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.

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

Public input sought to preserve and protect Seashore Reserve
GCMP seeking public and community input to address challenges within Seashore Reserve.
By: Chelsey Willetts, M.S. Environmental Conservation and NOAA Coastal Management Fellow for Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans.

As residents of a small island, everyday life is tied to rhythms of both the land and sea. While today’s Guam is diverse in both culture and thought, the connection to the island’s rich natural resources remains strong. That is why many in GovGuam are working to protect and preserve these limited resources for current and future generations.

At the Bureau of Statistics and Plans, Guam Coastal Management Program (GCMP), a comprehensive plan is in development to address challenges occurring within one of Guam’s essential natural resources: The Seashore Reserve. Through an all-inclusive and adaptive management approach, the Seashore Reserve Plan aims to rebuild and reaffirm the human connection with this nature resource while preserving and protecting it for future generations.

But what is the Seashore Reserve, you ask? Let’s take a step back to 1974.

The Seashore Reserve

The Seashore Reserve was established under the Guam Territorial Seashore Protection Act of 1974. Its basic boundary is the coastline of Guam, including all islands in GovGuam’s jurisdiction. The 12th Guam Legislature labeled the Seashore Reserve as a “…distinct and valuable natural resource belonging to all the people of Guam… a reserve of paramount concern to the present and future residents of the island1.” These lawmakers determined the universal worth of the Seashore Reserve as priceless, however, swift action is required to protect and preserve it for the use of current and future generations.

In conjunction with other GovGuam’s agencies and local organizations, GCMP is developing the Guam Seashore Reserve Plan (GSRP). This inclusive approach began with extensive background research, including various interviews and meetings, a literature review and a compilation of relevant legislation related to the Seashore Reserve.

On Nov. 30, 2020, a GSRP kickoff meeting – garnering attendance by Sen. Kelly Marsh Taitano – was held to discuss progress. Following the meeting, GCMP engaged with the University of Guam, UOG extensions, and the Guam Visitors Bureau to collect ecological and biological data, such as fisheries data and coastal structure studies. This research helped to understand the current state of the reserve and to determine what information might be missing or lacking.  GCMP also worked with local organizations, such as the Guam Preservation Trust, to gather cultural and historical data.

As of January 2021, GCMP is collaborating continuously with key stakeholders and working on a draft outline. Before this plan can move forward, however, it needs community input and support.

How you can help

The engagement of local councils and community members plays an essential role in any planning process. The overarching goal of the GSRP is to ensure that this publicly owned natural resource is protected, preserved and managed collectively by and for the current and succeeding generations here in Guam. After all, we are tied intrinsically to the land and sea. It is imperative that together as a community we do our part to preserve its existence for future generations.

Are you a coastline property owner or own submerged land close to shore?  Are you a fisherman or marine tour operator/guide? Do you have any experiences and/or challenges with the Seashore Reserve? We would love to hear from you!

Please send your feedback or comments to Seashore Reserve Project Lead Chelsey Willetts at chelsey.willetts@bsp.guam.gov.




Below you will find the “2009 North and Central Land Use Plan ”. To download this plan click here. If you want to view the report in full screen click the full screen icon  at the top right corner of the document in view. It will appear when rolling over the document. 

Below you will find the “Guam Comprehensive Development Plan Booklet (Kabales) ” .

To download this plan click here. If you want to view the report in full screen click the full screen icon  at the top right corner of the document in view. It will appear when rolling over the document.

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Contact Us

  • Tyrone J Taitano - Director
  • tyrone.taitano@bsp.guam.gov
  • Matthew Santos - Dep. Director
  • matthew.santos@bsp.guam.gov
  • 513 W Marine Dr. Hagåtña, Guam 96910
  • Mail: P.O. Box 2950 Hagatna, Guam 96932
  • (671) 472-4201/2/3
  • Monday through Friday 8 am-5 pm (Closed on weekends and Government of Guam Holidays)


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