Taoyuan Aerotropo­lis hear­ings may take one year: Taoyuan mayor

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ENRU LIN

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.

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