Land Use and Natural Resource Planning

The entire island has been designated a “coastal zone” in the context of the Coastal Zone Management Act.  Therefore, all the Territory’s land and sea areas and all its land uses related planning and regulatory agencies, programs and laws falls within the concern of the program.  Information on the effect of this program on federally owned lands can be found under Federal Consistency.

Subsequent to the institution of the GCMP, the Twelfth Guam Legislature had enacted comprehensive planning legislation (P.L. 12-200), the objectives of which were similar to those of GCMP.  Since both the comprehensive planning efforts and the GCMP shared similar goals and objectives, the Territory’s land use planning and GCMP were merged.  

Objectives achieved by GCMP as outlined under local planning legislation are:

(1) To determine the extent that Guam’s land, water and human resources limit urban and rural development;

(2) To plan for the preservation of the natural charm and character of Guam within the framework of a growing population and modern technology;

(3) To establish specified areas of use within urban, suburban, rural, agriculture, conservation, industrial, and resort contexts;

(4) To provide a development pattern that enhances the comfort, convenience and economic welfare of the individual;

(5) To prepare land-use capability criteria as a basis for real property evaluation that equalize the divergent qualities of location;

(6) To reappraise the extent of public, private and Federal land tenure in Guam and provide guidelines for relocation of inefficient or inappropriate uses;

(7) To plan for the development and extension of necessary infrastructure and transportation facilities;

(8) To plan for a high quality environment essentially free from pollution and with adequate and well-kept open space throughout Guam’s varying activity centers;

(9) To prepare criteria of substandard neighborhoods and identify areas that meet these criteria;

(10) To recommend creative legislation regulating Guam’s use of land for the protection of future generations.

These objectives are carried out by the various functions under Land Use and Natural Resource Planning functions.

FEDERAL CONSISTENCY



Federal Consistency provides states and territories with an important tool for managing coastal uses and resources and for facilitating cooperation and coordination with federal agencies.  Federal Consistency is the Coastal Zone Management Act requirement whereby federal agency activities that have reasonably foreseeable effects on any land or water use or natural resource of the coastal zone must be consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of a coastal state’s federally approved coastal management program. The review to establish consistency with the Guam Coastal Management Program (GCMP) enforceable policies as stated in the Executive Order 78-37, is conducted and as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 15 CFR 930.

Under GCMP, federal activities that affect any land use, water use or natural resource of the coastal zone must comply with the following enforceable policies identified in the Procedures Guide for Achieving Federal Consistency with the Guam Coastal Management Program.

Development Policies
  • Shore Area Development
  • Urban Development
  • Rural Development
  • Major Facility Siting
  • Hazardous Areas
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Erosion & Siltation
Resource Policies
  • Air Quality
  • Water Quality
  • Fragile Areas
  • Living Marine Source
  • Visual Quality
  • Recreation Areas
  • Public Access
  • Agricultural Lands

Activities and development affecting coastal resources which involve the federal government are evaluated through a process called “federal consistency”. This process allows the public, local governments, and state agencies an opportunity to review Federal actions likely to affect Guam’s coastal resources or uses. There are three categories of activities, which trigger a federal consistency review:

1. activities undertaken by a Federal agency,

2. activities which require Federal approval and

3. activities which use federal funding.

If a project falls into one of these categories AND is either in the coastal zone or its impacts coastal uses or resources, then the federal consistency process is triggered.  Each of the categories has different federal consistency requirements; therefore each category is discussed separately below.

Activities Undertaken by a Federal Agency

A federal activity is any development or function performed by or for a federal agency. Examples include adopting a management plan for a wildlife sanctuary, constructing nearshore facilities and dredging new channels. The federal agency determines if coastal effects are reasonably foreseeable.

In these cases, the Federal agency reviews the activity for consistency with the enforceable policies and prepares a “federal consistency determination”. The determination describes the activity and whether the activity impacts coastal resources. If the activity impacts coastal resources, a statement must be provided that the activity is consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies. GCMP has up to 60 days to concur with or object to, in writing, with the determination.

