A GRADUAL increase in traffic is the norm in most neighbourhoods.
However, a group of residents were surprised to discover their local authority has plans to gazette three plots of land for schools and a through road that will connect to their already congested road system.
The residents of Tropicana Indah Resort Homes are objecting to the proposed plan by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) which is part of a plan for 737ha of land in Kwasa Damansara, PJU 3, Petaling Jaya.
Madi Maniam, 68, said his neighbours learned about the plan after they studied the Draft Kwasa Damansara, Petaling Jaya Special Area Plan, which is open for public viewing until April 28.
“After looking at the draft plan, we discovered that a through road would be built over a green area linking to the proposed schools.
“Persiaran Damansara Indah, which the through road will be connected to, is extremely busy during rush hour.
“The proposal to gazette this land for schools and a through road will make matters worse,” he said.
Madi said Persiaran Damansara Indah was already heavily utilised by parents of children studying at an international school just down the road as well as motorists heading towards Subang airport, Glenmarie and Puchong.
The draft plan will worsen traffic congestion in the morning and evening, he said.
“Sometimes, we are caught in heavy traffic just before we enter and exit our neighbourhood.
“It will affect existing residents’ privacy too as the schools and the road will be overlooking our backyards,” said Madi who has been living in the neighbourhood for more than seven years.
He added that residents’ quality of life would be affected if the plan was to go through.
“I hope the land will not be gazetted,” he said.
Another resident, C.W. Wong said residents were deeply unhappy with the proposed road as it would affect the safety of people living in the quiet neighbourhood.
“This is an upscale neighbourhood and the residents bought their properties because of this safe and enclosed enclave.
“This proposed road will disrupt the entire neighbourhood. I find this proposal unacceptable," Wong added.
The same sentiment was expressed by another house owner, Sunny Yee, who said the serene neighbourhood would be affected by the proposed through road, adding that the residents would submit their objections.
MBPJ spokesman Zainun Zakaria said residents were welcome to raise their concerns over the Draft Kwasa Damansara, Petaling Jaya Special Area Plan.
She said the draft plan was prepared under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172).
She explained that the current process was the earliest stage before the land was gazetted for any purpose.
“We call it the ‘siren’ stage, where MBPJ alerts all stakeholders and those in the surrounding areas to take note of the proposed use of a particular piece of land before it is gazetted.
“It is the best time for the public to raise their ideas, objections and concerns with the council.
“The form to do so can be downloaded from MBPJ website or obtained at the council’s Planning Department,” said Zainun, who explained that the draft plan was at the Section 12A stage under Act 172.
Following this process, there will be another two stages where the public could still raise their objections.
“After the Section 12 process, which lasts a month, we will move to Section 13, where objections can still be made.
“All in, the public has two months to raise their concerns and file objections with the council,” said Zainun.
She explained that the process would then move to Section 14 of the Act where those who put in their objections would be invited to a public hearing.
“This hearing will be chaired by the state government,” Zainun said.
After the plan is gazetted, the land owners can apply for a development plan according to the specified land use.
Zainun advised the public who wanted more information, to go to the Planning Department.
“We have officers who can explain in detail. They can also seek help from their area councillors,” she said.
When asked if the development plans would jeopardise a green lung, Zainun said it was private land.
“If the owner wants to develop a township, there must be allocations made for public amenities,” she added.
For details, call 03-7956 3544 ext 364/308/410, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mbpj.gov.my