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population hike, disasters addressed in revised city zoning plan -- mayor

BAGUIO CITY - Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Wednesday assured that the city government has taken into consideration essentialfactors like population and calamities in updating the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of the city.
He said the Local Development Council (LDC) in revising the proposed zoning and land use plan took into account the provision of basic needs for an increasing population especially considering that the city was originally designed for only 25,000 people.
The National Statistics Office (NSO) last week revealed that that the city’s population has increased to 318,676 in 2010 from252,386 in 2005.
The mayor said the revised CLUP ensures the retention of all forest and watershed areas to maintain ecological balance.
It also aims for the decongestion of the Central Business District through the provision of growth nodes along strategic locations in the City and the designation of additional areas for institutional purposes that support the city’s role as an education center north of Manila, housing and other basic needs.
The new CLUP’s updates center on the allowed uses within the different zones and the provision of a land use map which streamlines the land use allocation of the various zones namely residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and utilities zones.
To address disaster risks, the mayor said the revised CLUP incorporates the zoning of existing sinkholes and other areas proclaimed as danger zones or geologically hazardous and to adopt appropriate measures to safeguard the said areas.
He said the earlier planned four-storey height limit on buildings as earthquake safety measure had been set aside in view of findings that building vulnerability during temblors is not based on the number of levels but on soil capability and soundness of the structures.
He said the city will instead impose strict requirements for soil tests and compliance with the standards of the building code for future constructions in the various zones.
He said the soil test will determine how many stories the ground can hold while the complying with the building code will assure that the structure will not turn out as sub-standard and thus vulnerable to earthquakes.
The mayor said the proposed CLUP will be returned to the city council by the City Developmemt Council for approval.
He said the recommendations and inputs gathered from the multi-sectoral consultations conducted by the council committee on urban planning, lands and housing headed by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan Jr. for the said CLUP had been incorporated.
The revisions and adjustments are being undertaken by the city planning and development office under officer-in-charge Evelyn Cayat which serves as CDC secretariat.
The outputs were culled from consultations with the various sectors namely the National Economic and Development Authority Cordillera; the academe; the BLISTT; trade and industry; tourism; education; public safety and protection; social welfare services; health; infrastructure and utilities; housing and indigenous groups.
The CLUP serves as the City’s “blueprint for our City’s physical and economic development toward safer and healthier environment,” according to the mayor. – A Refuerzo

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