BAGUIO CITY – The City Approved on third and final reading granting no exemption or outrightly denying applications for exemption, variance or non-conforming use of commercial and institutional buildings relative to the parking lot requirement within the central business district area and setting the guidelines for the implementation of Article 8 of Ordinance No. 63, series of 2016.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated that the no exemption on the parking lot requirement shall be implemented in barangays Kayang Hilltop, Upper Market Subdivision, Padre Zamora, Padre Burgos, Camp Allen, Upper Magsaysay, Lower Magsaysay, Session Road-Gov. Pack, Rizal Monument, Abanao-Zandueta-Chanom, Kayang-Otek (AZCKO), Malcolm Square, Kabayanihan, Kagitingan, Upper Gen. Luna, Lower Gen. Luna, Andres Bonifacio-Caguioa-Rimando (ABCR), Teodora Alonzo, New Lucban, Burnham-Legarda, Kayang Extension, Queen of Peace and Palma-Urbano.
Under the provisions of the ordinance, existing commercial or institutional buildings in the said barangays using their parking lots as commercial spaces and for other purposes shall be given 6 months to revert their spaces into the prescribed original use as parking spaces for tenants and clients.
Further, commercial buildings without the necessary number of parking lots shall be required to comply pursuant to the city’s approved zoning ordinance, within six months upon receipt of notice of violation from the concerned local government office.
Within 3 months upon approval of the measure, the ordinance stipulated that the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) in coordination with the zoning officer shall ensure that all property owners within the central business district are duly informed on the pertinent provisions of the measure.
Under the ordinance, no business permit, occupancy or other related permits and clearances shall be issued to any commercial or institutional establishment for any violation of the measure in addition to fines and penalties provided for by law.
The ordinance stipulated that government officials and employees responsible for the approval of any grant for exemption or variance contrary to the measure shall be held liable and be dealt with accordingly pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
Local officials admitted that vehicular traffic is one monstrous challenge that the local government is experiencing more often as the mobility of people increases, inversely to the shrinking spaces that the city can offer and despite the implementation of several traffic re-routing schemes, the traffic situation direly needs improvement including the review and assessment of supporting policies to come up with complimenting tools to alleviate the public’s day-to-day struggles with traffic and other related social episodes when in the city’s commercial district.
Sembrano underscored the exercise of political will must primarily regard the general welfare and interest of the people in the granting of certain privileges must be exercised with cerebral and patriotic prudence so as not to render certain policies ineffective or partial.
By Dexter A. See