Homeowners group cries foul over zoning ordinance

The Shrine Hills Home and Landowners Association Inc. has lobbied City Council to rethink the proposal pushed by the Interface Development Interventions to allocate 75% of their lot as ecological sub-zones.

“If this (amendment) will be implemented, we will be affected because as what is stipulated in the ordinance is only 25% (of our land) is only allowed (for development),” Florante Portillo, vice president of the association, said.

“For example, if you have 100 square meters and if you are only allowed to build 25% and you have three children, how will you provide them a room?” said Portillo.

According to Portillo, most of the homeowners just possess 100 to 500 sqm and providing them with 25% for development is very minimal.

Nelson Go, the board of director of the association, also emphasized that they were not involved in the discussion to change the Zoning Ordinance.

“We are confused because during the implementation in 2013 (of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of Davao City), we were given a moratorium on no-build zones but we were not called, we were not informed, no nothing.”

“What we are after here is the justice because of we are the landowners who are entitled to build (homes),” he added.

The association is asking lawmakers to be allowed to “apply for executive amnesty so that those who have established their homes (before 2013) will not be violators and will not be penalized,” said Portillo.

The ordinance slaps an administrative penalty of P500 per day against any person who undertakes pre-development or pre-construction of a project in any area or land without preliminary approval and locational clearance or development permit.

“It will be a big amount of money for us to pay the government,” Portillo said.

“We wrote a letter to the city mayor requesting for a check and balance of this situation because we are the ones affected here. We don’t have other lands in the city, we just have this land in Shrine Hills,” added Portillo.

“We are lobbying that those who have bought land without establishments be allowed to construct up to 50%,” he added.

Mark T. Peñalver, program coordinator of IDIS, meanwhile, admitted that they believe there are lapses in the information dissemination but they are still consistent in protecting the ecological zone of Shrine Hills.

“Shrine Hills is situated in the center of the city so whatever happens on the top, especially during landslides, those who are in the foot of the hill will also be affected. We are preventing that to happen that it may cause bigger problems to the city,” Peñalver said.

Peñalver added that the landslide in July of last year at the diversion road “was just due to minimal excavations but brought huge effect the whole City.”

Peñalver explained that adding development to Shrine Hills without mitigating measures to ensure stability will cause more tragedies.