BAGUIO CITY – The City Government will no longer grant exemptions on the parking lot requirement for buildings within the central business district in an effort to alleviate the traffic problem besetting the City.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan approved City Council Ordinance No. 75 series of 2018 “Disallowing the Grant of Exemption or Outrightly Denying Applications for Exception, Variance, or Non-Conforming Use of Commercial and Institutional Buildings Relative to the Parking Lot Requirement within the Central Business District Area in the City of Baguio, and Setting the Guidelines for the Implementation of Article VIII of City Ordinance Numbered 63, Series of 2016.”
Author Coun. Elaine Sembrano said that vehicular traffic is “one monstrous challenge the city is experiencing more often as the mobility of people increases inversely to the shrinking space the city can offer.”
“Despite the implementation of several traffic rerouting schemes, the traffic situation direly needs improvement including the review and assessment of supporting policies to come up with complementing tools to alleviate the public’s day-to-day struggles with traffic and other related social episodes when in the city’s commercial district,” she said.
“The exercise of political will must primarily regard the general welfare and interest of the people and the granting of certain privileges must be exercised with cerebral and patriotic prudence so as not to render certain policies ineffective or partial.”
The City previously grants exemptions by virtue of section 24, Article VIII of Ordinance No. 63-2016 which adopted the Revised Comprehensive Zoning Regulations for the City which provides for the granting of exceptions, variances or deviations as may be allowed by the Local Zoning Board of Adjustment and Appeals (LZBAA).
The ordinance will cover barangays Kayang-Hilltop, Upper Market, Padre Zamora, Padre Burgos, Camp Allen, Upper and Lower Magsaysay, Session Road, Rizal Monument, AZCKO, Malcolm Square, Kabayanihan, Kagitingan, Upper and Lower General Luna, ABCR, Teodora Alonzo, New Lucban, Burnham-Legarda, Kayang Ext., Queen of Peace Barangay and Palma Urbano.
As per the approved measure, existing commercial or institutional buildings within the said areas which are using their parking lots as commercial spaces or other purposes will be given six months to revert their spaces to their intended use as parking spaces for tenants and clients as per the building permit issued by the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO).
Commercial buildings which have insufficient parking lots will be required to comply with the zoning ordinance within one year upon receipt of the notice.
The CBAO will take charge of monitoring compliance to this ordinance.
Moreover, the City Planning and Development Officer or the Zoning Officer will be tasked to submit to the Office of the City Mayor and the Sangguniang Panlungsod an inventory of buildings granted exceptions by the LZBAA, deviations or currently non-conforming with the Zoning Ordinance relative to parking for appropriate action in accordance with the ordinance.
Within three months, the CBAO in coordination with the Zoning Officer will ensure that all the affected property owners are informed of the provisions of this ordinance.
No business permit, occupancy permit or other related permits and clearances will be issued to any commercial or institutional establishment for any violation of this Ordinance, in addition to fines and penalties provided for by law.
Government officers or employees responsible for the approval of any grant for exception or variance will be held liable in accordance with law./Aileen P. Refuerzo