More consultations needed for Burnham parking proposals

BAGUIO CITY – The City Council Committee on Lands, Urban Planning and Housing decided to schedule more consultations to gather the real sentiments of the people on the proposed put up of a multi-level structure in the site of the old city auditorium within the 34-hectare Burnham Park.

Councilor Edgar M. Avila, chairman of the Committee on Lands, Urban Planning and Housing, said that the next public hearing for the proposed project will be on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 wherein dozens of concerned stakeholders are expected to present their position on the matter before the members of the committee will make the right recommendation to the local legislative body on what will be the most feasible project that will be established in the area.

The conduct of the public hearing was intended to solicit the position of the concerned stakeholders in the city regarding a proposed ordinance for the utilization of the site of the old auditorium for the construction of a multi-level parking facility that will help in addressing the parking problems being experienced by the city right at the central business district area.

Most of the over 200 individuals representing various organizations in the city expressed their opposition to the proposed put up of a multi-level parking structure in the site of the old auditorium even if it was previously identified as the potential area for the said structure, citing issues on pollution and its effect to the present status of the area.

Under the proposed Burnham Park master development plan that was donated by the University of the Cordilleras (UC) to the local government as its gift during its centennial anniversary in 2009, the old city auditorium was pinpointed as the potential site for the put up of a 3-storey multi-level parking structure with the use of ‘green architecture’ wherein its top floor will be with the level of Harrison road to avoid the existence of huge structures that could affect the overall skyline in the area.

Arch. Roberto Romero, dean of the UC College of Engineering and Architecture, said it took the institution over a year to prepare the master development plan which underwent numerous consultations contrary to the insinuations that the plan did not pass through consultations with the stakeholders.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan maintained his position that the local government will continue to listen to the suggestions and recommendations of the concerned sectors relative to the proposed multi-level parking structure in the site of the old auditorium to gather whatever necessary inputs that will contribute in improving whatever available proposals that are available for the area.

He vehemently denied insinuations that there will be a mall and hotel that will be erected in Melvin Jones, saying that such kind of disinformation done by some city officials should be worthy of condemnation by the public because they are simply muddling the issue to advance their own personal and political interests.

He explained the mall and hotel is a part of one of the proposals to put up a multi-level parking structure in the old auditorium site to serve as an augmentation for the income that will be derived from parking but the same is still subject to further consultations considering that the proposal is a mere proposition by a private developer, thus, there will be no mall or hotel structure to be built in Melvin Jones. By Dexter A. See

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