DAGUPAN CITY — A city councilor sees the extreme need to approve a new 10-year comprehensive zoning ordinance in Dagupan in 2015 or 2016, otherwise the present areas designated for different land uses would not be enough to accommodate and sustain the needs of a growing population now placed at some 125,000 and is still increasing.

Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo said the current zoning ordinance in effect was passed and approved in 1978 or 37 years ago during the term of the late Mayor Cipriano Manaois and has not been renewed since then despite many developments that have taken place in the city.

The current comprehensive zoning ordinance set the growth centers in the present central business district along A. B. Fernandez Ave., Burgos St., Perez Blvd., M.H. del Pilar St. and Rizal St., including certain parts of Mayombo.

Proposed by City Planning and Development Officer Romeo Rosario and City Administrator Farah Decano as additional growth centers are the Lucao-Pantal area connected by the new Jose De Venecia Sr. Expressway Extension, the Bonuan area as well as the Caranglaan-Tebeng area.

Tamayo, co-chair of the Land Use Committee in tne Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), led the public hearing on the proposed new comprehensive zoning ordinance which, if approved, will be incorporated in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) already endorsed by the Regional Land Use Plan Committee headed by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Nestor Rillon.

In the public hearing, Andre Abalos, chair of the Metro Dagupan Chamber of Commerce, said businessmen are just waiting for Dagupan to declare new growth centers before coming in to invest their money in the city.

Abalos, a former councilor of adjacent San Fabian town, said businessmen are just waiting in the wings before coming into Dagupan to participate in the development of the city and its people.

Meanwhile, as to question of Councilor Redford Mejia why city hall seemed to be blocking the entry of Shoe Mart, City Administrator Decano said since day one of the administration of Mayor Belen Fernandez in 2013, SM has not made an offer to come to the city.

What has applied and is now starting construction on a lot it has acquired in Barangay Caranglaan in Dagupan City is the City Mall of Golden Dragon, said City Legal Officer George Mejia who also attended the public hearing.

In pushing for the passage of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, Decano said the people of Dagupan must decide and should make a self-determination on what the city should be for the next 10 years if they want their city to grow.

She said the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance calls for the appointment of a city architect, city building officer, city environment officer and zoning officer. PNA