Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Letter to the Editor

I submitted some comments to the Zoning Board about their proposed Adult Business Zoning regulations. I emailed my comments to a few people on island in the hopes that they would also submit comments. One of those people prodded me to send in my comments as a letter to the editor. Here they are, published in today's Saipan Tribune:
Zoning for adult businesses

I would like to commend the Zoning Board for tackling such a contentious issue as adult business as their first project. After the issue of adult business zoning is dealt with, I am sure that dealing with other zoning issues will seem like a walk in the park.

I have read the proposed zoning amendments and I wholeheartedly endorse and support them. Saipan has allowed unchecked, rampant growth for too long and our plan to move toward a more well-planned development scheme is long overdue.

Like a cancer, growth for the sake of growth is not always a good thing; it can be deadly. If left untended, cancer kills the rest of the human body. In a similar fashion, the adult businesses in Garapan, if left untended, will slowly kill the other organs of our economy.

The Zoning Board proposals do not say that adult businesses cannot exist; they just list certain criteria that adult businesses have to meet in order to operate. This is true for many other types of businesses, such as restaurants, which have to comply with strict public health regulations.

I believe that these zoning regulations will have a positive long-term effect on our tourist economy. We have to only look at other municipalities that have instituted similar zoning regulations that the Zoning Board is proposing. The first example that comes to mind is New York. When the adult businesses became regulated, the overall economy improved, land values increased, and visitors and locals alike now agree that New York really "cleaned up."

The other example that comes to mind is downtown Orlando, where I lived for 10 years. A few years back the City Council instituted some regulations that angered the college age crowd, which was notorious for loud obnoxious behavior and urinating in public, among other things. Several, if not all, of the downtown nightclubs fought these regulations tooth and nail. When the regulations were finally enforced, the raging party died down and downtown started to attract an older, more affluent clientele. Those nightclubs that initially fought the regulations are now thankful for them, as they are now making more money from a clientele with more disposable income than college students and military.

I hope that Saipan can follow such examples to improve our islands for the people that live here and for the tourists that visit us.

Thank you for considering my comments.

Angelo Villagomez
via e-mail


Angry Sicilian said...

You're such an anti-American liberal Hippy... hah! Just Kidding.

I read that and I kept on thinking it was some book that I've read. Where have I heard that "Growth - Cancer" analogy before?

Keep up the good work, putting that degree to work.

Come visit Chicago some time soon k?

Angelo said...

I didn't rip it from anywhere...

I think that analogy is a common one.

Angry Sicilian said...

Limits to Growth was a 1972 book modeling the consequences of a rapidly growing world population and finite resource supplies, commissioned by the Club of Rome... it is the source of that Growth to Cancer vs Development analogy.

But its cool...

Saipan Chamoale said...

I think I was supposed to have read that somewhere along the line...

ELSAVI said...

Finally! Someone that has balls to do some real improvements on the island! Where were you this whole time? O yeah, getting a real degree not like them idiots that hold high positions in the government that don't even know shit about their positions, but more focused on their pay.