•Developer hurdles major legal challenge for Gaisano Capital opening
The Office of the City Building Official (OCBO) withdrew the case against Taipan Development Incorporated, developer of the proposed Gaisano Capital Mall, that was filed before MTC Branch 3.
This was confirmed by Councilor Rene Elias Lopez, chair of the committee on housing, rural, and urban development.
The city government filed a suit against the management of Gaisano Capital on July 12, 2017 after the shopping mall, situated at Barangay Sto. Nino, Tugbok District, allegedly violated the National Building Code.
“Last session (of the council, Feb. 4), the Taipan Development Inc. manifested that they already entered a compromise agreement with the complainant and the OCBO withdrew the case,” Lopez told TIMES.
In the report, the committee also confirmed that it received a notification on Jan. 27 by way of a Notice to Withdraw Information relative to the case. It also included the compromise agreement between the parties.
“In effect, there is no case anymore so we can already discuss the merit on whether or not the resolution for the reclassification or rezoning of the area where the Gaisano Capital is standing on,” said Lopez.
Currently, the council is lobbying for a resolution recommending for the reclassification or rezoning of the area where the proposed mall is situated.
Based on the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the City, the 4,468-square meter property is classified as a medium density residential sub-zone and within a water resource zone.
The Taipan Development Inc., applied for a reclassification into a major commercial zone but the council could not act on it because of the pending case.
However, the city council has not approved the reclassification yet during the previous session as it questioned the authority of the compromise agreement.
“During the discussions on the plenary, the body was asking why did they create a compromise agreement without the knowledge of the council,” Lopez said.
However, the OCBO is directly under Office of the Secretary of of Department of Public Works and Highways and not of the Office of the City Mayor, therefore it can withdraw any case even without the local government influencing its decision.