Members of the Bendor Village Home Owners’ Association are up in arms about a drive-through restaurant that is planned on the same site as a gym diagonally opposite the main entrance to their complex and intend to appeal against the decision of the Polokwane Municipality to allow such a land use there.
A petition signed by property owners in Bendor Village stated that the municipality apparently approved rights to operate a KFC franchise on Erf 1203, Bendor Extension 8 on 22 December 2016. According to the petition, the association objects to the approval of the application and was the only objector when the application was heard by the Municipal Land Use Committee on 30 November 2016.
One of the main grounds for the objection of the association is that a drive-through restaurant does not fit in with the residential character of the area. “In the past, the municipality itself rejected applications for alternative land uses along General Maritz Street, based on arguments that the change in land use would change the character of the residential area,” it argued. According to the petition, to approve the rezoning application to allow for the proposed activity is in direct contravention of the Town Planning Scheme as well as of the Spatial Development Framework of the municipality itself. “To allow the rezoning to go ahead and have a drive-through restaurant would create a precedent and other retail activities could follow.” The owners argue that there are no other drive-through restaurants in residential areas. All of them are in the CBD, in other secondary activity nodes or at filling stations. “This precedent would mean that drive-through restaurants could be allowed anywhere in any residential area,” they say.
“General Maritz Street comprises two single traffic lanes that serves as the only connecting street between Bendor and Outspan drives and already carries heavy traffic, especially during peak times. This will only be compounded and may result in potential danger to pedestrians, including scholars from Laerskool Pietersburg-Oos,” the objecting owners claim.
According to the owners, the area of the property does not offer enough space to comply with parking requirements and they are concerned that the nature of the planned business would result in noise, littering, increased traffic and criminal elements frequenting the area. The petition however fails to state that the erf was already zoned ‘Special’.
Communications and Marketing Manager of the municipality, Matshidiso Mothapo said the petition had not been received yet and that prescribed processes should be followed. ”The required public consultation processes were followed and the committee considered the objection of the Bendor Village Home Owners’ Association before a decision was made.”
Story: BARRY VILJOEN