Zone variance for Younex project voided - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Zone variance for Younex project voided

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Superior Court of Guam Judge Elizabeth Barrett Anderson has determined the Department of Land Management failed to properly notice residents living within a 500 foot radius of Younex International's condominium project at Saupon Point in Jonestown. It was on November 13, 2007 the Guam Land Use Commission held a public hearing to receive input on Younex's application for a zone variance for the Jonestown project.

A few days later on November 29th the variance was approved.  A month after that approval,  Jonestown resident Mary Ann Sablan filed a lawsuit alleging she wasn't notified of the hearing which her attorney Darlene Hiton argued was required by law. In her review of the case, Judge Barrett Anderson has not only determined the DLM and the GLUC didn't properly notice neighbors about the project she also ruled the Commission's approval of Younex's zone variation null and void.

According to Judge Barrett Anderson's ruling "The testimony and evidence presented clearly shows that notices were not fully complied with. No explanation was offered for this failure". The judge went on to state "Failure of the Respondent to have provided notice to the Petitioner is inexcusable and almost merits a finding of negligence."

Attorney Hiton compared her client's victory to that of David and Goliath.  "This is definitely an example of an ordinary citizen fighting city hall and winning.  Very few people gave Ms. Sablan a chance, but she never gave up."  

Attorney Hiton added that Younex and the Guam Land Use Commission will have to redo the entire zone variance application process and will have to comply with all notice requirements.  The Younex Project in Jonestown is better known as the Emerald Oceanview Park project.

Work has ceased on the project since July last year due to a government ordered restructuring of Younex's parent company in Korea.

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