Landowners supporting an urban renewal project in Taipei’s Yongchun Community (永春) yesterday protested the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision to uphold an earlier ruling against the Taipei City Government.
The initial ruling in the 16-year-old case said that Taipei’s approval of changes to building plans for the urban renewal project in Xinyi District (信義) filed by Senyeh Construction Co (森葉營造建設) in 2014 were illegal.
It is unacceptable that the rights and interests of the 99 percent of landowners who agreed to the project are trampled by the refusal of the minority, just one family, protesters said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
One protester said her family agreed to the project because her father had found it increasingly difficult to climb the stairs in their building, but her father died 10 years ago and the project has still not begun.
Her mother criticized the city government, saying she agreed to the project because she believed that only 80 percent of owners whose land would be used for the new construction had to agree for the project to move forward.
She said she does not understand how it is illegal to enforce tearing down houses after the Wang (王) family incident in Shilin District (士林), calling on the city government to “take responsibility and stop playing politics.”
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The Wang incident refers to the Wenlin Yuan (文林苑) urban renewal project, in which Wang Kuang-shu (王廣樹) did not agree to his land being used and filed lawsuits after the forced demolition of his house.
The High Administrative Court dismissed Wang’s claims and ordered that his land be included in the project, as his property was not on a roadside and there was not enough room to build a house on it should it be excluded.
The Wang family in 2014 negotiated an out-of-court settlement with the developer.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that the city would continue to promote urban renewal projects.
The city government has passed a bill authorizing a settlement system for opponents of projects, Ko said, adding that it would establish a task force to handle complaints that predate the system, such as the Yongchun project.
As Senyeh had already removed buildings occupied by opponents of the project and begun construction when the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the ruling, the city government needs to call for a change to building plans, revoke building permits and temporarily halt construction, Ko said.
However, urban renewal projects in Taipei must continue, not only for the sake of the city’s aesthetics, but also for the safety of its residents, he added.
The ruling did not entirely shut down the Yongchun project, Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) said in a statement, but it would drag out the process even longer.
The task force would finalize all administrative proceedings in accordance with the Supreme Administrative Court’s ruling, Lin said.
Additional reporting by CNA
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
The US House of Representatives’ China Task Force, launched by Republicans earlier this year, yesterday proposed the China task force act, a package of 137 pieces of legislation, seven of which involve Taiwan, in the hope of getting it passed before the 117th US Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The act encompasses a wide range of issues, including combatting Beijing’s influence around the globe, establishing the US’ dominance in determining 5G network standards and means for bringing UN members to task for abusing their influence within the UN system. The seven acts involving Taiwan address concerns such as the Taiwan Assurance Act
Chinese health authorities investigating a COVID-19 outbreak have said that they discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday said that it had found traces of live COVID-19 on the outer packaging of frozen cod in the eastern city of Qingdao, marking the first time that live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao. Genetic traces had previously been found in samples of
A Chinese soldier apprehended earlier this week by the Indian Army after he strayed across a tense de facto border was on Tuesday night handed back to China, an Indian government source in New Delhi said yesterday. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier had on Monday been captured in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army said in a statement. The Chinese military also released a statement, saying that Corporal Wang Yalong was handed over early yesterday. New Delhi on Monday said that it had detained Wang after he crossed into Indian-controlled territory, while China announced that Wang had gotten