Cabinet approves draft law revision to accelerate urban renewal

12/17/2020 06:49 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 17 (CNA) The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft amendment to the Urban Renewal Act that will streamline procedures that authorize local governments to demolish dangerous buildings and provide floor area ratio incentives to encourage the reconstruction of old buildings and accelerate urban renewal.

After the catastrophic 921 earthquake that devastated Taiwan in 1999, the government amended relevant regulations to raise standards for the design of buildings to improve their earthquake resistance, according to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI).

However, before the amended regulations came into effect in December 1999, there were more than 36,200 buildings at least six floors high without adequate earthquake resistance in Taiwan.

This large number of dangerous high-rise buildings makes it difficult to coordinate their owners and push building renovation projects forward, the ministry noted.

To encourage the reconstruction of such buildings, the ministry has drafted an amendment to the Urban Renewal Act to increase floor area ratios, which refers to the ratio of a building's total floor area (gross floor area) to the size of the plot of land on which it is built, to up to 130 percent of their original ratios, for developers of such renewal projects, according to the ministry.

The draft amendment will now be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review.

According to the MOI, the previous amendments to the Urban Renewal Act that took effect on Jan. 30, 2019 stipulate that home owners who participate in urban renewal projects and do not sell their new homes within a certain time frame will be entitled to a 50 percent cut in housing tax.

It also specifies that an increase of up to 50 percent from the original floor space could be awarded to renewal projects as an incentive for homeowners.

(By Yu Hsiang and Evelyn Kao)

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