Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 25 May 2019 12am







    Saturday, May 25, 2019-8:52:07P.M.






Font Size


Saipan delegation passes bill to allow poker arcades in some residential areas

THE Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation on Friday passed a measure to rezone certain lots in Kagman, As Lito, Koblerville, Finasisu and Dandan from village commercial to mixed commercial to allow poker-arcade operations in those areas.

House Local Bill 20-48 was introduced by Rep. John Paul Sablan and approved by a vote of 15-4.

House Minority Leader Edmund Villagomez, Reps. Ivan Blanco, Edwin Propst and Vinnie Sablan voted no. Vice Speaker Janet Maratita and Rep. Angel Demapan were absent.

John Paul Sablan

Blanco said he voted no “because [the delegation] did not seek stakeholders’ input especially from folks whose homes are along the main roads.”

Rep. Vinnie Sablan said he voted no because it was unclear whether the bill was endorsed by the Zoning Office.

But the bill’s author and the delegation chairman, Rep. John Paul Sablan, said the lots abutted on the main roads and “are not really inside the villages.”

He added that the proposed rezoning was consistent with the Zoning Office’s recommendations.

He said the purpose of the rezoning is to make it consistent with the existing areas that are already rezoned to mixed commercial.

The bill, which now goes to the governor’s desk, will rezone “all lots abutting the road beginning from the intersection of Koblerville Road and Chalan Msgr. Martinez Road to the intersection of Koblerville Road and Adobu Drive; all lots abutting the road beginning from the intersection of Chalan Msgr. Road and As Perdido Road to the intersection of Chalan Msgr. Road and Tun Joaquin Doi Drive; Kagman Drive and Gapgap Drive to the final lot before Kagman Drive curves eastward, and Garapan core, Garapan East and Beach Road zoning districts.”