Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said he would consider meeting with residents who are in support of the stalled Wenlin Yuan urban renewal project in Taipei’s Shilin District (士林), amid threats from the group that it would launch a protest against the city government’s poor handling of the development.
Construction on the project’s apartments has been stalled since the city government forcefully dismantled two apartments owned by a family surnamed Wang (王) in March, sparking an ongoing protest from the family and anti-urban renewal activists.
Amid the deadlock, the 36 households who agreed to cooperate with the project yesterday urged Hau and the city government to step up efforts to resolve the dispute, threatening to launch a protest if they failed to do so.
The protest plans come in the wake of the death of the younger brother of Hsieh Chun-chiao (謝春嬌), director of a self-help association organized by households that agreed with the project. She said her brother, who died last week of kidney failure, had been waiting to live in his new home for the past three years and the city government has not done enough to solve the fighting over the project.
“We’ve been waiting patiently for the dispute to be solved, but we cannot wait any longer now. If the city government refuses to get involved and help solve the problem, we will launch a protest to help ourselves,” she said.
The Wang family, the only household which opposes the project, insisted that the construction firm rebuild their houses at the original site. While the other 36 households agreed with the Wang family’s demand, building regulations stipulate that the construction firm has to present a new blueprint for the altered project, which could take years to pass all the necessary approval procedures.
The director of the Taipei City Government’s Urban Redevelopment Office, Lin Chung-chieh (林崇傑), said the city government continued to negotiate with the households, the Wang family and the construction firm to seek a consensus on the matter.
The city government may arrange a meeting between Hau and the 36 households to address their concerns, he said.