A group of residents in Taman Kanagapuram, Petaling Jaya, want all business operators in their neighbourhood to move out as they do not have the relevant approvals from the local council to operate commercial activities there.
“They are contravening Section 18 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, which prohibits any use of land or building other than those stipulated in the local plan,” said Taman Kanagapuram residents’ association (RA) president S. Selvaratnam, adding that Taman Kanagapuram, which has been occupied for more than 40 years, remains gazetted as residential.
“Our priority is for the used-car dealers to move out, as they are the main cause of increased traffic congestion and crime rates here,” he said.
Selvaratnam attributed the congestion to the high volume of cars entering and parking by the roadside to visit the used-car dealerships, as well as the hauliers that are used to transport the vehicles to the dealerships.
He was highlighting the residents’ frustrations, after the used car dealers spoke about their dilemma last week (Used car dealers in dilemma over eviction notice, published in StarMetro on April 4).
Of the 119 lots in Taman Kanagapuram, Selvaratnam said 42 lots were illegally converted to business premises.
Some 24 of the 42 lots are used for used-car dealerships while others comprise scrap metal businesses, old folks’ homes and places of worship.
“Our RA has been pursuing the matter with the local council since 1996.
“We got a breakthrough in April 2006, when the then Selangor mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo personally signed a letter directing the local council to order all the business premises in Taman Kanagapuram to be removed.
“He felt our arguments were on justified grounds as Taman Kanagapuram comprises low-density bungalow lots.
“The execution took time and we had to follow up with the new state government,” he said.
Selvaratnam added the used-car dealers were supposed to move out by Dec 31 last year.
“However, only six lots were vacated after the deadline. The remaining dealers got together and managed to get their deadline extended till after Chinese New Year.
“The remaining dealers are here till today. They did not keep their word nor sign an undertaking letter with the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to move out,” he said.
Selvaratnam added the used-car dealers had been taking advantage of the local council’s poor enforcement and the area’s cheap rental to continue their businesses despite being slapped with numerous notices and court orders.
Based on the council’s investigations, MBPJ public relations officer Zainun Zakaria said the used-car dealers had committed an offence for misuse of building, as the residential premises they were operating from had not been converted into business premises.
“The traders were found to be conducting businesses related to used-cars, car repairs and car displays, and have been in the business for some 20 years,” she said.
“Our statistics for last year (2010) states that out of the 21 traders who are operating businesses related to the motoring trade in Taman Kanagapuram, 13 were operating without licences, three did not renew their licences, and five had moved out.”
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