SM amusement park allowed in current site

BAGUIO CITY October 02 – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored that the SM Pines Resort located at Upper Session Road fall under the low density commercial zone under the local government's existing zoning ordinance.

The local chief executive explained that amusement parks development or multipurpose entertainment center and its appurtenant structures are allowed in the said area pursuant to Article 5, Section 9 of the zoning ordinance which states that low density commercial zone shall principally for trade, services, and business activities ordinarily referred to as the central business district.

Among those that fall under the low density commercial zone pursuant to Article 6 of the zoning ordinance include movie houses or theaters, play court like tennis courts, bowling lanes, billiard halls, swimming pools, day and night clubs, gymnasiums and other sports and other recreational establishments.

Earlier, the SM management had been granted Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) by the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations that were crafted for the purpose.

Under the issued ECC, the development and operation of the mixed-use ecotourism project within an area of 8.5 hectares which shall consist of service apartments, multi-purpose entertainment center and its appurtenant structures, is also allowed.

Aside from the ECC granted to SM, it was also issued permits such as fencing permit, electronics permit, architectural permit, building permit, sanitary and plumbing permit, electrical permit and mechanical permit.

Domogan pointed out the permit to operate will only be issued after inspections had been done by the building official that the said amusement park or multipurpose entertainment center has been constructed pursuant with the approved plans and specifications which had been the basis of the issuance of the permits.

He asserted that requiring SM management to first conduct public consultation and secure favourable endorsement by the local legislative body of their amusement park and recreational facility is not a requirement considering that even Section 458(4) (vii) of the Local Government Code cited in the proposed resolution does not require the said endorsement.

According to him, the amusement park and recreational facility or multipurpose entertainment center and related structures constructed is within the private property of SM and the regulation that the city will do is to ensure that they secure necessary ECC, fencing, electronics, architectural, building, sanitary and plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits which they have already done, thus, to require them to conduct a public hearing is superfluous.

Earlier, the local legislative body invited several personalities from private and public offices to shed light on the on-going construction of the SM City Baguio Amusement Park and Recreational Center wherein issues of zoning, traffic among other concerns were raised by some local legislators.

Domogan also returned to the local legislative body its resolution which he did not sign requiring SM City Baguio to first conduct a public consultation for its on-going amusement park project. By Dexter A. See

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