Governor requests Navy return excess lands to GovGuam

RETURNING LAND: Construction work continues on the road widening project along Route 3 in Dededo in April. The government of Guam is asking the military to return certain land parcels, including property off Route 3A. Dontana Keraskes/The Guam Daily Post

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero sent a letter Monday to Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer requesting the U.S. Navy return excess lands to the government of Guam.

The governor also asked “to add 2,596 acres of terrestrial land and 17,031 acres of submerged land to the Navy’s excess land inventory,” according to a press release.

The Guam Economic Development Authority prepared a June 2019 report on potentially releasable federal lands.

Some of the properties listed in the GEDA report include the area between the cliff line and Route 3A, the intersection of Routes 3A and 9, Tumon tank farm, Lot A7 & B Andersen Barrigada Annex, and submerged lands just offshore of northern and central coastlines, including Aflleje Beach, Commercial Port, Asan Beach and Harmon Cliffline.

Leon Guerrero notes that the Navy has returned properties to Guam on numerous occasions beginning in 1950. Notable returns also occurred as a result of the 1993 and 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Acts and the implementation of the Guam Excess Lands Act in 1994.

“The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) offers another opportunity for the Navy to return excess land. This is land that we have identified to be in excess, unused, or unnecessary for the Marine Relocation — land that can benefit our people through their return to the original landowners and through cultivation and agriculture, cultural and environmental preservation, economic development, affordable housing, and education,” Leon Guerrero said.

The 2019 defense spending bill provides that “the Secretary of the Navy shall maintain and update regularly an inventory of all land parcels located on Guam which meet the following conditions:

• The parcels are currently owned by the United States government and are under the administrative jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy.

• The Secretary has determined or expects to determine the parcels to be excess to the needs of the Department of the Navy.

• Under Federal law, including Public Law 106-504 (commonly known as the ‘Guam Omnibus Opportunities Act’ 40 U.S.C. 521 note), the parcels are eligible to be transferred to the territorial government.”

“It is my hope and faith that your office will seriously consider my request along the lines of balancing both military and civilian needs for limited land resources on Guam as an integral facet of the One Guam policy,” Leon Guerrero stated.

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