting the EIA process for the proposed King Shaka airport, have now agreed to conduct a survey to determine noise levels from aircraft landing and taking off from the existing Durban International Airport. The results of this survey will be overlaid on the proposed King Shaka Airport site, which will hopefully give us all a much better idea of the noise pollution effects on surrounding communities. I think we are in for a shock when this report comes out.
Secondly, LAEF is demanding the Business Plan for the King Shaka Airport on the basis that public money is being used to fund the R2.5 billion development and we, as ratepayers, are entitled to have knowledge of the viability of this massive project.
The third issue LAEF is looking into is the alternative of expanding the existing Durban Airport. ACSA have so far refused to co-operate in this study so our Forum Chairman, Terry Bengis, is engaging other experts to assist.
We are doing this because indications are that Durban Airport can be expanded to meet even the most optimistic flight traffic projections for at least another 20/30 years or more!
What is certain is that, despite what you read in the Press, the proposed new airport cannot go ahead until the Scoping Report is completed and the 8/9 or so Specialist Studies, some of which I have mentioned above, have been completed. The completed Scoping Report must then be submitted to the Dept. of Environment Affairs and Tourism for a Record of Decision. No construction work can be done until then.
With all these developments going on in our Village and around us, Umdloti will be under increasing pressure to provide access and beach facilities.
To ensure that appropriate, sustainable and environmentally sound developments take place, it is imperative that UBRA and KUB maintain a strong presence.
To achieve this we need you support by joining our Association by completing the attached form and, of course, sending us your Membership Subscription. If you've joined before, please renew, and remember, THE MORE RATEPAYERS AND RESIDENTS WHO JOIN OUR ASSOCIATION THE MORE REPRESENTATIVE WE ARE OF UMDLOTI!!!
tel : 031-5681033 :: fax : -5681011
e-mail : email@example.com
N E W S L E T T E R JUNE 2007
In our December newsletter we lamented the fact that crime, notably house break-ins, car thefts and the like, was on the increase to the extent that Umdloti South residents are seriously considering a privately funded initiative to secure their area.
Imagine our committee surprise and delight to learn at the recent Community Police Forum AGM last month that South African Police Services (SAPS) had decided to introduce Sector Policing in the Durban North/Umhlanga area that includes Umdloti.
We grabbed this initiative with both hands, and have now established Sector 6 Policing Forum, the first sector to do so. An Inaugural Sector Policing meeting was held on 12 June during which Senior Superintendent Gonya of SAPS advised that Sector Policing was the way to go to eradicate crime in our area. The Umdloti Policing Forum Committee was elected with Capt Msomi as Sector Manager. We now have a dedicated SAPS vehicle patrolling Umdloti streets that goes a long way to our ultimate goal of having a local police station.
The new Umdloti Sector Committee has already had their first meeting together with private security services in the area to discuss crime related problems and solutions.
We are optimistic that this police presence, together with ADT armed response vehicle based in Umdloti will go a long way to resolve our crime problems.
Residents and Visitors are encouraged to report crime related incidents to Capt. Msomi on 0826838685 or directly to the SAP Patrol Vehicle on 0741076702.
Regular updates will also be posted on Umdloti website http://www.umdloti.org
Following the heavy seas which hit Umdloti in March, causing major damage along Umdloti beachfront including the collapse of large sections of beachfront roads and verges, eThekwini Disaster Management Joint Operating Committee swung into action and have successfully shored up the most vulnerable areas with quarry rock and restored essential services some with temporary fresh water pipes to residents homes. A letter of thanks for such swift action was sent to the City Manager.
The Coastal Bio-diversity Management Committee is now busy with the slow and laborious reconstruction of the road and adjoining infrastructure. Our committee has supported this Metro Committee decision to use large sand filled geo-fabric bags instead of ugly concrete block walling used previously in North beach Road. They will also be experimenting with sausage like geo-fabric tubes of 50 metres in length that will be placed in certain sections then filled with sand to help shore up the verge from further erosion. The bagged walling plus gabion baskets will then be used to bring the walling up to street level, where after reconstruction will begin to restore the beachfront road.
We are informed that contracts have already been awarded for R7,5 million to cover South beach Road and R4,5 million to cover North beach Road. Thank goodness we do not live in Ballito and other coastal resorts outside Durban Municipality boundaries!!
Progress and plans for this ongoing rehabilitation is discussed at our KEEP UMDLOTI BEAUTIFUL FORUM meetings which takes place on the first Tuesday of the month at Umdloti Holiday resort Conference Centre kindly made available free of charge by Umdloti Holiday Resort and is open to all Umdloti residents.
LA MERCY AIRPORT UPDATE
If recent media statements are to believed, the proposed new airport at La Mercy will be built any day now. The truth of the matter, however, is that nothing can be done until the final Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been completed, then approved by the national Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism and a positive Record of Decision is made. ACSA themselves stated recently that “ ACSA was legally bound not to commence any form of construction on the site before a decision was made based on the outcome of the EIA study.”
