Donation of roads and open spaces-A A +A
Real Estate Updates
Sunday, October 28, 2012
WE ARE tackling this issue to give way to clarifications on queries made by some of our readers regarding roads, alley, sidewalks and open spaces found in subdivision projects as provided for under Section 31 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 957, the Subdivision/Condominium Buyers’ Protective Decree, or more commonly known as the Subdivision Law.
As a brief backgrounder, the Subdivision Law requires owners and/or developers of a subdivision to provide adequate roads, alleys and sidewalks. For subdivision projects one (1) hectare or more, the owner or developer shall reserve thirty percent (30%) of the gross area for open space.
Such open space shall have the following standards allocated exclusively for parks, playgrounds and recreational use:
1. Nine percent (9%) of gross area for high density or social housing (66 to 100 family lots per gross hectare).
2. Seven percent (7%) of gross area for medium density economic housing (21 to 65 family lots per gross hectare).
3. Three and one-half percent (3.5%) of gross area for low density or open market housing (20 family lots and below per gross hectare).
For purposes of definitions, “Open Space” shall mean an area reserved exclusively for parks, playgrounds, recreational uses, and other similar facilities and amenities. On the other hand, “Road Lots” shall include roads, sidewalks, alleys and planting strips, and its gutters, drainage and sewerage.
The areas reserved for parks, playgrounds and recreational use shall be non-alienable public lands, and non-buildable. These means that such areas in subdivision projects cannot be sold to buyers nor buildings and other structures be built on such designated area in the subdivision. The plans of the subdivision project shall also include tree planting on such parts of the subdivision as may be designated by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
“Upon their completion as certified to by the Authority (HLURB), the roads, alleys, sidewalks and playgrounds shall be donated by the owner or developer to the city or municipality and it shall be mandatory for the local government to accept.” This refers to the situation where, upon completion of the subdivision project, the owner or developer can donate such areas to the local government (city or municipality where the project is located) and it shall be mandatory for the said local government to accept such donated areas.
What is the rationale for this move of the owner or developer to donate such areas to the Local Government Unit (LGU)? Basically, the reason is to relieve the owner or developer the responsibility of maintaining the road lot and open spaces of the subdivision.
The Subdivision Law further provides that project developers/owners shall have the right to donate road lots and open spaces to the city/municipality concerned, provided that the parks, playgrounds and recreational use may be donated to the Homeowners Association of the project with the consent of the said city/municipality.
To formalize the donation, the project developer/owner has to execute a Deed of Donation. Once this deed is executed and the areas designated turn-over to the LGU, the owner/developer is relieved of the responsibility of maintaining the road lot and open spaces of the subdivision.
Likewise, it is possible that the registered owner and/or project developer merely secure a Certificate of Completion of the project without making the Deed of Donation, the consequence is that he/she is/they are still responsible for the maintenance of the subdivision facilities.
“Road Lots” and “Open Spaces” donated by the owner or developer to the city/ municipality concerned or to the Homeowners Association as the case maybe shall not be used or converted to any purpose or purposes other than its intended use. Such areas shall be considered “non-alienable lands of the public domain” and no building or structures shall be built other than any essential improvement to the said “Open Space” as determined by the city/municipality.
Finally, the owner or developer may divide the development and sale of the subdivision into phases, each phase to cover not less than ten (10) hectares. The requirement imposed by the law on the subdivision as a whole shall be deemed imposed on each phase of the subdivision project.
(The writer is a Certified Public Accountant and president of the Baguio Realtors Board, Inc. Apart from being a recognized Real Estate Practitioner as a Real Estate Broker and Educator, Lecturer and Resource Person, he is likewise a Business Management/ NGO/Cooperative Consultant, Project Development Consultant, Financial Advisor/Loan Broker and Columnist. For comments and more information of Real Estate Updates and Studies, you may get in touch with him at No. 04 Old Forestry Compound, Baguio City 2600, Tel. No (074) 427-1971/ Cell Nos. 09109302753/09163188274 or email: email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 29, 2012.