KUALA Lumpur residents are up in arms over the third amendment to the gazetted Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (KLCP 2020) which seems to focus on increased plot ratio and population density as well as change of land status for several plots of land in the capital city.
The first and second amendments only had three and six changes respectively while the third amendment proposed 33 changes.
Over the past weeks, resident groups, non-governmental organisations and several Kuala Lumpur MPs had voiced their disapproval over the third amendment, which would have a major impact on various local communities.
The objections were mainly on the increase in population density that would put additional stress on present road networks in the affected neighbourhoods and change the quaint nature of low-density residential areas while residents feared some of the amendments would threaten the green lungs and open spaces around them.
The public viewing for the first amendment for KLCP 2020 was held from Nov 1 to Dec 2,2019 and gazetted on July 1,2020 while public feedback for the second amendment was held from Feb 10 to March 10 and gazetted this month.
In the eyes of urban planning pressure group Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur (SKL), the third amendment to KLCP 2020 is flawed.
The group had previously questioned the legality of KLCP 2020 as the gazetted plan had substantial changes from the Draft KLCP 2020 presented in 2008, which had undergone public participation and consultation.
SKL chairman Datuk M. Ali said the third amendment seemed to be an abuse of KLCP 2020, which was only gazetted in October 2018.
“What is the point of a gazetted plan when the local authority comes out with amendments just two years after it is gazetted?
“Furthermore, the legality of the KLCP 2020 is still before the courts and due consideration must be given to public feedback before any modifications are made, ” he said during a press conference.
A group of concerned residents had filed a judicial review to challenge the KLCP 2020 at the High Court and it is pending hearing.
“We want Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to reply to our objections, especially when the amendment raised safety concerns of hillslope development and the encroachment of green lungs.
“We are against developments that are not well thought out and may eventually become another problem in Kuala Lumpur, ” he said.
According to the group, about 30.83ha of green areas, 8.37ha of open spaces and 25.53ha of established housing infrastructure and utilities, public facilities, institutional land and government land will be under threat if the amendments are approved, allowing the change of land use to mixed commercial or residential.
The estimates were calculated by adding the acreage of the proposed changes of the affected areas.
The group submitted their objection to DBKL on Aug 25 over the proposals stated in the third amendment on the KLCP 2020.
According to DBKL, the hearing for public feedback is being held from Aug 26 to Oct 7 this year while the amendment of the proposed changes is expected to take place from Oct 8 to 28.
Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa will then be given about a month, until Nov 25, to approve the changes before the amendment is to be gazetted on Nov 26.
Part of the amendment is a proposal to change a plot of land near Jalan Bangsar from residential status with a density of 24 people per acre to a mixed development with an increased plot ratio of 1:6.
Ksharmini Thanigasalam, 50, a resident of Jalan Abdullah in Bangsar, objected to the change in land use, citing heritage and safety of the hillside development as her main concern.
“Currently, the area is low density with narrow roads and an abundance of greenery.
“If the proposed change is approved, it will result in future congestion in the area.”
She said the area in question was of a special architectural and historical interest as it had the largest collection of government quarters.
“With its historical heritage and residual biodiversity in its remaining forested areas, it is suitable to feature as part of the larger city centre tourism area with Galeria Sri Perdana as the centrepiece and bicycle-friendly roads supporting low-carbon mobility to landmarks and attractions such as the various state palaces and Malaysian Nature Society’s grounds.
“It is also of ecological and environmental importance as the last sizeable ‘green lung’ near the city centre.
“The hill is landslide-prone. There were two large landslides, in 2012 and 2013, affecting parts of Jalan Persekutuan and Jalan Selangor, ” added Ksharmini.
In Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), its residents association (RA) had gathered more than 1,200 signatures in a petition against the change in land use for a plot in Jalan Abang Haji Openg from institutional to commercial which would increase the plot ratio from 1:2 to 1:3.
The objection was submitted on Aug 24 to DBKL.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said if DBKL allowed the change in land use, it might encourage the other 10 institutional landowners in the area to follow suit.
“This area is supposed to be low density, and allowing the change in land use will alter the nature of this neighbourhood.
“Jalan Abang Haji Openg, which is the access road to Taman Persekutuan and SK TTDI 2, cannot take on the traffic volume from another condominium, ” she said.
TTDIRA chairman Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar said the proposal did not take into account the traffic impact on Jalan Abang Haji Openg.
“The proposal only looked at Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad, which is not the main access road to the said land.
“They did not consider the impact towards Jalan Abang Haji Openg by changing the plot ratio of this land parcel, ” he noted.
He said TTDIRA had previously opposed the change of land use at a meeting chaired by Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan with the landowner and developer last year.
“The proposal was rejected by DBKL because the local plan clearly stated that the land was meant for institutional use and not for commercial.
“Yet, the same issue has cropped up to haunt us again, ” said Abdul Hafiz.
In Wangsa Maju, its residents are up in arms over the proposed plan to increase the density of three adjacent plots of land as they encroach into Jalan Langkawi.
They fear that the change in population density on those land parcels will make way for new condominium projects and lead to the closure of the road.
Currently, residents use Jalan Langkawi and Jalan Anggerik to head to Jalan Gombak and traffic congestion is a common occurrence along these streets during peak hours.
The proposed amendment is to change the density of the three plots which are currently at 80 and 240 people per acre (ppa) to 400ppa.
Wangsa Maju MP Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew said she had submitted to DBKL her objection against the increase in population density for the three lots on Aug 17.
“A week later, 33 residents associations, management corporations and non-governmental organisations submitted their objections.”
She said that previously, there was a proposed development of a two-block apartment suite with 1,809 units on the said parcels but that development was put on hold.
“I had also proposed a link road connecting Jalan Langkawi and Jalan Gombak, which will alleviate the traffic jam in that area, ” she elaborated during a press conference at her office.
Dr Tan said the link road was included in the 2008 draft of the KLCP 2020 but that version was not gazetted.
“The proposed link road was taken out in the gazetted KLCP2020, but we are putting it back in the draft KLCP 2040 plan.
“If the amendment is approved, then the proposal in the draft KLCP 2040 will be affected.
“In addition, there are about five residential high-rise buildings under construction in the area, thus the traffic system in the area cannot afford to have another apartment project along Jalan Langkawi, ” she pointed out.
Currently, there are abandoned squatter houses within the three plots of land that have been hoarded up.
Dr Tan said she had last week requested for a meeting with Annuar to highlight the issue.
Other open spaces that are affected include two in Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) and Kuala Lumpur district, which are being proposed to be converted to residential land of 320ppa and 400 ppa respectively.
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