News from Leisure Isle Residents' Association
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LIRA Newsletter
January 2019

Welcome to this newsletter....
 

Report-back on the Festive Season on Leisure Isle's beaches


SEASON PREPARATIONS
There was an anxious start to the 2018 Festive Season on Leisure Island. The inflow of beach-goers on early season weekends found both LIRA and Knysna Municipality unprepared, and the resulting chaos on the beachfront left a feeling of deep concern among residents and municipal officials alike.

Residents’ responses ranged from those who called for a restriction on the number of visitors who should be allowed onto the Island, to those who felt that the solution lay in a welcoming approach coupled with better facilities to cater for the visitors.

Tomorrow evening: a DA event of interest to members



Update on fibre optics rollout... we have asked Openserve for a progress report on this project, and will revert once their senior project manager fills us in.
At a special general meeting of residents held on 17 October to discuss the problem, agreement was reached on one point: that if the existing by-laws were enforced, the situation would be much improved.

It was on this basis that LIRA engaged with the Municipality in a series of meetings to make preparations for the Festive Season. The meetings were generally positive, the major concern being the Municipality’s acknowledgement that it had insufficient resources to enforce the prohibition of drinking in public.

SO HOW DID THE SEASON GO?
The Municipality responded magnificently to the suggestions that had been made by LIRA, on behalf of the Island residents, and more than twenty municipal personnel were deployed daily to ensure a safe and pleasant beach experience.

Traffic Department officials made an early start, putting up prominent Community Safety banners warning against drinking and driving, prohibiting loud music, and urging caution about children at play.

The one-way road system was implemented at Green Hole, with pointsmen on duty to direct traffic and avoid congestion.

A roadblock on George Rex Drive early in the holiday period announced that drink-driving would not be tolerated. Traffic patrol vehicles added further muscle.

Feedback received from visitors indicated that these measures were effective in discouraging those who saw Green Hole as a favourite drinking spot, and traffic congestion, dangerous driving and the blocking of driveways were minimised.

Parks and Recreation made repairs to the braai areas and shelters, and to the post-and-rail fencing, and mowed lawns and removed branch trimmings in the lead-up to the holidays, ensuring that picnic and play areas were pleasant and welcoming.

Cleaning Department staff made a huge effort to address the litter problem that was so upsetting to residents.

In response to LIRA’s requests, recycle bins and extra large bins were placed at Green Hole, and most importantly, teams of litter collectors were employed throughout the day to ensure that littering was discouraged, bins were emptied frequently, and the public areas and beaches were cleaned late every afternoon and early each morning.

As a result of this hard work, residents, tourists and picnickers enjoyed relatively spotless facilities. Slim pickings were left for the scavenging ibises and gulls!

Good quality flushing chemical toilets were positioned at Green Hole, Bollard Bay and Thornely Park, with inputs received from adjacent residents on their preferred sitings. These were frequently serviced and cleaned.

Two dedicated cleaners took care of the aging and inadequate public toilets at Green Hole, ensuring these were clean at all times.

Law Enforcement provided ‘beach ambassadors’ who played a critical role in ensuring that anti-social behaviour was minimised, and public order and safety maintained.

They patrolled the beaches and picnic areas, working late shifts and engaging with the visitors, discouraging littering, open fires, public consumption of alcohol, loud music and aggressive behaviour. They were backed-up by Law Enforcement patrol vehicles and the SAPS.

The effectiveness of their efforts is reflected in the fact that no serious incidents occurred, and there was never the need to call up SAPS resources throughout the entire holiday period.

Again, feedback from visitors indicated that the anti-social behaviour that had characterised Green Hole in recent times had all but disappeared.

Their opinions indicated that the reduced levels of alcohol consumption had made the beaches and picnic areas safer and more family-oriented, while comments received from Municipal officials recommended that the by-laws prohibiting public drinking should be more strictly applied in future. 

LIRA’s own Allsound teams provided their usual services, with 24-hour monitoring of the entrance to the Island, doing bicycle and vehicle patrols, assisting residents and visiting holidaymakers, and responding to call-outs.

