8-storey structures to be allowed in Baguio under new land use plan

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the construction of 8-storey structures will be allowed in certain areas in the city once the amendments to the comprehensive pland use plan (CLUP) shall have been passed by the city council in order to spur growth and development citywide.

He said the current 6-torey limit to buildings has become impractical because building owners have maximized their available spaces for the structures they built thereby leaving no available open spaces that has significantly affected the city’s density, especially in identified commercial areas.

“We will have to deal with the current trend of the times, provided, that building owners will be able to comply with the required soil test and the 30 percent requirement for open space,” Domogan stressed.

Domogan pointed out the city local zoning board of adjustment and appeals (LZBAA) had been strictly implementing the 6-storey limit to buildings that were built around the city but it is unfortunate that the LZBAA’s decision had been time and again reversed by the Secretary of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH), thus, the existence of a number of buildings which are more than six stories in the different parts of the central business district area.

He cited the current trend of the times in the construction of buildings is upward thereby leaving a substnaitla portion of lands to be developed to be open spaces and for landscaping and other green projects that will help sustain the city’s good environment.

Earlier, the Chamber of Real Estate Brokers Association (CREBA) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Baguio-Benguet Chapter petitioned the city government to adjust the existing 6-storey building height limit and impose a 12-storey limit to future buildings in order to convince more investors to infuse their capital in the building of more high rise structures that would contribute to good business climate in the city in the future.

Domogan said the increase of the building height limit would also help in reducing the violations of building owners to the provisions of the National Building code whereby the allocated spaces for parking are being secretly converted into commercial spaces and rented out to interested businessmen, thus, contributing to the congestions in the central business district area.

Domogan asserted building owners must strictly adhere to the 30 percent requirement of the law which will be devoted for open spaces and greenbelt areas and the counting of the storeys will be from the road level excluding the provisions of underground storeys and parking spaces.

It can be recalled that the city government imposed a 4-storey building height limit to all structures that were built right after the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake before it was amended to a 6-storey building height limit.

The local chief executive underscored it is important to consider the results of soil tests to be conducted in the proposed building site in order to ascertain the holding capacity of the soil that would determine the kind of structure to be built in the area.

By Dexter A. See