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Volume 1 | Issue 1

Winter 2018

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The Lower Houghton Residents’

Update

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Wonder how stuff gets done in our neighbourhood?

A call for lovers of Houghton

Ever wonder how some key neighborhood stuff gets done, like who takes on some zoning decisions that affect the suburb from a density and traffic perspective? (See The future of Houghton) Who organizes clean ups and shares critical information on topics that affects us, such as the valuation roll and objections? The answer is a bunch of committed volunteers, but Houghton is a large suburb and the team needs some new blood.

October sees the election of a new committee and the extended suburb needs a committee larger than the current one, to spread the load. So, if you’re passionate about your suburb and willing to contribute some of your time, please contact us. (See Contact details). Specific but not exclusive skills required include legal and town planning. We look forward to meeting you. A special thank you to Ronnie Napier and Marc McIntosh from Webber Wenzel for legal guidance.

A reminder that the LHRA is a SARS registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) which relies solely on your donations to manage and fund activities for your benefit. To continue this good work, we look forward to your input and donations to help us to build the community and keep our suburb as a sought-after place to live.

The newsletter that follows, demonstrates how busy the past few months have been.

Wishing you a happy and safe winter.

Warmest regards Natalie Webb
LHRA chairperson 2018

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Revised valuations about to kick-in

Many Houghton homes were re-valued (more accurately) as part of the COJ’s General Valuation Roll. If you objected to the valuation, which should be the actual market value as of the 1 July 2017, proposed, then it could take up to a year for the decision to be made. 1 July 2018 sees the new rates applied and has a lifespan of about 4/5 years.

If you’ve submitted an objection;

  1. Ensure you receive an outcome as, without this, you will not be able to move the dispute resolution forward
  2. Do not accept increased charges should you not have received an objection outcome notification

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A new dense Houghton?

The draft Nodal Review and how Houghton is potentially

impacted

In April we engaged with the community on the DRAFT Nodal Review – which is COJ’s plan to densify based on a nodal strategy. A node is a hub like Sandton, and Rosebank is our closest node. A town planner advised on the implications of the review and we await the decision on how aggressively the draft will be implemented. Of course, all cities densify and this is a natural city phenomenon. It’s a good sign to see growth and development. Members of the committee have spent time familiarizing ourselves with town planning methodology and researching how a ‘new dense Houghton’ could look. Comments have been submitted, which we hope will be taken into consideration. It’s important to appreciate that not every development application can or should initiate objection unless to guide the outcome so that the built form is pleasing and minimizes the impact on residents. Having said that, ensuring municipal officers and structures uphold the by-laws to minimize the dust, noise and impact on residents during the building phase, is important. Over the last while, there have been both considerate and less considerate developers. What has been of concern is the contravention of the heritage application process which has been raised with the appropriate authority.

The Joburg City Network is COMING to Lower Houghton. Finally, a connected and secure platform where Lower Houghton residents can connect, where businesses big or small can collaborate and publicise to the neighbourhood and where every one of us can explore opportunities and connections.

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The Team – lhra@premiermerchant.co.za
Elected Committee 2017/2018
Natalie Webb, Elenore Godfroy, Wendy van der Merwe, Howard Lowenthal, Mohammed Seedat

Resident Volunteers 2017/2018
Des Smith, Carolyn Douglas, Colin & Melody Wasserfall, Richard Broome, Janice Scheckter, Denis & Joan Whitaker, Jonathan Glajchen, John King, Mike Ahmed

Portfolios
Planning & Development, Heritage, Environment, Communication, Membership/Financial

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