Saipan delegation defers action on bill to allow mobile homes on Beach Road

THE Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation on Friday deferred action on a measure that will allow mobile homes on Beach Road.

House Local Bill 20-66 was sent back to the Committee on Judiciary and Government Operations after some members expressed opposition to the measure which was  introduced by Rep. John Paul Sablan.

John Paul Palacios Sablan

Among those who spoke against the bill were Reps. Frank Dela Cruz, Joseph Deleon Guerrero, Leepan Guerrero and Angel Demapan.

Rep. Leepan Guerrero said mobile homes will not sustain strong winds and typhoons. “These are not good investments in the CNMI. We are promoting quality resorts and hotels but now we are proposing to have these mobile units as our resorts? We are going backwards instead of moving forward,” he added.

Dela Cruz said the Beach Road area must be reserved for bigger developments and concrete buildings.

Rep. Joseph Deleon Guerrero doesn’t think mobile homes qualify as “resorts.”

“Frankly speaking, mobile homes don’t enhance our destination and they don’t conform with our policy which aims to attract high-end investors and quality investments,” he added.

He then moved to withdraw the bill from consideration and send it back to committee.

Rep. John Paul Sablan, the delegation chairman, noted the concerns expressed by his colleagues and returned his bill to  committee for further review.

In an interview, Sablan said the intent of his bill is to allow mobile homes on Beach Road, provided they meet federal safety standards  and comply with the CNMI building safety code.

“It must comply with all the rules. The regulatory agencies and the public will still have an opportunity to scrutinize the project — there will be public hearings and the community’s  feedback will be solicited. Passage of the bill doesn’t automatically approve a mobile home project.”

Sablan said the Beach Road area where the proposed mobile homes are to be situated is north of Triple J Motors. “Right now, the area is zoned as residential,” he added.