Save TANAPAG Village

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We, the undersigned, residents of Tanapag Village and concerned residents in neighboring villages, as evidenced by our signatures below, do hereby express our strong opposition to New Century Hotel LLC’s plans to convert, occupy, and use the existing Sebastian Building in Tanapag as a hotel.

 As the ones who would live with on a day-to-day basis, and whose lives would be most impacted by the presence and effects of this hotel in our village, we further call upon each member of the CNMI Zoning Board to respect our expressed wishes and deny, reject, and terminate New Century Hotel’s application to operate as a hotel in our village, referenced as follows:  

Conditional Use Application #2018-1170: New Century Hotel, LLC is proposing to occupy an existing 3-storey structure (former Sebastian Bldg.) to operate a hotel with a total of 48 units. This use is classified as “Hotel” and is permitted in the district as Conditional Use. This project is located on Lot No. 002 B 28 in Tanapag. This area is zoned as Village Commercial.

 We do not want this proposed hotel in our residential village, and our strong objection to it is based on the following reasons: 

1.     The Negative Impact on our community is Great. Tanapag is one of the most traditional places on the island of Saipan, distinguished by its long history as a fishing community and fertile grounds for great baseball. Our way of life is threatened by the recent approval of a new hotel development, with others being planned. In order to preserve the rich culture and family oriented environment that thrives in our village, we believe that placing a moratorium on future “hotel” developments in Tanapag is necessary for the preservation of our culture, traditions, and way of life. 

2.     Incompatibility with Surrounding Properties.  The proposed operation of a hotel in the selected area is neither suitable nor compatible with its surrounding areas and properties. Less than 30 feet immediately north of this site is a school --- Tanapag Middle School. Tanapag Youth Center is just one lot to the west of this proposed hotel site, with the Tanapag Basketball Court, the next lot over, as well as residential homes. To the south of this proposed hotel site are more residential homes. 

3.     Site is Too Small.  The land area is too small for a hotel. The existing building was not originally designed to be a hotel and was in fact constructed as a commercial building with apartment units. There is not enough land space to accommodate the increased need for more parking spaces of a hotel. This would lead employees and guests to park along the side of the main highway, along the secondary roads, on the grounds of the youth center and other public lands. 

4.     Traffic Congestion. This proposed hotel operation will lead to increased automobile traffic in the area. The proposed site is just too small and there is simply not enough land space for a proper traffic flow. With the existing Tanapag Middle School less than 30 feet to the North, a 1,200-room hotel across to the east (Saipan Garden Hotel), traffic congestion and bottleneck will certainly result, especially during the morning hours as parents drop off their kids to school and after school hours when parents make their way to pick up their kids from school. 

5.     Safety Issues. This proposed hotel is located next to a school zone. It’s operation will lead to increased automobile traffic in the area, posing a direct danger to the safety of the residents of the village and the students who attend Tanapag Middle School. With the absence of a proper traffic flow for egress and ingress, due to the limited land space, automobile traffic would inevitably be pushed into the heart of the village, turning the residential areas into a high traffic zone.     

6.     Further Decrease in Available Housing - Increased Housing Price.  Allowing this hotel to operate will lead to the further loss of available housing options. With the scarce supply of available apartments across Saipan, every unit makes a big difference.  The further loss of apartment units will only contribute to the ever skyrocketing apartment rental prices. Current tenants at the Sebastian Building have either left or were already told to leave. 

7.     Branding. Quality Destination. This is NOT the type of hotel that would earn the CNMI the brand of a quality destination for our tourism industry. This is nothing short than a cheap, fly-by-night investment that does nothing to add to the image of the CNMI as a quality vacation destination. The CNMI needs to look to quality investments, not just any investment.

The anticipated construction of two hotels in our village, Saipan Garden Hotel (located across Tanapag Middle School) and Joyful Team (CNMI), LLC/Tong Feng International, LLC (located Northwest of Tanapag cemetery), including New Century Hotel, LLC, is a present concern to a great majority of the villagers as our way of life is being threatened unlike never before. 

We love the peace and tranquility of our village, and we want nothing more than to continue to enjoy both.  Accordingly, we respectfully ask each of the CNMI Zoning Board to respect our wishes and SAVE TANAPAG VILLAGE by denying New Century Hotel, LLC conditional use application.