ANAKS group appeals judge’s decision in AK relocation plan


The residents of the ANAKS Ocean View Hill Saipan have clarified that they do not object to Atkins Kroll Saipan Inc. opening a car dealership at the proposed location in Puerto Rico.

Rather, their opposition stems from the AK being allowed to relocate its painting and automotive repair shop to the same location, saying the location sits on top of a water aquifer, which is the source of drinking water for the ANAKS residents.

In a statement issued Monday by the ANAKS Ocean View Hill Saipan Homeowner’s Association, Ltd., it said the fact that hazardous chemicals and toxic substances will be used in connection with the proposed auto body, paint, and repair work, and the excessive noise generated by these activities at the proposed location is prompting their opposition to the proposal.

When sought for comments yesterday, Trina Cruz, who is the Marketing and Communications director for Atkins Kroll, issued the following statement: “Because we have served the CNMI for 55 years, we are committed to taking care of our environment. AK has taken all measures to ensure that environmental issues were considered, and we look forward to continuing our legacy of service and commitment to the community.”

The homeowner’s association said it issued the statement in response to recent reports concerning the association’s motion for Superior Court judge pro tem David Wiseman to reconsider his decision denying the residents of ANAKS the opportunity to appeal the “Conditional Use Permit” granted to AK by the Commonwealth Zoning Board.

Larry Lee, who is president of the ANAKS board of directors, said the association’s motion for reconsideration will be heard today, Wednesday, at 10am at the Guma Hustisia, in Wiseman’s chamber.

In the statement it issued Monday, the association said the motion for reconsideration “is necessary to allow ANAKS’ appeal to be heard on the merits—instead of being determined on a procedural issue created by the Zoning board’s…actions. In an order dated Sept. 20, 2022, the Superior Court ruled that ANAKS had 30 days to appeal from the date that the Zoning board voted to allow AK to build a commercial vehicle repair facility that will use hazardous and toxic chemicals for auto body painting and other auto repair work. ANAKS filed its appeal within 30 days of the date from which the Zoning board actually issued the written permit. The Zoning board did not announce during the meeting, or at the time of the vote, that an appeal had to be filed within 30 days of the date of vote. The Zoning board then waited for more than 30 days to actually issue the written order granting the permit, thus creating the conflict and procedural basis for the Superior Court’s decision to dismiss the appeal.”

The association argues that Atkins Kroll should locate its paint booth and automotive repair shop in another location—away from homes and residents—possibly in nearby Lower Base Industrial Park—”just as another automotive dealer has done.”

The association claims that negative health effects can result from exposure to excessive noise and the hazardous and toxic substances used in auto body and auto repair shops, including volatile organic compounds found in paints and solvents…as well as airborne particles released from sanding and grinding that contain silica and heavy metals.”

Saipan Tribune
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