The extra patrol vehicle employed for the season gave additional back-up to Law Enforcement, and further reassurance to residents.

The fact that no crimes were reported during this period is an indication of the superb level of service and commitment the Island enjoys from KM and Allsound.

And finally the Lifeguards at Green Hole played a vital part in ensuring the safety of bathers, many of whom could not swim and were unfamiliar with the lagoon. Their commitment and vigilance resulted in an incident-free season.
 
THE WAY FORWARD
This review of the festive season indicates that the efforts of Leisure Islanders and the Municipality yielded positive results that made this a particular enjoyable Festive Season.

There remain many areas of concern, and many improvements still to be made. The number of visitors using the Island’s beaches will continue to grow, putting increased pressure on parking and leisure facilities.

LIRA will now meet again with the respective Municipal departments to do a detailed review, and plan the way forward for the remainder of the summer, as well as for the 2019 Festive Season. Our focus will be again be on the enforcement of the by-laws.

Our members’ suggestions in this regard will be most welcome.

And as the number of visitors dwindles, and relative peace and tranquillity returns to Leisure Island, we can be cautiously optimistic that the ‘problem of Green Hole’ is behind us, and that Blue Flag status for ‘Knysna’s Favourite Beachfront’ is an attainable goal!

Road signage project update

 
The contract to replace the Island's road name signs has been awarded to Sev7n Signs, and erection of the signs is planned to take place in the week of 11 to 15 February, barring unforeseen circumstances.
 
All existing signs will be replaced, and new signs provided where needed, all as per the Plan and Schedule of signs that was included in the .......LIRA Newsletter.

Lower case white lettering will be used on a reflective green backing, as per the example shown at the AGM.
 
PLEASE CHECK THE PLAN! We once again encourage all members to view the signage plan, and make sure they are happy with the proposed positions of the new signs.

Click here to view the pdf....

Should you have any concerns, please contact Jenny Shields, Sheena Mare or Dave Stromberg.

1937 aerial photograph of Leisure Isle

 
We thought members might be interested to see this fascinating aerial photograph of the Island, from the Surveyor Generals Office, courtesy of Roger Voysey. Unlike current aerial pics, this one is from a camera mounted in an aircraft - no satellites or drones in 1937!
 
Some interesting features can be seen: although very few houses have been built, the causeway, seawall and most of the wonderful garden-village road network are already in place. 

The golf course at Steenbok has been laid out, indicating that Mr Cearn had his priorities right!

And the formal planting of avenues of trees to provide shade, character and orientation to the new development can be clearly seen.
 
There appear to be about 30 houses or shacks built, and some development on the Leisure Island Hotel site - perhaps the golf clubhouse?

One significant change is to the alignment of the main entrance road. On this photograph we can see a very formal double road (like a Paris boulevard!) linking the causeway to Founders, and cutting straight through Kings Park.

Perhaps fortunate that this was amended to the more informal alignment we have today - more consistent with the laid-back character of Leisure Island, and creating a far more useful green area for Festivals and Carol services!
WHAT LIRA DOES: * Provides 24/7 proactive security * Sponsors Steenbok Nature Reserve * Champions peak season law enforcement * Liaison/lobbying Knysna Municipality * Liaison Nature Conservation/SANParks * Beautification of LI * Employment of gardeners * Hosts Leisure Isle Festival * Maintains property values and unequalled lifestyle * Professional and dedicated volunteer committee serving your interests
Spread the LIRA news!
 
LIRA would like as many Islanders as possible to receive these newsletters.
   If you have family members, tenants or friends who would be interested in getting our news, we'd like to add them to our mailing database.
   Please send email details to 
Brenda Neall.
 
We welcome your comments and feedback on this newsletter. And your input, too! Your news, ideas, stories, happenings are welcome.

Correspondence: Brenda Neall, website & newsletter
To contact our LIRA chairman, Keith Hollis: chairman@leisureisleknysna.co.za 
LIRA website: www.leisureisleknysna.co.za
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