Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has opened up more possibilities for houses in Bangsar to be converted to commercial units, even though the area is regarded as a mature and developed housing estate.
During a One-Stop Centre (OSC) meeting on June 7, DBKL had decided to also consider commercialising houses on the right side of Jalan Maarof, sparking fury among Bukit Bandaraya residents as the decision contradicted an earlier agreement made with Bangsar stakeholders.
The outcome of an earlier meeting chaired by DBKL deputy director-general for planning Datuk Zulkifli Ibrahim on April 13 with Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association and Jalan Maarof Bungalow Committee clearly stated that only the left side of houses along Jalan Maarof would be allowed to be commercialised.
Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association president M. Ali said it was decided that residential units located on the right side (heading from Jalan Bangsar) from Jalan Maarof/Lorong Maarof 5 intersection until Jalan Sena/Bangsar Shopping Centre would remain residential.
“It was also made clear that only homes on the left side (heading from Jalan Bangsar) of Jalan Maarof between the intersection of Jalan Maarof/Jalan Ara (Syabas resevoir) until Jalan Maarof/ Jalan Penaga toward Jalan Damansara will be considered for “limited commercial activity.
“Since the term ‘limited commercial activity’ is vague, we demanded for a written description and a copy of the report on the minutes taken during the meeting. However, there was no reply.
“Much to our surprise, we received a letter from DBKL dated July 12 stating that all the houses on the right side would also be considered for ‘limited commercial activity’.
“The residents are very upset and feel cheated over the reversal in the decision. What was the point in calling us for meetings to discuss the zoning of the land use in relation to the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020, if the decision could be reversed against us later,” he said.
“I do not understand how the decision was made despite the fact that DBKL officers as well as the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 consultants indicating on numerous occasions that Bangsar is a fully mature and developed housing estate,” he added.
Ali said the latest decision would not only encourage more people to sell their properties, which are in great demand and offer high prices, but also force neighbours uncomfortable with the surrounding development to follow suit, contributing to a chain reaction of commercial developments in the area.
“Commercialising a residential unit will cause higher flow of traffic, congestion and lack of privacy.
“The houses on the right and left of Jalan Maarof cannot be treated equally due to the different position of the houses located directly behind them.
“The houses on the right of Jalan Maarof are parallel to a row of bungalows, which means any construction or renovation would directly affect the back neighbours, unlike the houses on the left side of Jalan Maarof, where the houses are perpendicular and are therefore less affected.
“Besides, the houses on the right side of Jalan Maarof have a service road which enables vehicles go in and out of the premises with ease compared to the houses on the left side, which would have to use the main road, Jalan Maarof itself, which can be dangerous.
“For this reason and more, the residents would like the initial agreement to be applied,” he said.
Ali has drafted a letter to voice their disapproval over DBKL’s decision.
DBKL could not be contacted at press time.