Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 22 May 2018 12am

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    Sunday, May 20, 2018-7:53:05A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Investor wants to turn Mango Resort into hospital

MARIANAS General Clinic wants to operate a specialty referral hospital and fertility institute on Saipan.

The company is headed by Dr. Gary Ramsey and is proposing to convert  Mango Resort, owned by  his business partner Dr. Gene Sylvester Eagle-Oden into a referral hospital.

Real estate develop and investor Joseph C. Guerrero speaks during a recent public meeting of the Zoning Board at the multi-purpose center. Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

Eagle-Oden said if the project pushes through, the new hospital could be opened later this year.

At a recent Zoning Board meeting,  Marianas General Clinic requested to rezone seven lots within the Mango Resort property in As Perdido from village commercial to mixed commercial.

But some residents in the area are opposed to the hospital project.

Teresa C. Guerrero, who resides near Mango Resort, said she purchased the property because she was convinced by a real estate broker that the area was one of the quietest locations in the southern part of the island.

“As a young Chamorro woman, I look forward to one day raising my own family at my home and away from the commercial businesses that may be allowed in a mixed commercial zoned area,” she said, adding that she and her neighbors desire to maintain a quiet, safe and peaceful neighborhood.

Guerrero said the Mango Resort lots should remain as currently zoned, or rezoned as rural, to protect the character of the residential neighborhood  “so that local families like myself may enjoy a place that is safe, quiet, and conducive for raising families.

Her brother, Joseph C. Guerrero, a professional real estate developer, said the rezone request is a “case of spot zoning” which, he added, is illegal and can be challenged by residents.

“It’s a good project but I think it’s in a bad location,” he said. “I applaud the company — they are reputable. It’s a good project and we have lots of healthcare issues and we need another provider.”

But he said rezoning the other lots in the area is unfair to the neighborhood.

Attorney Steve Nutting, another business partner of Dr. Ramsey, said the hospital owner is legitimate, very knowledgeable and very serious in his desire to open a new medical facility on Saipan.

He said instead of boosting its operation by providing lots of entertainment to attract more tourists, Mango Resort’s owner has opted to convert the hotel into a hospital.

“This is more conducive to the neighborhood and beneficial to community — we don’t need more hotels,” he said.

Antonio Muna, for his part, said there should be a  “buffer to allow for the preservation of the peace and quiet” of  residents in the area.

According to Zoning Administrator Therese Ogumoro, an area zoned as village commercial allows single family residents, residential building apartments, home businesses, bed and breakfast, restaurant, office use, arts studio, automobile sale and services, sporting goods, catering services, convenience stores, laundromats and evening entertainment or bars.

Zoning Board chairman Diego Blanco said lawmakers may want to revisit the Saipan Zoning Law. “Perhaps they should evaluate this village’s commercial destination that allows for a bar but does not allow for a hospital.”

Rep. Angel Demapan, who attended the public hearing, said there is a need to again revisit the zoning law which he described as the “most amended law in the CNMI.”

Sen. Sixto Igisomar said: “We must have a good understanding of the whole CNMI especially Saipan to have proper zoning of what should be and what should not be.”

Blanco said the board will defer  action on the rezoning request, adding that they will wait for the recommendation from the zoning administrator.