Urunao Family Landlocked By Military For Over 60 Years

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Guam – For over 6 decades Urunao property owners have been trying to gain access to their land via military property and the military is not permiting them access.

Since World War ll the Artero family has been trying to get back their land from the military. Franklin and Pascual represent the Artero family, who own land on Urunao and have been paying taxes on this property since the early 1940’s. But A portion of their property has been landlocked for over 60 years. Franklin Artero would like to build a home on along the cliff line so he can enjoy land in his twilight years. But he has been encountering major obstacles with the military. He needs an easement to gain access to his land. But his brother Pascuale points out that the military appears to be building at will on the Northern Part of the island.

In March of this year, they sent a letter requesting assistance from Brigadier General Commandeer 36th Wing Philip Ruhlman. Four months later, the Artero family received a response from the Navy’s commanding officer Captain Peter S. Lynch. In Lynch’s letter, he wrote that the pursuit of an easement will require considerable time, effort and expenses.According to Franklin Artero, this was a list of hurdles that could cost him thousands of dollars.

Artero says, I need to pay for environmental studies, cost associated with obtaining internal site approvals or clearances, and cost associated with development, review and recording of real estate documents.

According to Artero, “If the military didn’t take away some of our land and move our property line to the opposite side of 3A back in the 1960’s there wouldn’t be an issue today. Because moving the property line to the other side of 3A prevented us from getting onto our property.”

Pascuale says before the 1990’s 3A, which is owned by the military, wasn’t open to the public. There were sentry’s posted to guard this military road. But he fears that the military may close this road from the public again.

The Artero family hopes that the military and federal government will help them gain access to their land.