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Ting Hsin zone change for Sanchong tract ‘still active’

Ting Hsin zone change for Sanchong tract ‘still active’

DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei questioned Monday whether New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu’s claim that he would "destroy" the Ting Hsin Group was a ruse, charging Chu and the New Taipei City Government with ‘match-fixing’ in handling Ting Hsin’s attempts to develop a large tract of land in Sanchong.

The New Taipei City Government informed Ting Hsin by mail on December 2 that it had rejected the company’s application for a zoning change on a section of land in Hsin-yen District in Sanchong from industrial to mixed residential/industrial. One month later, however, the city has yet to send a letter to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), meaning that the application is still active, according to Deputy Director Hsu Wen-lung of the Construction and Planning Agency. The current status of the application as far as the law is concerned, said Hsu, is that the case is still alive-"not approved, but also not withdrawn."

The section of land, which was previously a production facility for Ting Hsin’s Wei-chuan Division, first drew attention in the campaign for mayor of New Taipei City last year. DPP candidate Yu Shyi-kun raised questions about the propriety of Ting Hsin’s application for a zoning change. The group’s first application was filed August 16, 2010, and Mayor Chu approved the case on January 25, 2011, on the basis of Section 1, Article 27 of the city’s Urban Planning Law. On January 28 the case was sent to the New Taipei City Urban Commission for inspection. The commission then forwarded the application to the MOI on March 27, 2012, for approval. The MOI studied the case and added its approval in a meeting on April 1, 2014.

Hsu Wen-lung notes that the tract of land was formerly occupied by a Wei Chuan factory. In April 1999 the company cancelled its operating license for the facility as it had become outdated and inefficient, something which Hsu says has often happened in New Taipei City as well as Kaohsiung and Tainan. As these cities have grown they have absorbed many industrial areas and converted them into residential zones for urban development in accordance with city planning guidelines and statutes.

Hsu explained that in line with city standards for living environment, Ting Hsin should have returned 30% of the 5.68-hectare tract to the New Taipei City Government. Once Ting Hsin and the New Taipei City Government reached an agreement on the deal, they should have made a public announcement, and if no objections were raised in a period of 30 days, the case would be submitted to the MOI for final approval of the land zoning change.

But the political climate in Taiwan changed after the November 29 elections last year, and on December 2 the New Taipei City Bureau of Urban Development sent a letter to Ting Hsin which pointed out that the group had been involved in the production and sales of tainted edible oils and other food-related misdeeds that caused serious harm to the public health. The bureau said that because of these developments it had decided to terminate Ting Hsin’s application for a zoning change, also sending a notification to the Deputy Minister of the Interior regarding its action.

DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei noted that she had asked the MOI whether the New Taipei City Government had completed processing of the case. The MOI replied on three separate occasions that although it had informed the New Taipei City Government on December 4 that the application had been terminated, it had not yet received a reply from the city. Chen Ting-fei criticized Chu and the New Taipei City Government, saying the Chu had claimed he would "drown" Ting Hsin after revelations regarding its oil products, but now the government is simply sitting on the zoning change application. Chen charged that its action was an attempt to deceive the public.

Hsu Wen-lung opined that the New Taipei City Government might be holding back on further action on the zoning change because it is wary of legal action Ting Hsin could take on its application. He admitted, however, that according to the law, the case is still active.

Updated : 2021-09-18 10:01 GMT+08:00