Sunday, February 15, 2009

Development in Petaling Jaya

Development issues remain as some of the most thorny issues in Petaling Jaya. As I've blogged a month or two ago, there are many projects approved in the previous state government which have become sore points for the local residents, especially since they were not consulted on most of these projects.

Paramount View. Picture courtesy of The Star

One of the recent project which has been highlighted (in the press) in my constituency is the Paramount View condominium project located between Kg Tunku (SS1) and Seksyen 22 where its construction and density will only bring grief to the local residents, especially since the roads in these housing estates tend to be ill-suited towards heavy traffic.

If you look at the picture above of Paramount View, it's not much of a view isn't it? We can only wonder how such a high-rise project situated within a few feet from the high-tension cables was approved in a narrow piece of land in the first place. For those who are not aware, this piece of land was former a squatter colony which have been moved out into low-cost flats (which is another controversy in itself).

The problem for us is we have taken over the state government, and the local authorities, and hence we now have to carry the development babies which have been handed down to us, as much as we'd rather start with a fresh sheet. I've written on a few projects previously, like Glomac Damansara and The Paradigm and Tropicana City in Kelana Jaya and SS2.

Other areas of concern which have been highlighted in the press includes the development of the FAS field in Kelana Jaya, Seksyen 19 and the Seri Setia new village.

The dilemma if any, at this point of time is that because this new state government has come out more strongly in favour of consultation with residents, as well as greater stringency in obeying development by-laws, many property developers are complaining that we are anti-business and anti-development. Whereas in the past, requirements and guidelines can be waived at ease (how, I would not say), now things seem to slow a bit and project density are often intensely questioned.

In fact, some developers have complained to me that the local councils are now "managed" and "controlled" by resident associations (RAs). My reply to them was most straightforward - shouldn't that be the case? Unlike the past where residents have little or no say at all towards how their city and neighbourhoods are developed and often changed beyond recognition, residents now have much greater say, rightfully to manage their own city.

We are not against development. Neither are most of these RAs which I've dealt with. What the residents are often objecting to is reckless development, or development which does not take into consideration externalities such as traffic congestion which needs to be resolved.
Post a Comment