We as UBRA have been active members of the La Mercy Airport Environmental Forum since its formation in June last year with its main objective to monitor the EIA process to ensure communities in the area were properly represented and their concerns addressed.
There are still a number of issues and concerns which need to be finalized which includes errors and omissions in the specialist study on Noise Pollution which means that a much wider areas and communities could be affected by unacceptable noise levels, including Mt Edgecombe and Zimbali Estates.
The good news is that the recently released specialist study on upgrading the existing Durban International (DIA) reports short term enhancements can be made to cope with passenger flows expected during the Soccer World Cup in 2010, so there is no longer any urgency to build the new airport for this event. In fact the report shows that DIA and can be upgrade to meet projected passenger volumes through to 2025/30 if required.
The draft EIA Report is now available and can be viewed at the Umdloti library or on Gaea Projects website www.gaea.co.za
From an Umdloti perspective the following information is important.
The Sibaya Precinct lies behind Umdloti between the Ohlanga River and the Umdloti M4 / Main Road interchange and between the N2 and M4 freeways, an area of 850 hectares.
Moreland Estates plan on building a total of 6000 residential units, 8 hotels/resorts with 955 hotel rooms and 186,170 sq meters of Commercial space. The built environment represents 21 % of the total area the balance of land allocated to Open Space and indigenous forests.
High density development of mainly 3/4 storey apartments will be restricted to hilltops with lower density housing towards to lower lying areas with emphasis on natural features such as wetlands, forests, and natural green corridors. There will be 5 nodes of which Node 1 and Node 5 will be near Umdloti western boundary buffered by the existing forest corridor. Due to topographical constraints particularly the existing wetland between Node 5 and the Umdloti traffic circle, it will not be possible to link the new development with Umdloti. Instead they plan ‘back of beach’ parking at Node5 with a regular shuttle service to and from our village for holidaymakers and new residents at Sibaya.
In addition they plan pedestrian access to the beach via Margaret Bacon Ave and Fifth Avenue. Nodes 1 and 5 will be built first followed by 2,3, &4.
Final submissions and comments should be made to Debbie Donkin at GAEA by 4 July.(PH 031 3037505 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
To all Ratepayers & Residents
Our Committee is busier than ever dealing with several serious issues that could have a profound effect on the lives of each and every one of you.
Whilst the undersigned and my Committee continue to offer our services free, gratis and for nothing, there are unavoidable administration expenses, including the cost of notices, newsletters, etc, to be covered.
Three major issues which require careful attention and time consuming meetings are as follows:-
TIDAL STORM DAMAGE 18-21 March.
Clean up operations are being handled in two phases.
Immediate emergency protection services from eThekwini Disaster Management Joint Ops. Committee who are still busy shoring up the beachfront washaways.
Thereafter, retaining walls, road repairs and other activities will be done by Coastal and Bio-diversity Management sub-committee with whom we are interacting so we can try to ensure the best solutions are implemented.
It is interesting to note that there have now been THREE major disasters in Umdloti in the last 20 years. The first was storm damage from cyclone Demoina in 1987 the second was extensive storm damage including beachfront washaways in 1999, and now this.
We as an Association have joined with other like-minded Bodies and created a Forum called LA MERCY AIRPORT ENVIRONMNETAL FORUM to participate in the EIA Scoping Process to ensure that the many Specialist Studies are done properly and not rushed through to meet politically driven deadlines. Of particular significance to Umdloti residents will be noise pollution from aircraft. We anticipate that this study will be completed by the end of this month whereafter we should all have a much better idea how the proposed new airport will effect our daily lives.
This huge development of some 855 hectares is also subject to an EIA process and when complete will increase the resident population in the Umdloti area 3 to 4 times with the obvious impact this will have Umdloti limited beach space and other resources. As previously we will keep you all updated as the plans roll out.
Join or renew membership of our Association by completing the attached membership form so that we have adequate funds to meet our increasing daily admin expenses. Surely the current subscription cost of R50 per year is not unreasonable? For those of you who have already renewed and given donations … many thanks for your loyalty.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE
UMDLOTI HOLIDAY RESORT CONFERENCE CENTRE
WEDNESDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 2006 AT 18h00 (6 pm)
THE AGENDA INCLUDES:
tel : 031-5681033 :: fax : -5681011 :: e-mail : email@example.com
N E W S L E T T E R
My Newsletter, circulated to Umdloti residents in June, drew attention to the fact that there were two Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in progress, namely, the Sibaya Precinct project and the King Shaka Airport/Dube TradePort project, both of which could have a profound effect on Umdloti residents and ratepayers.
We have just received the Draft Scoping Report for the Sibaya project and the King Shaka report is also due soon. For those interested, there is a copy of the full Sibaya Report in the Umdloti Library. GAEA Projects, who are conducting the Scoping process have requested response/comment to this Report by 04 September.
