Mayor calls meeting to clarify issues regarding development approval process

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Mayor calls meeting to clarify issues regarding development approval process

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - Following several concerns from residents regarding the construction of developments primarily in the Corporate Area, Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams called an urgent meeting with key members of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation's (KSAMC) Engineering Department as well as members of the political directorate today.

The meeting concerned efforts to increase enforcement and community engagement with regard to developments and approvals as the KSAMC continues to emphasise and enforce adherence to best practices in building construction and developments across the municipality, the corporation said in a news release.

The mayor says that in the short term, the KSAMC will establish a review panel that will deal specifically with multi-family developments that generally cause concern among residents. This move is to ensure that residents are made aware of these developments prior to approval which provides ample opportunity for them to air their concerns as part of the KSAMC's decision making process.

"We all have a role to play and I hereby urge all developers to act responsibly. One way in doing so is by posting the relevant notices to raise awareness so that residents are given ample time to voice their concerns," the mayor stated.

The KSAMC is reminding developers that the Intend to Build notice is required under the Building Act and failure to post same can render any approval null and void. These notices give residents ample time to voice their concerns.

"The corporation will be embarking on a series of meetings with residents across the municipality concerning developments whereby we will take feedback from them, discuss concerns by residents, and also inform them about the various laws that govern building and town planning as we continue serving our citizens through participation and promoting public awareness," Williams stated.

The KSAMC says it will require community surveys for developments as a feature of the application and approval process for developments that are not in keeping with the character of communities in which they fall.

"Developers are also expected to conduct community surveys before the end of the building application process as part of a transparent and participatory process," the mayor added.

To encourage greater citizen participation in the process, Williams also announced that applications will be posted on the KSAMC's website, and that the corporation has ramped up its monitoring and enforcement capabilities which involve building officers working on weekends monitoring for compliance with the conditions of approvals. There is also to be no construction work on Sundays and public holidays.

Williams appealed to all industry players to adhere to all conditions which include noise abatement, dust control and solid waste management, among others.

"A very important part of the condition is that if you breach any aspect it renders the building application null and void as is stated in the condition itself," the mayor warned.

The mayor also committed to continuing discussions with the National Environment and Planning Agency, further engaging developers, underscoring the concerns of residents, as well as directly informing residents through respective citizens' associations and via the corporation's platforms.


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