Hagåtña, Guam – After 25 years, the Hagåtña Master Plan (HMP) is now law. Governor Lou Leon Guerrero submitted Bill 347-36 An Act to Approve the Hagåtña Restoration and Redevelopment Plan and Its Supporting Documents to the Legislature on October 21, 2022. A public hearing was held on Monday, November 14, 2022, and on Thursday, December 8, 2022, the Hagåtña Master Plan lapsed into law.
Guam law provides that the Plan will not be effective until approved by statute or after forty-five (45) calendar days have elapsed from the date of the receipt by the Guam Legislature and two (2) legislative days have elapsed after the elapse of the forty-five (45) calendar days. The initial forty-five (45) day period after submission ended on December 5, 2022, but the law requires two (2) additional legislative days to elapse in order for the Plan to lapse into law. “Legislative day” is defined under Guam law as “a day during which the Legislature is in actual session, and during which it engages or may engage in debate.” Because the Legislature was in actual session and engaged in debate or could have engaged in debate, on both on December 6th and 7th, the lapsing mechanism provided in 21 GCA Section 79304 was perfected, and the Plan is now in effect.
Hagåtña Restoration and Redevelopment Authority (HRRA) Executive Director Lasia Casil stated, “The Hagåtña Restoration and Redevelopment Authority is very pleased to finally implement the Hagåtña Master Plan, which supports HRRA objectives and goals, and furthers its mission to revitalize, promote, preserve, and protect the heritage and economic vitality of the City of Hagåtña. It has been a long and arduous road, but along with HRRA Board Chairwoman Maria Eugenia Leon Guerrero and the Board of Commissioners, I am excited to finally move forward with efforts to revitalize and reinvigorate our Island’s proud Capitol City of Hagåtña .”
In 2019, Governor Leon Guerrero issued Executive Order 2019-02, which reinstated the HRRA as an autonomous agency, and provided the agency with the resources to move forward with its mission. Because community outreach and stakeholder engagement is a key component in the development of the Hagåtña Master Plan, the Governor requested that the Authority re-engage with all impacted Government of Guam agencies to ensure that the proposed Plan aligned with their respective plans and missions. HRRA also met with stakeholders, including elected officials, major property owners, business and industry representatives, and community organizations, in addition to hosting several open house public workshops.
Established in 1997, the HRRA’s mission is to develop a master plan to preserve and protect the heritage and economic vitality of the city of Hagåtña, as well as expand the supply of low and moderate-income housing, employment opportunities for the jobless, underemployed, and low-income persons, and to provide an environment that fosters the social, economic, and psychological growth and well-being of our citizens.