Zoning Office: Over 40 stores, restaurants violating law

MORE than 40 establishments, mostly retail stores and restaurants in Susupe and Garapan, are violating the zoning law, Zoning Administrator Therese Ogumoro said.

Her office, she added, is witnessing “a drastic increase in violations [involving] unpermitted building, window and ground signs as well as lights.”

The office’s enforcement team led by Yubert Alepuyo has been conducting day and night inspections and issuing courtesy notices to establishments for compliance, Ogumoro said.

She added that notices of violation are now being prepared for issuance within the next few days. 

The major violations encountered include untranslated foreign texts, unpermitted foreign text sizes, unpermitted window signs, improper placements, unpermitted dimensions, flashing and bright lights and offsite premise signs.

Ogumoro said she believes that some of the establishments “are new and they know nothing about the law yet they don’t ask around.”

Zoning law requires that all signs on the buildings and grounds be written in English, and if foreign texts are used, then it must be translated into English, with text sizes smaller or equal to the English texts, Ogumoro said. 

She urged businesses to immediately remove the noncompliant signs and lights to avoid being fined.

She said the zoning enforcement team conducted nightly inspections that revealed a very high increase in the use of unpermitted lights around signs and on building facades. 

 “The Zoning Office has begun issuing notices to establishments to remove unpermitted signs or lights and to comply with the zoning requirements within 3 to 5 days,” Ogumoro said, adding that failure to do so will result in fines from $500 to $1,000 per day.

She is encouraging business owners to visit the zoning office at  Joeten Dandan prior to any installations of signs or for any questions.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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