From an Umdloti resident perspective, I believe the following aspects are relevant.:-
The Sibaya Precinct area of some 855 hectares has been divided into 6 nodes of which Node1 and Node 5 border on Umdloti's Western boundary.
Cluster development of the nodes continues to be preferred by Moreland as opposed to a "carpet housing" approach.
One of the reasons given for pursuing higher densities is that the built footprint will be minimised by consolidating these in hilltops, thereby allowing for a greater space lattice as a basis for a more powerful ecological environment.
Collectively, Moreland are now planning 4300 residential units, 8 Hotels/Resorts, 87014m2 commercial/offices. The remaining area has been allocated to Recreation/Conservation and Leisure activities that could include any of all of the following (some of which may require further investigation): luge, botanic garden types of activities, white water experience, water bodies, animal farm, monkey sanctuary, butterfly farm, gondolas, boardwalks, foofy slides, animal hides, forest trails and boardwalks, estuary trails and boardwalks, beach access and public facility, swimming beach.
The current timeframe to land sell-out is envisaged as approximately 10 years subject to commencing in 2007.
The framework plan of development during this period, in terms of height, is to have a generalised height of between 2-4 storeys across the area with the hilltops around key urban spaces having greater height in the order of 4-6 storeys and possibly 8 as a means to define the space. A key design feature is the introduction of special sites that occupy landmark positions where iconic buildings are proposed. These would be in the region of 10-15 storeys and would typically be 1 of such buildings at the most prominent hilltops (!!!!!)
Medium density residential developments, a resort, and a forest estate are proposed. Land use for this node will comprise 16422 m2 commercial, 482 DU's residential, 76 bed Hotel.
A new Town Centre is planned in the North East corner (on the hill between M4 interchange and Main Road (MR96) into Umdloti. Land use for this node is planned 26368 m2 Commercial, 1020 DU's Residential, Iconic Hotel 131 beds and Entertainment /Recreational area of 11546 m2.
Exact densities are subject to outcomes of a specialist study, which has been initiated.
The Town Centre will have its own "back of beach" parking and shuttle services to Umdloti beaches are planned.
They are also considering additional commercial development on the South side of the Main Road to create a connection between the new Town Centre and Umdloti.
GAEA PROJECTS have agreed to conduct a Specialist Study to address our concerns about limited beach capacity and parking.
A specialist study is to be done to address the following: impact of increased number of people in the area; link between parking facility/family resort and beach needs careful considerations and discussion between adjacent landowners; access points to the beach in terms of both impact and facilitating public access to the beach.
MARGARET BACON ACCESS
A new link road is still on the plans from a new traffic circle on the M4. This new access is a proposal suggested by the City to alleviate congestion into/out of Umdloti and would require "back-of-beach" infrastructure. They maintain that additional accesses into Umdloti will help to spread the traffic load and hence are beneficial. Additional infrastructure at the beach is necessary - whether this is provided by rates income or other mechanisms.
MHLANGA FOREST ESTATE
This development will not go ahead, although a boutique hotel and niche spa is being considered.
A traffic study for the area is currently being undertaken by eThekwini Municipality. It is not anticipated that the M4 will need to be widened to cater for increased traffic flows in the area. Instead, increasing the traffic lanes on the N2 from 4 to 6 is being investigated. No mention is made about the Main Road (MR96) into Umdloti, which is only 2 lanes, and without any pedestrian capacity.
SKI BOAT CLUB
As the Umdloti Ski Boat Club clubhouse is likely to be demolished, in the near future, to make way for the Bali Beach Resort, members will soon be without a home as there are no plans at present to relocate the Club facilities. The Umhlanga Club will also be moving but not to the Peace Cottage Angling Club site. We have informed eThekwini Municipality that we need a Community Centre.
The original plan for an indigenous Botanical Gardens along the banks of the Ohlanga estuary has been scrapped. They plan, instead, a smaller facility related to tourism near Sibaya casino complex. The ultimate development, however, will comprise generous open space areas including road reserves which provide for a complete open space lattice that will achieve a lot more in terms of bio-diversity across the site, hence would create a residential community within a "bio-diversity park"
GREEN BELT CORRIDOR
Moreland have confirmed that there will be a rehabilitation plan and future management of the open space system so that the natural bush behind Umdloti can be preserved.
There are two wetlands identified, one along the northeastern boundary (Main Road into Umdloti), and a smaller one behind St Malo, which will be the subject of an EMP to ensure they are suitably protected.
I encourage residents to examine the full Scoping Report and respond to GAEA Projects by 4 September.
Their telephone number is 031-3037505.
Alternatively, contact me as below.
tel : 031-5681033 :: fax : -5681011 :: e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Members : UBRA members are owners of property in the Umdloti area as well as adults who have been resident in the Umdloti Beach area for a period of not less than three months.
Click here to go BACK HOME and here for the CPF or here for UMDLOTI CONSERVANCY or here for LA MERCY AIRPORT or here for SIBAYA PRECINCT and here for KEEP UMDLOTI BEAUTIFUL