Bo-Kaap now in protection zone

2019-04-09 06:00

The City of Cape Town council has approved the inclusion of the Bo-Kaap area into a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone (HPOZ).

This comes after the City called on residents and businesses in the area to submit their comments on the matter.

Mayor Dan Plato said the council’s approval marked a pivotal moment for Bo-Kaap.

“(Today), the City has officially committed to conserving the unique historical landscape and way of life in the Bo-Kaap by managing development in a sustainable and considered manner. Residents’ plight in getting the Bo-Kaap area included in an HPOZ has been ongoing for nearly four years,” Plato said.

The City conducted a comprehensive public participation process about the proposal to include the Bo-Kaap area into HPOZ, which saw 2 298 comments being received of which 2 271 were in support of the proposal.

Mayco member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt said the people who participated in the public participation process want the City to protect the Bo-Kaap’s long-term sustainability as a cultural asset.“By including the Bo-Kaap in an HPOZ we will ensure that this uniqueness is harnessed and promoted for future generations and visitors,” she said.

The inclusion of the Bo-Kaap into an HPOZ will have an impact on all property owners in the area, in particular as it relates to new developments, restorations, and the maintenance and alteration of properties.

The objectives of the HPOZ are to conserve the area’s heritage by encouraging owners to retain and rehabilitate the existing residential buildings; and protect the streetscapes; ensure that new developments and alterations to existing buildings complement the historic urban landscape and do not negatively impact the area’s heritage.

Nieuwoudt said property owners are expected to conserve the area’s historical character by doing alterations that go in line with the character and style of the building by retaining as many of the original characteristics as possible when altering or adding to a historical building.

“For some actions, owners do not need City approval. For example, normal gardening activities that do not include the removal of mature trees or hedges and for minor maintenance such as repainting but this does not include the painting of decorative features such as stone, metal, ceramic, and unpainted wood that form part of the historic building.”

Over 600 privately-owned properties in the Bo-Kaap will be affected by the HPOZ because the City said the heritage value of these properties must be protected and enhanced when owners want to undertake alterations, restorations and general maintenance.“This may sound complicated and some property owners may feel overwhelmed, or even confused. But the City has heritage professionals at all of the spatial planning district officers who will assist and advise homeowners and this guidance is free of charge.”V For more information visit https://bit.ly/2HZPGG4

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