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516 urban renewal projects affected on null regulations

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- With certain paragraphs in the Urban Renewal Act declared unconstitutional by justices of the Constitutional Court becoming invalidated on Saturday, approximately 516 urban renewal projects are expected to be affected.

In response to a call for constitutional interpretation, a Judicial Yuan interpretation handed down on April 26, 2013 declared some parts of the Urban Renewal Act unconstitutional, which are: Article 10/Paragraph 1 & 2, Article 19/first part of Paragraph 3.

According to United Evening News, these parts of the act will become null and void automatically from today since these regulations were not amended within one year from the issuance of the interpretation.

The Taipei Urban Regeneration Office yesterday told local media that it is no longer in the position to accept and review new summaries of urban schemes while the review process of 37 pre-existing summaries will be held up from today. The office added that initiators of the 37 summaries can choose to file more letters of consent to meet the stipulation that a regeneration projects must get support from 70 percent of affected residents.

Concurrently, initiators of more than 200 urban renewal projects need to organize adequate public hearings given the partial obsolescence of Urban Renewal Act.

In mid-2013, the Council of Grand Justices' constitutional interpretation on the Urban Renewal Act ruled that part of the act violated people's property rights and freedom of residence, which are protected by the constitution.

The grand justices' interpretation was requested by people who refused to take part in four controversial urban renewal projects, including the Wenlin Yuan (文林苑) project in Taipei's Shilin District (士林區), an urban renewal dispute that arose on March 28, 2012, which has drawn substantial publicity and stirred up discussions among local people.

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