RESIDENTS living in Section 14, Petaling Jaya are concerned that a plot of land near their neighbourhood will see a high-rise condominium development in the near future.
The land located in Section 51A, close to the Asia Jaya LRT station, is currently used as a public carpark and estimated to be close to 4ha.
Some old-time residents said the land used to be a pond in the late 1970s and wondered if the land belonged to the state.
Some of the residents shared with StarMetro a 47-year-old map of Petaling Jaya, which indicated it was a pond in the past.
Old-time Section 14 resident M. Charles said for any development at this particular lot, great consideration must be given to the traffic impact and well-being of existing residents living close by.
“I remember this land as a pond but I think it was covered and turned into a carpark.
“There is just one road connecting to this land, which is through Jalan Utara.
“The main road leading to this land is usually congested during the morning and evening rush hours,” he said, adding that the bottleneck could be seen originating from Federal Highway.
He also said the residents saw a business report about a future high-rise development set to take place on the land and they did not want this to worsen the traffic congestion, especially at the junction of Jalan 51A/223 and Jalan Utara.
Charles added that the residents were worried the developer or council would extend the road from the proposed development site to across Sungai Penchala, joining either Jalan 51A/223, which runs from the junction with Jalan 51A/222 (Jalan PP Narayanan) to the T-junction with Jalan 14/15 and Jalan 14/29, or Jalan 14/15.
If Jalan 51A/223 changes from a cul-de-sac to a through road, it will be used as a short cut by road users to get to Jalan 14/15 and Jalan 14/29 from Jalan Utara.
This would increase the volume of traffic passing through Section 14.
Charles said right now, a lot of the traffic from Jalan PP Narayanan used that part of Jalan 51A/223 to get to Jalan 14/29, and road users from Jalan Semangat used Jalan 14/15 to get to Jalan 14/29.
During the evening peak period, traffic congestion was caused by cars on Jalan 14/29 turning onto Jalan 14/37 and residents fear any additional traffic load in the neighbourhood would worsen congestion.
Meanwhile, Section 14 (Jalan 14/1 to 14/15) Residents Association vice-chairman Peter Foo said he lives in Millennium Square and hoped any development taking place on the land close to his condominium would benefit the locals.
“With developments taking place, the government’s coffers will grow through collection of assessment rates.
“However, please consider the existing residents’ plight on issues related to traffic,” he added.
If the land belonged to the state or its subsidiaries, he suggested building a government clinic or hospital there.
“Petaling Jaya does not have a government hospital and this could be an opportunity.
“This location is close to the Asiajaya LRT station and the middle and lower income groups could use the train to get here,” he said.
He added the new development could also be rented out at cheaper rates to businesses such as car workshops.
“The government should think of developments on prime land that could provide a better living environment for long-time residents who have contributed to the city,” said Foo.
Meanwhile, Section 14 Pro-tem Committee vice-president Sheikh M. Kadir said the residents in his neighbourhood hoped the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) would hold a town hall meeting to inform them of any large-scale development plans.
He said town hall meetings were always welcomed as compared to meetings with individuals because the neighbours would be able to share their concerns as one voice.
Sheikh Kadir said he attended the recent Petaling Jaya Local Plan 2 second amendment meeting and asked if there would be high-density development at this particular plot.
“I was told there were no development proposals for that particular piece of land sent to the council during the meeting.
“However, I am worried if a high-density development were to take place, landed properties would be affected.
“We do not want any high-density development here and we ask for transparency in the decision-making process so that we can share our input as long-time residents,” he said.
He added that in a news report, state Housing and Urban Living Committee chairman Haniza Talha said parts of Petaling Jaya would be undergoing redevelopment.
“We just want to know where these developments will be taking place. We hope the matured areas will have developments that will complement the existing communities,” said Sheikh Kadir.
He added that in recent times, with the change in government, there were more town hall meetings taking place in Kuala Lumpur and residents hoped for the same in Petaling Jaya.
Another concerned resident, M. Maniam, said the existing traffic congestion was caused by development in Section 13, poor road design as well as maintenance.
“The matter is further exacerbated by usage of the 14/15, 14/29, 14/37, 14/49 and 14/48 roads into Jalan 222 to avoid the one-way-loop.
“If there is new development at this Section 51A, it cannot use the existing infrastructure since the land was originally government land, the state should not be allowed to monetise the land for commercial housing needs.
“This space can be used as a park, carpark for LRT users or hospital cum geriatric needs facility,” he said.
Councillor Derek Fernandez said to his knowledge, there were no proposals sent to the council to develop the land.
“The land is presently zoned as commercial.
“If there is a development proposal, the council will place a notice board at the site and the residents can share their views.
“However, the council will certainly ask the developer to conduct and submit their traffic impact studies when they propose a development,” he said.
MBPJ, in a statement, said there was no proposal to develop the land at the moment.
The land, which is on Lot 2002 and Lot 2003, was alloted to Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB) for business purposes on April 8, 2008.
KDEB is a subsidiary of the Selangor government. The total land size for Lot 2002 and 2003 is 3.9ha.
It also said at the moment, the land is used as a paid parking area.
Under the Petaling Jaya Local Plan 1, it is gazetted as commercial land.