Scene One: Meeting with Property Management

Backstory: Crispin wanted us to meet with the Property Management Department to discuss the transfer of the driving range property to the Parks department.  At this moment, we were not sure how Property Management fit in exactly with our project.  We were concerned that our project was getting too close in matters concerning the other MGV team’s project.

Cast of Characters:
We met with two individuals in the Property Management department.  Johan de Goede is the technical side of managing the area in MGV and Raafiq Kolia is the leasing side.  Two members from the MGV Help Centre team attended the meeting with two members of our team, Caitlin and Sarah.

The following are questions we hoped to address:

  • Which parcels of land in and around the community and the Driving Range fall under your management?
  • Would something like a transfer agreement between you and Parks be a possibility?
  • What is the process for transferring properties to parks?
  • Do you have any other ideas for that area?
  • What is involved in the current lease?  Is there a lease?

We gained a lot of information from Johan and Raafiq. The following is information that they told us from the perspective of Property Management.

  • The current land has a least of 25 years, ending in 2018
    • They have recently learned of the driving range’s decrepit state
    • Lease covers 5.1 acres
    • Will be contacting the leaser soon about terminating the lease or other plans for the area
  • Sports and Recreation has already inquired about the land
    • Want to make a soccer field
    • Does not have the current funding, will take about a year, would cost R30,000
  • Area is designated a residential zoning area
    • Should not be a problem because it is in the flooding zone so houses cannot be built there
  • Area can still be used by multiple departments
    • Need a reservation from each department: Social Development, Parks, Sport

This meeting gave a lot of unexpected information about our project.  For example, we did not know much about the current lease in this area and were interested in hearing that it does not end until 2018.  However, the Property Management department did not seem fazed by this and was entertaining requests for the land anyway. It was even more surprising that the department had only recently become aware that the land was not being used.  Although parts of the meeting seemed to lead to dead ends, such as the lease, other parts seemed hopeful.  Johan and Raafiq seem confident that the area could be split between different departments for multiple uses, including for a community garden. It was still surprising that the Sports department was already looking at the land, something that we feel we should have known about earlier in the project. It will be interesting to meet with Brian Watkyns about the land to learn further details about this proposal.

Future plans:

  • Talk with our Sponsors about this meeting and discuss how it affects the potential community garden
  • Talk with other MGV group about what this means for their project
  • Meet with Brian Watkyns to discuss his plans for the driving range