Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie, has said that the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation(KSAC) will issue an order for the removal of towers constructed recently by a cellular service provider without KSAC approval.
“We have issued instructions to a certain cell provider and we have given them 14 days to remove 16 cell towers that have been constructed without the Council’s approval,” the Mayor said, as he addressed the weekly luncheon of the Rotary Club of Kingston, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, today(March 12)..
However, the Mayor told the Jamaica Information Service(JIS) last night that the 14-day order is being withheld, pending a meeting with the unnamed cellular service provider, believed to be one of the latest entrants into the field, sometime on Friday.
Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew Councillor Desmond McKenzie (second right) today (March 12) presents President, Rotary Club of Kingston, Christopher Issa (left), with the city’s second highest award, the Gold Medal. Looking on is Governor, Rotary Club of Kingston, Dennis Chong. They were at the Rotary Club of Kingston luncheon held at the Pegasus Hotel today.
“This is another grey area that you, as residence, must wake up and realise what is happening,” he said.
Mayor McKenzie told the luncheon that he was not going to allow the cellular telephone service providers to create havoc in the city.
President, Rotary Club of Kingston, Christopher Issa (left), greets Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew Councillor Desmond McKenzie. They were at the Rotary Club of Kingston luncheon held today (March 12) at the Pegasus Hotel.
“While we welcome development, people’s rights must be protected. You can’t go and put a thing like a cell tower on top of a man’s building,” he said.
“What is making it worse, is that these cell providers go into a community and look for the man who is purported to be the ‘don man’, and they go into negotiations with him: and when they go into negotiations, end of the argument, nobody else can speak, they put up the towers,” he explained.
The Mayor also urged developers to adhere to the building regulations, and accused some of them of continuing to vary building plans approved by the local authority.
He said that some developers were going into areas where people, including diplomats, were willing to pay as much as US$1 million per acre for land, and used this as “a green light” to circumvent the KSAC and exploit the young professionals willing to pay up to $15 million for housing solutions, like apartments and town houses, in these areas..
“We have found developers varying building plans after they are approved by the KSAC. Plans for one bedroom apartments, become a two bedroom apartment(plan),” he gave as an example.
“We cannot have orderly development when some people continue to break the law like that,” he lamented.
He also noted that when developers ignore the building laws, they subject the consumers and the communities to environmental and other dangers.
He said that, in the meantime, the KSAC and the government have been trying to make it easier for developers to get their building plans approved
“Gone are the days when developments were stuck at the KSAC. We have put in place the necessary mechanisms to expedite the process and we have been working to meet the 90-day window that Prime Minister Bruce Golding promised,” he said.
The Development Approval Process has been targeting investment and promoting business development. In 2007, a Review spearheaded by the Cabinet Office was conducted and revealed a number of process inefficiencies that complicated and delayed the development application process, he said.
This gave rise to a revamping of the entire application process that is continuing and which has focused, primarily, on achieving a strict 90- day timeframe for responses to all applications.