Activities Which Require Federal Approval

A federal approval is any authorization, certification, approval, license, permit or other form of permission which any federal agency is empowered to issue to an applicant. Examples include U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 and Section 10 permits. A federal agency cannot provide approval unless GCMP concurs that the project is consistent with the Guam Coastal Management Program. Unlike activities undertaken by federal agencies, activities requiring federal approval must be fully consistent, with the enforceable policies.

In these cases, the applicant for federal approval reviews the activity for compliance with the enforceable policies and prepares a “federal consistency certification”. The certification describes the activity and whether the activity impacts coastal resources. If the activity impacts coastal resources, a statement must be provided that the activity is consistent with the enforceable policies.  The CZM Consistency Certification shall state “The proposed activity complies with the enforceable policies of Guam’s approved management program and will be conducted in a manner consistent with such program.”  GCMP has six months from the receipt of the certification to approve or deny it.  If GCMP does not act within the six months, the activity is approved and presumed consistent.

Activities Which Use Federal Funding

Federal grant or loan applicants who seek funding for all or part of an activity that affects the coastal zone must meet federal consistency requirements. Federal agencies cannot approve grants or loans for activities, which are inconsistent with the Coastal Zone Management Program.

In these cases, the applicant for federal funding reviews the activity for consistency with the enforceable policies and prepares a “federal consistency certification”. The certification describes the activity and whether the activity impacts coastal resources. If the activity impacts coastal resources, a statement must be provided that the activity is consistent with the enforceable policies. The CZM Consistency Certification shall state “The proposed activity complies with the enforceable policies of Guam’s approved management program and will be conducted in a manner consistent with such program.”  The applicant submits their certification to GCMP.  GCMP has six months from the receipt of the certification to approve or deny it.  If GCMP does not act within the six months, the activity is approved and presumed consistent. The applicant then provides the federal funding agency with GCMP's decision.

Public Involvement

The GCMP provides public participation on submitted proposed projects through public notice.  The GCMP issues a public notice, and provides a 21-day public comment period, and if needed, a public meeting or hearing.  Notification is sent to interested parties based on the development of general and project-specific mailing lists and on the Bureau’s website at bsp3.guam.gov under Public Notices.

For more information

For more information, review the Procedures Guide for Achieving Federal Consistency with the Guam Coastal Management Program, call/write/visit the Federal Consistency Planner, Guam Coastal Management Program, Bureau of Statistics and Plans, 777 Route 4, Ste. 5 Phase II Complex, Sinajana (Location map), P.O. Box 2950, Hagatna, Guam 96932.  Telephone (671) 475-9668 or email to Tina.Mafnas@bsp.guam.gov.

APPLICATION REVIEW COMMITTEE


The Application Review Committee (ARC) was established by Executive Order 96-26 and is formulated for the purpose of providing the Guam Land Use Commission (GLUC) and Guam Seashore Protection Commission (GSPC) with technical and professional review, analysis, and advice through individual agency positions concerning various development activities on Guam.



Within its mandated area of authority, each ARC agency is required to:

  • Ensure compliance with applicable law, regulatory standards, procedures, policies, and rules within its mandated area of concern;
  • Evaluate alternative development strategies with the applicant to provide the best development plan for the developer and the community; and
  • Develop and provide official position statements on applications submitted to the GLUC and GSPC.

As a member of the ARC, GCMP provides technical analysis and advice to the Guam Land Use Commission on development activities that do not meet zoning codes through position statements. The Bureau forwards a position statement for each application reviewed to the GLUC for approval or disapproval.

Legislative Review Committee (LRC)

Summary Report

LRC Summary: October 2013 to March 2014

Position Statements

LRC Position Statement: October 2013 to March 2014

NORTH AND CENTRAL LAND USE PLAN

GUAM SEASHORE PROTECTION COMMITTEE

KABALES NA PLANU PARA GUAHAN

Southern Development Master Plan

PUBLIC ACCESS

Guam 2065


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