Vista Del Mar Developer Addresses Public Concerns Over Project

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During a public hearing on January 13 for the Vista del Mar development, the public voiced their concerns over the project to which Dan Swavely, the consultant to Vista del Mar, offered explanations to the public’s statements.

PNC’s Devin Eligio has more…

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While the Vista del Mar project seeks to promote tourism further and stimulate Guam’s economy after taking a devastating hit from the pandemic, it continues to pose concerns of environmental effects and cultural values.

In a statement sent to Mayor Louise Rivera on February 7th, Swavely shared his explanations to possible misconceptions made about the project from those who opposed the development during the January public hearing.

One of the public’s concerns was that “endangered flora and fauna will be threatened” to which Swavely replied, “Vista del Mar will provide for a 100′ diameter, no-touch buffer zone around the endangered snail colony and each of its plants.” He continued, “If the Department of Agriculture wants more of a buffer, they require us to do so at the building permitting stage.”

DoAG opposed the project with conditions in their Position Statement from the Application Review Committee; however, according to Swavely, these conditions were addressed with the revised master plan.

Swavley also assured in his statement that the Vista del Mar will not touch the Territorial Seashore Reserve or its neighboring waters when the concern was raised of “pristine fishing grounds” potentially being lost.

Another point the public vocalized was that, as of January, 1,700 people signed the Save Southern Guam petition opposing the Vista Del Mar.

Swavely’s replied, “As reported by the Speaker, only 60 of the signers were from Tamuning. Inasmuch as the Vista del Mar application is lengthy and somewhat complex, can we be sure that the petitioners are knowledgeable about the proposed project?” He concluded, “Some public comments were, in fact, outdated or factually incorrect.”

The Change.org petition today has garnered over 2,000 of the public’s signatures in opposition to Vista del Mar’s development.

One prominent point of concern the public raised was the kind of ancestor they wanted to be, a point that Leilani Sablan, an activist at the Vista del Mar protest last week, emphasized as well.

In response to the question, “what kind of ancestor do we want to be,” Swavely answered, “An ancestor who left our island with a better quality of life than they inherited, meaning an economy that supports all Guamanians as they pursue their dreams.”