Taoyuan Aerotropolis hearings may take one year: Taoyuan mayor
Expropriation hearings for the locally managed zone of Taoyuan Aerotropolis will take about one year to complete, Greater Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan ( ) announced yesterday.
After his surprise victory in the 9-in-1 Elections, Cheng had pledged to conduct formal hearings for all agricultural land expropriation in the locally controlled zone - a plan that would delay completion of the controversial project.
Formal hearings should be completed within one year, the mayor estimated yesterday.
Cheng was speaking to activists who asked the local government to cancel formal hearings for “general” agricultural lands, calling the hearings a delay not required by law.
Same Project, Same Standards
At Greater Taoyuan’s city hall, Cheng told lobbyists that he is committed to maintaining consistent standards for “general” and “special” agricultural land expropriation.
Most of the land within the locally controlled zone is “special agricultural land,” Cheng said.
By law, the local government must hold formal hearings for the expropriation of “special agricultural land” before submitting the cases to the Interior Ministry for review.
A smaller proportion within the locally controlled zone is “general agricultural land,” Cheng said.
According to the Land Expropriation Act ( ), acquisition of general agricultural lands need only be processed through public hearings, a form of hearing in which the conclusions are not legally binding.
But in the interest of upholding consistent standards, all lands should be subject to formal hearings, Cheng said.
“These lands are part of the same project, so they should be subject to the same standards,” he said.
Cheng said conducting formal hearings across the board will enable more transparent and open procedures. Hearings will also allow residents to communicate both the positive and negative aspects of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project.
He urged lobbyists to attend the formal hearings to publicize their views.
“Speak loudly in favor of the project,” Cheng said. “The opposition will have a chance to express itself, too.”
The Taoyuan Aerotropolis is the flagship construction project of President Ma Ying-jeou’s administration. Since 2012, the Transportation Ministry has tried to fasttrack construction for completion by 2018.
The project comprises two zones: the “egg yolk” managed by the Transportation Ministry and the Greater Taoyuan government’s “egg white.”
Both zones have fallen subject to delays and remain in the expropriation stage.