Petaling Jaya folk in the dark over TOD guidelines

MyPJ residents (from left) Kavin Thayalan, Datuk Vincent Ng and Esham say there are more than 1,000 signatures for the TolakPJTOD campaign.

PETALING Jaya residents want the guidelines for transit-oriented developments (TOD) to be displayed to the public.

MyPJ, a coalition of 200 residents groups, is objecting to the high plot ratios allowed for TOD.

They want the city council and the state to be transparent and forthcoming over the guidelines.

The group told StarMetro that the upcoming development in Section 52 with a full plot ratio of 1:8, based on the Selangor Structural Plan, caused quite a stir because residents were worried about the consequences.

MyPJ representative Esham Salam said the public wanted to know what were the guidelines to be followed for a TOD to be approved.

“Why are these guidelines not publicly displayed? From our findings, these guidelines are shrouded in secrecy and an ordinary resident will not be able to know why and how these developments are allowed.”

He said Petaling Jaya City Council had been approving TOD in the city and the residents had a right to know what were the criteria for these approvals.

“Such high plot ratios affect the people and will have a great impact on the landscape of the city’s future.

“We are having issues in many neighbourhoods with the approval of high plot ratios for new developments in areas such as Kelana Jaya, Taman Megah and Section 17,” he added.

Esham said the issue of high plot ratio developments had been under the spotlight from as early as 2014, especially in Petaling Jaya, because of vehement objections.

“If you look back at the chronology, there were objections, made through councillors and representatives, to developments with plot ratios of 1:8 in Petaling Jaya.

“The latest case of the project on the former site of the A&W restaurant is an example of how matters are bulldozed without taking the public’s views into consideration.

“We are totally against the high plot ratio in its present form and we want the local government to be sincere about residents’ participation. Right now, we are in the dark.

“If there are clear guidelines, we want to see it and we want it to be made public,” he said.

MyPJ has started the #TolakPJTOD campaign to garner support from the public to mobilise public awareness and opposition to the high plot ratio policy.

“Within four days of the campaign, we already have about 1,000 signatures from residents.

“The MBPJ Local Plans are not completed yet and it is not reasonable that we have to accept the high plot ratios in its present state,” said Esham.

Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya Utara MCA chief Tan Gim Tuan said he supported the movement because he too shared the same sentiments as the group.

“These are my concerns too.

“Where is the sustainable development and liveable city that was promised?

“We do not want Petaling Jaya to be overdeveloped,” Tan added.

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