Yangon zoning plan expected this year

Yangon’s zoning plan will finally go from draft to law this year, YCDC officials said earlier this week.

The city plan was first drawn up in 2013 by a working committee with recommendations from urban planners and representatives from YCDC, the Ministry of Construction, Yangon Heritage Trust, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

An urban planner involved in the process said last year the goal was to legislate the proper use of urban land and limit high-rises.

The plan has remained in draft form since, however, with the former Yangon government busy with other priorities, according to U Toe Aung, deputy director of YCDC’s Department of City Planning and Land Administration.

Officials say the plan is almost ready to become law.

“The draft has already been drawn up for the main 18 townships in Yangon, and we’ll add the townships we left out,” he said. “Then we will submit it to the Yangon Region government and parliament.”

Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein will form a committee to discuss and approve the draft. The plan is expected to become law within the year, according to U Than Htay, head of YCDC’s building engineering department.

If the zoning plan could be firmed into law, it would improve the building-permit process in Yangon, he added.

Yangon lacks rules to balance the city’s colonial buildings with modern high-rises, according to U Than Htay.

“The zoning plan will fix that.”

Requests to build eight-storey buildings are judged using YCDC’s by-laws, examined by the building engineering department, and advanced to the YCDC committee level for approval.

Requests to build high-rises are examined by the High-Rise Inspection Committee (HIC), then confirmed by the YCDC committee.

U Than Htay said Yangon’s building standards were deteriorating, and must be controlled with a new, strong law like the zoning plan.

“The plan is very necessary for Yangon,” he said. “It’s difficult to decide on permits. The zoning plan has already fixed that and will arrange what kind of buildings should be in what zone.”

Source: The Myanmar Times

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