Saturday, June 30, 2007

Zoning in Garapan

What you are looking at are cut up shipping containers, the big ones they actually load onto ships. They are made of steel, which has a tendency to rust fairly quickly in this tropical air. They work well for storage, and you can even convert them into small buildings. We have converted one into a transmitter building that we have in the tower compound up on Mount Topachou, it works just fine for that, but the key is that it's in a walled compound that you can't see unless you're on the top of Mount Topachou looking down on the compound, so then all you really see is the roof.

These containers are on a very visible corner right in the heart of Saipan's tourist district. It is right across the street from Capricciosa, and right on Beach Road. The business that is leasing this used to have some bright yellow tents set up, that was their version of a building. Now they have decided to upgrade to a container building. Now if they were doing this somewhere in the jungle or on some secluded backroad, I doubt many people would care about their container building. But because they are doing it right on Beach Road, and in the heart of the tourist district, it's not going over very well.

I got a press release from Steve Tilley, the Zoning Administrator, announcing that he had cited this business with a notice of violation for not getting a zoning permit, and not getting proper building permits. They face fines of $1,000 per offense per day. I was very glad to hear that the Zoning Board is on top of this situation and is not allowing this to turn into a shanty town.

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