Developer sued for violating zone law

Mall built inside city residential area

Cebu-based Taipan Development Inc. is facing charges for violation of Ordinance No. 0546, series of 2013, also known as the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of Davao City.

The zoning ordinance board filed the charges on June 28 against the Cebu company for constructing its Gaisano Capitol mall in barangay Catalunan Pequiño, Davao City without securing a permit from the city government.

Zoning committee chief Roy Ryan Rigor said that the respondent did not secure a permit from their office and just proceeded with the construction without their knowledge.

“They have not secured our clearance at all,” he said. “Besides, if they asked for one in our office we won’t give it to them since the location is a residential zone.”

Rigor said that since the location is under a residential zone, the respondent must seek the approval of the city council for the reclassification of the area from a residential zone to a commercial zone.

Following the process, the management of the 2 storey mall should have asked the approval of the city council for a reclassification before they can get a clearance from the zoning office. However, the respondent allegedly bypassed all the processes and proceeded with the construction.

Without the zoning clearance, the respondent cannot also secure a building permit from the city building office.

“The City Engineer’s Office and our office issued a notice of violation to them when we found out about their case,” Rigor said.

He said that the mall was preparing for their grand opening but they stopped them from operating since they did not secure a permit from the city government.

Rigor said that the Taipan Development Inc., filed for additional allowable use before the city council, however the council denied it.

Under the zoning ordinance, one can file for additional allowable use provided that the project signifies economic significance and it should be approved by the city council with at least three fourths of the councilors voting in favor.

“We talked with the management, they are blaming their contractor, he said, adding that “it is not for us to find out whether there was a negligence on the part of the constructor. Our issue here is that they have violated our city ordinance,” he said.

Rigor added that the Taipan Development Inc. was the first company that was charged with violating the zoning ordinance since it was enacted four years ago.