Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 22 Nov 2019 12am







    Thursday, November 21, 2019-5:18:48A.M.






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Over 50 dilapidated buildings on major streets; more in villages

THERE are more than 50 dilapidated buildings on the island’s major thoroughfares that have become eyesores even as the CNMI tries to boost its tourism industry.

If the dilapidated properties in the villages are included, the number would be higher, Zoning Administrator Therese Ogumoro said yesterday.

Most of the dilapidated buildings situated on the main roads were leased by foreign investors while those in the villages are owned by local residents, she added.

A few of the leaseholders have left Saipan, but most of them are still on island even though they don’t maintain and occupy the buildings anymore, she said.

According to Ogumoro, the Zoning Office has not taken action because the bill that would address the problem is still pending in the Senate.

House Bill 18-71 or the Nuisance Abatement and Blighted Property Maintenance Act of 2013, will require owners of abandoned, vacant, and blighted properties on Saipan to secure and maintain them.

Francisco Borja

The Senate failed to act on it after several senators raised concerns. The bill has been returned to the Senate Committee on Resources, Economic Development, and Programs, which is chaired by Sen. Francisco Borja of Tinian.

It was Rep. Larry Deleon Guerrero who authored and introduced House Bill 18-71 on May 9, 2013. The House of Representative transmitted it to the Senate after it was passed on Feb. 19.

Guerrero’s bill will require owners of abandoned and dilapidated buildings who fail to maintain them to pay a minimum of $200 for the first offense while the penalty for subsequent offenses will be $1,000 per day.

Ogumoro said her office will urge the Senate to pass the bill.

“We are hoping the bill will become law so we can define the procedures to implement it and ensure that all actions taken against the dilapidated buildings are legal,” she added.