Public participation sought in development of land use plan

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Posted on Sep 29 2017

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The Department of Public Lands encourages the public to participate in the development of the CNMI Comprehensive Public Land Use Plan Update by providing feedback regarding needs and concerns for activities on public lands such as development, homestead, commercial leasing, and cultural, economic or environmental preservation, to name a few.

The land use plan will guide DPL in the management, use, development, and disposition of public lands.

Due to the economic growth of the CNMI, there is now more demand for commercial development on public land. Public lands are arguably the most critical resource of the CNMI and it is therefore of significant interest to CNMI residents to tell DPL how they want public lands to be used.

Upon completion and adoption of the land use plan, DPL will have a basis in decision and policymaking in allocation and utilization of public lands.

In an effort to obtain maximum public participation, DPL, along with its consultant, SSFM, CNMI LLC and subconsultants, Chris Hart & Partners and John M. Knox, held public hearings last week on Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. The land use plan team also met with key stakeholders from both the private and public sector to include all mayors in the CNMI, both legislative bodies, and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.

To learn more and submit comments, visit www.dpl.gov.mp/land-use-plan-resources/ to retrieve a stakeholder form, which can be submitted to rreyes@ssfmcnmillc.com and jhart@chpmaui.com.

There will be a second round of public hearings tentatively set for March 2018. DPL, through its land use plan team, will reveal the land use plan draft before the hearings to allow for review before soliciting public comment.

DPL awarded the contract to update the land use plan to SSFM CNMI, LLC and executed the contract on Aug. 11, 2017. The plan is estimated to take a year to complete and will serve as a roadmap for management, use, development, and disposition of public lands. The land use plan will cover all public lands in the CNMI and will have a 10-year horizon.

For details visit www.dpl.gov.mp/, www.facebook.com/DPLCNMI/ or call (670) 234-3751. (PR)

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