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Saturday June 28, 2008

Rezoning may cause congestion

NEIGHBOURING residents are worried that the rezoning of Section 13, Petaling Jaya, from industrial to commercial could lead to traffic congestion.

During the launch of the Section 13 Special Area Plan (RKK) public viewing and hearing session, Section 12 residents representatives said roads like Jalan Semangat and Jalan Kemajuan would not be able to handle the increase in traffic as they are currently already congested during peak hours.

Currently zoned as industrial, Section 13 is an 89.04ha area bound by Jalan Semangat, Jalan Kemajuan and Jalan Universiti.

According to Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) town planning department director Sharipah Marhaini Syed Ali, the Section 13 local draft plan was displayed for suggestions in 1997.

However, landowners objected to the draft and the draft plan was re-examined with the assistance of AJC Planning Consultant Sdn Bhd.

According to the current plan, proposed land use is divided into mixed development and limited commercial (see map).

The type of activities allowed (with conditions) under mixed development includes services, commercial, retail, residences and infrastructure and utilities.

Plot ratio for land size more than 6.07ha is 1:1.152, between 2.02ha and 6.07ha is 1:1.42 and less than 2.02ha is 1:1.315

Limited commercial land use is divided into two types:

- Commercial (95% offices : 5% commercial facilities)

- Industrial (50% warehouse : 40% offices : 10% sales and showroom).

According to AJC Planning Consultant Sdn Bhd director Jefry Clyde, these guidelines were put in place to discourage the development of big shopping malls that would generate heavier traffic.

He said 75% of landowners had answered favourably to land conversion while 25% did not respond.

“Conversion of land use is voluntary and those who want theirs to remain as industrial can do so but their land use and operations must remain the same,” he said.

Residents were also worried about potential parking problems if the area is rezoned into a commercial area.

One resident pointed out that even before rezoning, cars have been parked illegally along Jalan Kemajuan because there was a restaurant along the road.

“Even with only one or two restaurants. MBPJ (Petaling Jaya City Council) can't handle the enforcement of illegal parking. What's going to happen when the whole area is turned into a commercial zone?” he said.

Another resident said that allowing service apartments to be built in the mixed development zone would increase the population density in the area, adding to the traffic and parking problems.

He added that the plan did not provide for a public open space for such high-density residences.

Because the plots of land are privately owned, widening of roads in and around the area would not be feasible.

Several recommendations were proposed to improve the traffic situation in the area.

The first stage include changing the Rothmans roundabout near the Sin Chew Jit Poh building to a signalised system; to improve junction capacity at Jalan 17/21, Jalan 17/1, Jalan 13/6 and Jalan 13/4; to widen the alignment along Jalan Harapan and to complete the missing links that could connect Jalan Harapan to the Sprint Highway.

The second stage involves completing the internal connection links and to implement a one-way system for Jalan Semangat, Jalan 13/6, Jalan 13/1 and parts of Jalan Kemajuan.

Also present at the launch were MBPJ secretary Puasa Mohd Taib, Selangor State Town and Country Planning Department senior assistant director Abdul Rahaman Hamzah, Damansara Utama assemblyman Dr Cheah Wing Yin and landowner’s representative Charles Wong.

The plan is open to objection and feedback until July 25, with the possibility of a one-month extension.

The Section 13 Special Area Plan will be on display at Ruang Galeri, No 31-G, Tingkat 1, Blok C, Jaya One, No 72A, Jalan Universiti, Seksyen 13, Petaling Jaya and at the MBPJ headquarters on Jalan Yong Shook Lin.

Objection and feedback forms will be available at the venues.

For more information, call 03-7956 3544 ext 353 or 357.

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