DPW unable to contact owners of abandoned structures | Guam News
What was once a house tucked away in the village of Dededo has been reduced to rotting wood and a rusty tin roof, crumbling and almost claimed by the surrounding jungle. The owner of this abandoned structure is one of 19 that the Department of Public Works could not contact.
“We sent them letters by certified mail and they came back undeliverable,” DPW Director Vince Arriola said. “We are working with the town halls, we are working with (the Directorate of Territorial Planning), we have double-checked our contacts and our addresses with DLM, with the mayors and DLM. We are doing as much as we can to find these individuals.”
The Abandoned Buildings Initiative has been ongoing since mid-2021.
DPW identified 115 derelict structures across the island last year and was able to inspect 75 of the buildings, according to the report provided by Arriola at a December 2021 island beautification task force meeting. Fifty-six of the owners received citations, while 12 cases were resolved, which Arriola acknowledged last month as a small number, but “better than nothing”.
Hindering the ministry is the difficulty in finding the owners of some of the buildings. DPW finds that many owners of derelict structures are now off the island. Some of them keep in touch with their families in Guam, and DPW works with these owners through this channel.
Abandoned buildings are basically structures that appear to be safety or health risks to the community. DPW has the authority to issue notices of infringement to landlords, along with time limits for response, and then time limits for action.
DPW contacts DLM to find the legal owner and based on these records a form letter is sent which includes a map, photos and the notice of infringement. But in Arriola’s understanding, the law is silent on situations in which DPW is unable to contact landlords.
“It’s not like we can just go in there and fence it or clean it up ourselves. There’s due process when it comes to property issues,” Arriola said, adding he would consult with legal counsel. from the agency to clarify what happens in these cases.
For now, Arriola said Public Works officials need to figure out what to do to contact homeowners after exhausting all other resources.
“For the most part, we really rely on land management and mayors because that’s basically their jurisdiction. Other than that, I’m going to have to work with mayors and DLM to see what other avenues are available to us so we can that we can contact the owners of these properties,” Arriola said.
The list of abandoned structures whose DPW owners could not contact:
• Agana Heights – 150 Kotla Drive
• Sinajana – 211A Cour Anonas
• Sinajana – 250 Pale Kieran Hickey
• Sinajana – 441 Pale Kieran Hickey
• Sinajana – 139 Rufo San Nicolas Lane (formerly Pugua Lane)
• Mongmong-Toto-Maite – 707 Roy T. Damian Street
• Mongmong-Toto-Maite – 412-B Sgt. Rue Roy T. Damian
• Dededo – 262 Redondo Catan corner of Kayen & Redondo Catan
• Dededo – 269 West San Antonio Avenue
• Dededo – 251 Salsibury Street
• Dededo – 276 Ysengsong Road
• Dededo – 606 Ysengsong Road
• Dededo – 208, via Dona
• Dededo – 121 East Adelfa Court
• Yona – 177 Chalan Tun Ramona Baza
• Hagåtña – 384 West Soledad Avenue
• Inalåhan – 653 Pale Duenas Street
• Yigo – 108, Apacha GHURA Way 506
• Yigo – 112 Court Sali Marianas Terrace.