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Quezon City council grants SMDC another exemption

by Rio N. Araja
[ ] June 18-19, 2011

ANOTHER project of giant property developer SM Development Corp. has been granted an exemption by the Quezon City government for the construction of a four-tower commercial and residential complex.

The city government gave SMDC the green light to demolish Hotel Danarra on Mother Ignacia St. and build four 24-storey buildings on a 123,211.42-square meter property.

The 17th city council issued a certificate of exemption to SMDC that allowed “deviation” from the restrictions on traffic generation and height regulation of the Quezon City Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

Residents had earlier complained that the construction and operation of the project would result in traffic in the area.

“Whereas, the proposed project will not adversely affect the public health, safety and welfare as well as the appropriate use of the adjoining properties and the same will promote livelihood in the area,” the resolution said.

Earlier, students of the Ateneo de Manila University in Katipunan and Loyola Heights residents questioned the alleged laxity of rules that allowed the construction of another SMDC project, the 42-storey SM Blue Residences, near the school.

The Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila called on Mayor Herbert Bautista to issue a cease-and-desist order against the project, and incumbent councilors to revoke the exemption granted to SMDC.

City Building Official Isagani Versoza said the city cannot stop the construction of the SM Blue Residences, fearing a lawsuit by SMDC “for abuse of authority before the Office of the Ombudsman.”

City Planning Division chief Tomasito Cruz had defended the SMDC projects, saying the city will always welcome such developments in a bid to generate more revenues and job opportunities.

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