GEORGE NEWS - The George Municipality will be rezoning municipal land bordering on the Garden Route Dam from undetermined to educational.
It abuts the land on which environmental approval was granted in 2014 for a commercial waterfront development.
An advertisement was published to invite town planners to submit tenders with an aim to have the property (a portion of the remainder of erf 464) rezoned and subdivided for the purpose of "a university / research institute / academy".
Planning and Development Acting Director Charles Lubbe said once the rezoning process is completed, Council will make a decision regarding the alienation and development of the land.
"The details of such a tender are not available yet. A need for land for tertiary institutions has been identified after the municipality received several enquiries for such purposes over the past year."
He said the rezoning will take about 18 months. Service providers are to be appointed as this eliminates the risk for the developer and also adds value to the property.
There are two separate tenders, one for obtaining environmental approval and the other for handling the rezoning process. "The processes are very complex and the municipality does not have the capacity to execute such applications in-house. As a rule, we alienate the land without rights and then leave it to the developer to obtain the rights, but the risks are too high for the developer in this case."
Waterfront development approval still valid
The undeveloped, natural state of the land around the Garden Route Dam is popular among many locals and the quietude of the surrounding neighbourhood something that its residents cherish. When the municipality announced a proposal for a commercial and waterfront development as well as an extensive residential development here some years ago, it faced vehement opposition from residents.
The Department of Environmental Affairs eventually rejected the residential component of the application.
The waterfront proposal, which received approval for five years on the condition that the dam wall be raised first, has not realised. Its environmental approval lapses in 2019, but Lubbe said legislation makes provision for granting extension of the approval period if the dam wall is not raised before the original deadline.
R12-m upset price for York Street land
According to another tender advertisement, George Municipality is offering for sale an 11,86ha property on the corner of York Street and the old Airport Road (R102) at an upset price of R12-million.
The property, which touches on the western boundary of Mountview Resort, is a portion of the remainder of erf 464 (remaining municipal property).
According to the tender conditions, bidders must provide a comprehensive business plan for the land and start with development within 18 months after the awarding of the tender. The development must be completed within five years.
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