Baguio pursues moratorium on exemption from zoning ordinance

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The city will continue to implement the prevailing moratorium on the grant of exemptions on the zoning ordinance up to the end of this year until such time that the appropriate amendments to the same shall have been introduced for the proper zoning of the city.

City Planning and Development Officer Arch. Donna R. Tabangin stated that to date, some 30 percent of the ongoing surveys on the proper zoning of the city and that the same shall be completed by the end of the year in time for the preparation of the appropriate amendments on the city’s zoning ordinance to address the existing zoning issues and concerns that affect the development projects being introduced in the different parts of the country’s Summer Capital.

She disclosed that the city received some 19 applications for exemption from the zoning ordinance prior to the implementation of the moratorium on March 22, 2021 and some 3 similar applications were received by the local government after the implementation of the aforesaid moratorium.

However, the local government department head claimed that there are some 4 applications for exemption from the zoning ordinance which are qualified to fall under the prescribed exemptions from the moratorium which include 3 applications filed purposely for telecommunication services while 1 application is intended for the put up of a hospital.

Under the provisions of the ordinance on the said moratorium, exemptions from the coverage of Ordinance No. 63, series of 2016 or the city’s zoning ordinance and Resolution No. 306, series of 2016 can be granted through an ordinance and shall only when the intended use was reclassified by a law passed by Congress or through Presidential Proclamations as when the land is released for other uses; when the classification of the land is in conflict with final order of the court; when by virtue of the character of the land, the same can no longer be utilized for its intended classification in the zoning and when the reclassification will be better serve public welfare, public interest and public policy.

According to her, the 4 applications for exemption from the zoning ordinance and the moratorium fall under the 4th exemption that is why the Local Zoning Board on Adjustments and Appeals (LZBAA) is expected to act on the said matters pursuant to established rules and regulations as these qualified under the prescribed exemptions to pave the way for the implementation of the desired projects beneficial to the welfare of the public once completed.

Earlier, various developers had been requesting the members of the local legislative body to lift the implementation of the ongoing moratorium on the grant of exemptions from the coverage of the city’s zoning ordinance to allow them to implement their pending projects that were heavily impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to allow them to recover from the serious negative effect of the health crisis to the job generation and overall economy.

The implementation of the moratorium from the grant of exemption from the coverage of the city’s zoning ordinance have caused the suspension in the prosecution of various development projects in the different parts of the city over the past several months. By Dexter A. See

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