Phantom project turns mega project in Section 16, Petaling Jaya

The resident of Section 16, Petaling Jaya, have made clear their objections against a proposed mixed development project behind Phileo Damansara 2.

They claim that the project violates the standard plot ratio, will cause a tremendous increase in traffic and is a potential landslide risk.

Some 30 residents voiced their objections to the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) at a hearing held on Friday, at which they said the five-acre project violates the MBPJ plot ratio guideline of 1:4. Plot ratio refers to the number of times a given size of land is allowed to be built-up(wards).

The project, which comprises five blocks of 22 to 32-storey buildings, will record a plot ratio of 1:6 once it is completed.

“The prohibitive plot ratio and the high density of buildings proposed by the applicant indicate that it will exceed the carrying capacity of the area,” resident LS Leonard noted in the residents’ objection paper.

He also said erecting high-rise buildings in the middle of a bungalow neighbourhood would worsen the well-known oppressive traffic conditions in the already congested Jalan Dato’ Abu Bakar, Jalan 16/11 and the Sprint Highway.

“A traffic impact assessment (TIA) report documents that Sprint Highway is currently operating with a level of service of ‘D’ to ‘E’, which means approaching unstable flow,” he notes. Grade F is the worst.

“Jalan Abu Bakar is utilised to about 85 percent to 93 percent of its traffic capacity,” he added.

“If the roads are already operating near-capacity during peak hours, the traffic impact from the proposed development would serve to make things worse,” he emphasised.

A six-level basement car park and a four-level above ground car park will also be built to cater estimate some 20,000 additional vehicles.

Resident Roy Tan shudders at this nightmare scenario. “Imagine having 20,000 cars going around in your backyard. You can’t even hang your clothes.”

In 1997, the developer, Mulpha Land & Property Sdn Bhd (Mulpha), initiated the construction of three blocks of medium-rise buildings with four levels of car park, but this project was halted after it was shown it had failed to get the authorities’ consent.

It is not known how the project began without the proper regulatory approvals back then.

Hence, the residents now find it highly irregular that the developer now proposes to build yet higher-rise buildings of higher density.

“In 1997, Mulpha did massive earthworks at the proposed development site which caused the terrain bordering residential bungalow to be altered resulting in near-vertical cut slopes,” the residents wrote in the objection paper.

Besides that, the site, which is sloping from southern boundary towards northern boundary, is thought to have a gradient of 25 degrees.

They said the proposed development cannot be constructed in the intended manner as for commercial office lots, the proposed site must satisfy the plot ratio of 1:2.

“There is a real danger of loss of life and damage to property should MBPJ decide to grant planning permission,” they said.

Traffic consultant, Goh Bok Yen, who also attended the hearing, said traffic at the area is bad and will continue to grow with or without the proposed development.

He proposes a two-way underground tunnel to connect the proposed development to a piece of land which he says is on lease by Sprint highway.

This proposal to build more roads to cater for yet more traffic does not seem like a solution.

Meanwhile, MBPJ councillor, Tiew Way Keng, who chaired the meeting, said she come to a decision based on the facts presented at the hearing.