This site was provided by the citizens seriously concerned over the destruction of the nature under the pretext of development, still widely taking place in Kamakura city area. Our particular concerns and disagreement are about the Municipality’s current administration on development issues. To our great regret, not a few nature-destructive projects are under way in our neighborhood by immoral real estate companies interested exclusively in profit-taking. We demand strongly that the Kamakura municipality should properly interpret the purpose and the spirit of the development legislation, and should implement policies fully acceptable to the citizens.
The followings are the descriptions on the case of Kamakurayama hill, 2-1585-1 and 8. Your special attention is invited to the fact that the site is designated as the scenic protection and limited urbanization area.
Is Kamakura really eligible for the World Heritage of UNESCO?
A CASE OF NATURE DESTRUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT
IN KAMAKURAYAMA HILL
No. 1585-1 and 8, 2-chome, Kamakurayama, Kamakura city
- Previous status
The property, 3,374.50㎡ in area, has been a wild forest, very rich with natural vegetation and old trees, forming an excellent habitat of variety of wild birds, small animals and insects. The forest has provided not only a beautiful view for the citizens living near the property, but also rainfall water supply as well as a natural protector of human lives against different type of natural disasters.
The property used to have a residence house but for many years has been abandoned. Several years ago, it was transferred to the National Tax Administration as a payment in kind of the inheritance tax, and the Tokyo district Treasury Department sold it in a public auction in December 2010. A privately owned real estate company in Yokohama, Sakura Kensetsu, acquired the property through the auction, and applied to Kamakura municipality for the permission to implement a large scale housing project.
- Project description
Sakura planned the construction of 8 houses at the first stage and 2 houses at the second stage, eventually 10 houses in total. As the initial step of the civil work, Sakura would cut down all the trees and subsequently start the total redesign of the hill slope. Also, it would apply to Kamakura Police to change the parallel road to a both way traffic which is currently one way traffic from Kamakurayama hill down to Shichirigahama residence area.
- The tricky maneuver
Sakura Kensetsu was forced to retreat from the project in September 2012, since it was turned out that the access road was not wide enough to comply with the legal requirement applicable to the large scale project. Meanwhile, an advisory committee for the mayor issued a tough suggestion and guidance to Sakura (although which is rather a rare case!) and Sakura apparently considered it unable to accept.
The seriousness came then. A new actor emerged as the successor to Sakura project and conducted aggressive negotiation with Kamakura municipality. This company, PAULOS, notorious for pursuing dirty, quasi illegal, real estate business in Kamakura area, is now acting as an agent of an individual who pretends to construct his own residence house in the property. The guy proved to be the first son of the sole shareholder (100% owner) of Sakura Kensetsu.
- The reason why we are opposing to the project
As far as the construction of individual residence house is concerned, the project is exempt from the restrictions applicable to the large scale project. It is obvious and evident that PAULOS, actually working on behalf of Sakura Kensetsu, is aiming to open a breakthrough to eventually construct as many as 10 houses in the property as originally intended by Sakura Kensetsu.
- Legal action
To our great disappointment, Kamakura municipality, after conducting a very superficial and totally meaningless verification with the applicant, approved in December 2012 the construction of an individual residence house (footnote *). We filed an administrative lawsuit against Kamakura municipality in December 2013. The first substantial trial is scheduled on April 14, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. at the Yokohama district court.
* Having been finished the civil work in December 2013, the construction of “a residence house” is not yet started as of today. The applicant has reportedly lost interest to live in the site, due to the strong opposition of the neighboring citizens. A poor joke!