Residents are to be resettled before construction begins on Shilin District’s (士林) Shezidao (社子島) peninsula in Taipei, the city’s Department of Land Administration said yesterday.
About a dozen people gathered by the Organization of Urban Re-s (OURs) — an association dedicated to reformation for fair and reasonable usage of urban space — yesterday morning held a banner outside Taipei City Hall that read “Shezidao wants development, not zonal expropriation of the whole area.”
The city government in February last year used its “i-Voting” online polling platform to allow Shezidao residents to decide the direction of the peninsula’s development, OURs said.
Although the “Ecological Shezidao” plan gained the most votes, only 35.16 percent of eligible voters took part in the poll, the group said.
The voter turnout did not even reach 50 percent and cannot properly represent the residents’ opinions, Shezidao resident Chen Chao-tsan (陳朝燦) said.
Many residents only know that the city government is to lift its construction ban on the peninsula, but not how the zonal expropriation will be carried out, Chen added.
Resident Wang Chi-wei (王麒崴) said the resettlement plan is limited to buildings that were built before a designated time, but because there has been a construction ban on the peninsula for decades, many buildings have been renovated and are not eligible for resettlement.
Many people who have lived on the peninsula for generations are worried that they will never be allowed to return and live there after the plan is completed, Wang said.
The city government is seriously violating the residents’ rights of residence and survival by dealing with the resettlement and development of the area in a way that might drive the residents away, Taiwan Association for Human Rights housing specialist Lin Yen-tung (林彥彤) said.
The department’s Land Development Agency in a press release yesterday said that proper resettlement of the residents would be carried out before demolition and construction and that the 4,500 planned household units would be able to accommodate all the residents.
Five historical buildings and two religious centers would be protected in their original locations and become public facilities, it said, adding that residents should not worry that they would not be able to return or that traditional religious and cultural sites would be destroyed.
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