Develop land wiselyAfter a long debate and controversy, the bill to promulgate the special law of coastal development in Korea has been passed by the Cabinet council. The law was proposed by lawmakers several times since 2006 and was passed by the National Assembly last month. At first, the special law was limited to south coast development. Later it included the east coast before the west coast as well.
Lawmakers from each area made efforts to include the areas they represent. As a result, the special law now includes all the coasts of the country.
The National Assembly’s committee for construction and transportation promised to revise the law in a way that protects the environment. But if the law is promulgated it will become effective and development will get started.
If it does, development in coastal areas on three sides of the country will begin beyond the limits that the law imposes. Once a project is authorized, it is is regarded as having received permission for construction, and the person who carries out the project is given the right to force land owners to sell their land. In short, most parts of current laws related to land and cities will lose their binding power.
Since the Roh Moo-hyun administration entered office, eight special laws regarding development have been enacted. These special laws include laws on coastal development, development of business cities, building administrative cities, building innovation cities and building Asian cultural hub cities. Under the guise of balanced development across the country, a frenzy of reckless development is being created.
It is uncertain if these special laws will lead to decent development. Development can be implemented when there is demand. If a project is started without an accurate estimation of demand, however, the project might be left undone and will only cause environmental damage.
It is understandable that lawmakers work hard to develop their areas. But such efforts must be made within the limits that the law allows.
In particular, land development must be carried out within a large-scale framework and in an organized fashion.
Projects should be drawn and implemented in accordance with existing laws covering land, cities and construction.
Only then will we be able to hand over sustainable land to future generations.