GENSAN EYES DEV’T OF NEW GROWTH ZONES
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The city government is pushing for the development of new growth zones to complement the continuing expansions in the area’s trade and industrial sectors and its growing population.
Vice Mayor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles said Friday the move is in line with the ongoing revision of the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and zoning ordinance, which was last updated in 2001.
She said consultations are ongoing with various sectors regarding the new version of the CLUP, which was crafted by a technical team commissioned by the local government.
“We really need to update our land use plan and zoning ordinance to cope with the ongoing developments and address related challenges being faced by our city,” Nograles said in a radio interview.
She said they are targeting to complete the consultations and final revisions by next month to facilitate its passage by the city council before the end of the year.
CLUP, which is enacted through the zoning ordinance, is a planning document prepared by LGUs to rationalize the allocation and proper use of land resources.
It projects public and private land uses in accordance with the future spatial organization of economic and social activities.
Nograles said the proposed new land use plan identified new areas for development, especially for housing, agricultural, industrial and commercial aspects.
She said they have also identified areas within the city’s 26 barangays that are prone to natural calamities for the setting of proper development interventions later.
The city’s original land area reaches more than 53,000 hectares but it is currently listed by the Department of Budget and Management at about 49,000 because of pending boundary disputes with neighboring areas, Nograles said.
The official said among the concerns that will be addressed by the CLUP are the expanding housing subdivisions, some of them located near farms.
She said this has created problems for local hog raisers due to complaints of putrid smells coming from their farms.
In terms of new investments, Nograles said several proposed projects could not proceed due to land classification problems in the zoning ordinance.
She said the city’s zoning board has been bombarded with appeals from investors regarding the matter.
“We need to identify and set in place new growth and industrial zones, and properly plan the development of our lands for years ahead. In other countries, they set even plans 50 years ahead,” she said.
The city’s existing zoning ordinance was enacted by the city council on Dec. 13, 2001 and approved by then city mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. on June 6, 2002.
The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) has set the maximum planning period for CLUPs at nine years and allowed local government units to review, update and amend them after three years. (PNA)