Applications to operate guesthouses in Dasi District’s (大溪) historic area open on April 16, as part Taoyuan’s initiative to breathe new life into old buildings, the city’s Department of Tourism said.
In 2012, Dasi ranked first among the top 10 small tourist towns in the nation selected by the Tourism Bureau, Taoyuan Department of Tourism Director Yang Sheng-ping (楊勝評) said.
Dasi attracts crowds of tourists on weekends and holidays, but operating guesthouses had been restricted until the Regulations for the Management of Home Stay Facilities (民宿管理辦法) were amended last year, Yang said.
Photo: Lee Jung-ping, Taipei Times
Businesses can now establish guesthouses in the city’s Fusing District (復興), leisure farm sites, scenic areas and a limited area in historic and cultural sites, he said.
According to the new regulations, a maximum of eight guesthouses will be allowed in Dasi’s historic area, Yang said.
In line with the Taoyuan Department of Urban Development’s initiative to enliven old buildings, the Taoyuan City Government is to offer subsidies of up to NT$400,000 (US$13,726) for structural renovations and NT$900,000 for interior renovations, Yang said.
The city’s Scenic Area Service Agency also has a NT$100 million plan to turn Dasi into a slow-tourism destination.
In April last year, a three-phase reconstruction project of Dasi’s Jhongjheng Park (中正公園) and nearby walkways began.
However, the Taoyuan Department of Cultural Affairs on March 14 halted the project — which is currently in its second phase — after local residents voiced concerns that the former site of the Japanese colonial-era Dasi Shrine would be destroyed.
The second phase of the reconstruction project includes improvements on the wooden platform that holds a statue of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), public restrooms and the Chaoran Pavilion, which was built on top of the remaining foundation of the Dasi Shrine, the agency said.
A spinning-top shaped slide was supposed to connect the top floor of the pavilion to the ground level, the agency said, adding that the construction workers covered the site with canvas to protect it from damage even though the former site of the Dasi Shrine was not listed as a historic site.
Since the township’s residents have raised concerns over the construction method, the agency is to send its construction plan to the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs for review before resuming construction, it said.
The park in Dasi is at the center of local residents’ lives and is a cultural landmark, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said on Saturday after visiting the park.
Taking into consideration the conservation of cultural heritage, the city is to temporarily stop the construction of the spinning-top shaped slide, Cheng said, adding that the Scenic Area Service Agency is to search for a different location for the slide.
Work on the rest of the reconstruction project can resume after the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Heritage Section gives the green light, he added.
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