SAIPAN - The Saipan Zoning Board has approved the Department of Public Works- Solid Waste Division’s request to rezone a piece of property in Kagman, where the agency plans to build a new residential solid waste transfer station.

The board allowed the rezoning of the site from “agricultural” to “rural zoning.”

Presided by chairman Mariano Taitano, the board agreed with zoning administrator Therese Ogumoro’s recommendation to allow the rezoning of lot 004 G 43 and its adjoining lots.

The recommendation was unanimously approved by the board. Taitano, vice chairman Joe Ayuyu Jr., secretary Taitana Babauta, treasurer Patrick Reyes, members Frank Aguon and Ignacio Demapan voted yes.

In her recommendation, Ogumoro said the zoning office has determined that rezoning of these lots to rural zoning will not impact the uses of the surrounding areas which are zoned as rural and agricultural.

She noted that DPW-Solid Waste Division’s proposal will greatly improve the island’s environment and livelihood of the community. In addition, she said the rezoning of those lots to rural zone will still allow for agricultural farming.

“Relevant conditions shall be imposed on any permit to ensure that operations will not create negative impact to the environment, adjacent properties, and the community,” Ogumoro said.

She said under the law, an agricultural zoning district “preserves and encourages agricultural self-sufficiency by preserving and protecting areas with high quality agricultural soils and associated characteristics.”

She said the applicant proposes to construct a transfer station which is currently not allowed within an agricultural zoning district.

But the transfer station is allowed as conditional use within rural, village commercial, mixed commercial zoning districts, and is a permitted use within industrial zone, she added.

She said the applicant requested to rezone the project site to allow its proposed use of a transfer station that will serve the Kagman community.