Sun, Aug 26, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Maokong `domino effect' worries urban planners

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Urban planning officials said yesterday that they were concerned about a possible "domino effect" if the Taipei City Government's Maokong re-zoning plan were to be approved.

The officials from the Ministry of the Interior's Construction and Planning Agency were referring to the city government's urban development plan for a protected area in Taipei's Wenshan (文山) District, commonly known as Maokong (貓空).

The city government referred the development plan to the agency for approval last year. The plan covers 238 hectares of protected land including slopes and other geological formations. It marks the first time that such a large plot of protected land will be put up for re-zoning and development.

Earlier last week, the officials said, the agency arranged for members of its urban planning commission to inspect the site to be re-zoned under the city government's development plan.

"Members of the commission are most concerned about whether approval of the Maokong re-zoning plan will cause a `domino effect,' with owners of land plots in protected areas in the city's Nangang (南港), Neihu (內湖) and Beitou (北投) districts demanding similar treatment," an official from the agency said, adding that the agency would ask the city government to furnish it with a report on the issue.

The official said the city government should also come up with a report on the main purposes and functions of its Maokong re-zoning and urban development plan.

"The agency's urban planning commission members are also concerned about whether individual land development applicants in the area should be required to produce concrete development projects and financial planning reports for the city government's screening if the re-zoning plan is approved," the official said.

Meanwhile, the official said the city government should also present a report on the requirements for would-be land developers regarding environmental protection obligations and on formulating a feedback mechanism.

The agency's urban planning commission will continue screening the plan once the city government produces the necessary reports and data, the official said.

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