AS EXPECTED, the Davao City Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Clup) got the final approval by the City Council Monday afternoon.
The council passed the measure on third and final reading, with the title “An ordinance approving and adopting the zoning ordinance of Davao City for 2013-2022, incorporating as integral part thereof, Volume 1, which is the Clup, and volume 3, which is the sectoral studies.”
It garnered 23 votes from all the council members who were present Monday.
Councilor Melchor Quitain was the presiding officer.
Incoming Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was on vacation leave, while Councilors Karlo Bello and Paolo Duterte were on official business.
Councilor Bernard Al-ag failed to vote because he arrived late.
Meanwhile, around 100 environment advocates broke into cheers as the ordinance was finally approved.
The amendments included the declaration of conservation zones and the establishment of buffer zones between conflicting zones like commercial and residential zones or industrial and agricultural zones. A minimum of 10 meters of buffer zone planted with trees is mandated in this amended Clup.
“In behalf of the civil society who actively and substantially provided inputs in the drafting of the revisions to the Clup, we would like to thank the councilors for approving the ordinance after so many deliberations,” said Idis Executive Director Ann Fuertes.
Despite some last minute fears of an intense lobby by subdivision developers against the proposed zoning of Shrine Hills into an Urban Ecological Enhancement Sub-zone, the ordinance was quickly approved by all the councilors present. It was their first agenda on this last day of their council session.
Fuertes, however, said that while this is a victory for the advocates of the Green Davao vision, there are still lots of work to be done.
Also included in the amended Clup is the addition of the Water Resource Areas, as well as the declaration of Marine Protected Areas in the city.
The zoning ordinance also provides the no-reclassification policy within five years for all areas identified under general zone (agriculture, conservation, water resource, and non-tillage) and three years for sub-urban zone (residential, industrial and commercial).
However, should property developers want to reclassify a zone that has been approved under the Clup, they would need at least 75 percent or 21 votes of the City Council.
The city’s Water Resource Zone has also been mapped out.
The special use permit already issued to two memorial parks that are to be built in identified Water Resource Zone in the city may also be revoked “subject to the requirement of due process of law and when public interest so requires.”
“The next challenge is to sustain the engagement of the civil society in the implementation and monitoring of the ordinance. We won’t expect it to be easy but then as long as we are all united in seeing through our vision of a Green Davao City, the challenges will be surmountable,” Fuentes said. (Ara Casas, Sunstar Davao)