Wow, where is the year already?
This is the first newsletter for 2021 and already two months of 2021 are gone. Unfortunately the Covid-19 virus is still with us. But somehow we all have adapted and life go on although different from what we are used to.
This year is going to be a busy year in Welgelegen Estate. A lot of new houses will be built. Everybody is waiting in great anticipation for the Estate Facility and Entrance Upgrade project. Needless to say it will bring some challenges and headaches. But with the next phase of the garden upgrade project to start soon, it will hopefully bring some joy and relief. With fresh air and sunshine a good way of keeping the virus away, why not make 2021 a great gardening year?
We hope to bring you more newsletters this year as there is a lot of information to be shared. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.
SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
With the Covid-19 restrictions still in place with regards large gatherings, the physical SGM as planned will be substituted by an electronic SGM (e-SGM). This in order to address a few pressing issues. An unforeseen delay means the e-SGM will now happen in March.
A physical SGM for more general aspects is still planned for when it is allowed and deemed safe. More information regarding the e-SGM will be made available in due course.
ESTATE FACILITIES PROJECT
In a recent newsletter the new entrance gate and estate operational facilities were presented complete with artist impressions. Apart from a few enquiries, which were more focused on the esthetics, it seems that major acceptance can be assumed. The costing phase is now also complete. The next step will be application for plan approval by the Municipality as soon as possible.
A number of discussions took place with the Developer regarding funding options of the Estate Facilities Project over the last three months. Such funding options have not yet been finalised and the expectation is that this matter will be concluded with the Developer in the near future.
The final project plan will be presented to members with the e-SGM in March.
Residents are kindly reminded that the speed limit is 30 km/h. It is acknowledged that contractor vehicles are probably guiltier of speeding in the Estate. A number of residents however are not far behind. Residents previously expressed their disapproval of speed calming measures such as speed bumps due to the noise impact. At this stage additional STOP signs are contemplated at increasingly busy intersections. However, residents are hereby informed that somewhere in future speed trapping will be instigated from time to time. This means real fines for exceeding the speed limit. Residents will be informed if and when the first occurance will be.
The second phase of the garden renewal project will kick off in March. The current hot and dry conditions are not beneficial for the establishment of new gardens especially when plants are transplanted. Last year 10 gardens were renewed and all the plants used were almost exclusively from our in-house nursery. According to the renewal plan the focus will still be on street corner gardens from the Estate entrance towards the middle of the Estate. The reasoning behind this is that first impressions are lasting and therefore the focus at this stage is on garden upgrades on the first half of the Estate from the entrance.
And then of course there is the garden called the “Highway garden” which is the almost 300m long garden down Welgelegen Blvd. This garden has been divided into 13 blocks. This garden poses a challenge since it requires additional soil for terraces as the existing soil structure is mostly clay. A lot of plants from our “rescue garden” will be re-established here. The “rescue garden” refers to a garden at the nursery where large rescued plants were nursed back to health for future transplants.
This year will also see focus moving to the two remaining park areas namely “Paddagat” and “Fish Eagle”. Currently they do not really resemble parks but this is about to change.
The biggest problem however is the ability to water the newly established gardens for at least the first year and during hot dry spells. With the Welgelegen borehole unfortunately supplying brackish water, we are relying on generous residents adjacent to corner/intersection gardens for supply of water. A big thank you to these residents.
We anticipate that the upgrades will extent into 2022 as it is a huge undertaking and stock in the nursery has to be replenished.
We are again kindly requesting residents to water trees on street verges. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
TOUGHER ACTION INEVITABLE
Members will recall a number of past newsletters where the issue of dog poo was addressed. Sadly it must be reported that it had no effect as a lot of dog poo is continuously observed throughout the Estate. This is highly frustrating and annoying for everybody, except the culprits of course. An instruction was issued for fines to be awarded if somebody is observed and reported who does not clean up after their dog.
We do realize that as always it is only a few people who do not care. Seeing that some dog owners always forget to carry poo bags, unfortunately all dog owners will carry the burden as it is contemplated to implement a dog tax to fund the establishment of poo bag dispensers and dustbins and for it to be serviced regularly. Additional to that a pet register will be established to exercise greater control. All of this however can be averted if all residents with dogs comply with the simple and reasonable request to clean up after your dog has done it business.
And then of course there are cats. Residents are reminded to exercise control of cats in order to protect the diminishing birdlife in the Estate as accelerated building activity is reducing breeding space.
This year will be quite challenging on everybody’s nerves. No less than 22 new house plans have already been approved for construction this year. And then there is also the completion of the Views Frail Care. To manage this properly and orderly the Trustees have made a number of decisions.
The most important is that of general standards of building sites. A higher level of standards for the cleanliness, order and aesthetics of buildings sites were approved. To this end a meeting was held with all current and new building contractors to inform them of higher standards and also the more strict application of these standards.
A stricter adherence to the building guidelines will be enforced. A number of exceptions slipped through or were erroneously allowed by the Design Review Panel. For this reason some introspection and the establishment of better processes was adopted. The DRP therefore decided on a more strict (but reasonable) approach in order to protect the visual and aesthetic appearance of residences in the Estate.
Only no-noise work will be allowed on Saturdays. And unless for exceptional reasons no work on public holidays.
A project was launched to investigate the establishment of a new contractor entrance into the Estate. This is an urgent requirement for a number of reasons. The first being that building activities are migrating from west to east in the estate. And the upgrade of the Welgelegen Entrance will also disable the current entrance gate for a while.
But perhaps the most important is the aspect of security in a time of increased building activities. Some new measures are contemplated and it will be communicated in due course.
Residents are kindly requested to, in the event of a grievance with regards building contractors, not to directly engage with the building contractors or its workers but to report problems speedily and directly to the Estate Manager.