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TIYAN landowners expressed disappointment at the Tiyan Parkway public information meeting held last night at the Tamuning Community Center.
The meeting announced the completion of the Tiyan Parkway Environmental Assessment and provided information on the next steps of the project.
Comments and questions on the plan were also collected during the meeting. The public has 30 days to review and comment on the environmental assessment. However, the land issue was not addressed in detail.
The Tiyan Parkway will expand the existing Central Avenue that runs through Tiyan into a four-lane roadway between Routes 8 and 10A. This project is in conjunction with the Guam International Airport Authority’s plans to expand its runway.
Unfortunately, the Tiyan land ownership dispute has become entangled in the project.
The government of Guam returned the land in Tiyan to the descendants of the original landowners several years ago. However, the land, particularly Central Avenue, is being disputed.
“I’m hoping that we can find a resolution between the government of Guam and the heirs of the estate,” said Monte Mafnas, director of the Department of Land Management, Ancestral Lands and the Chamorro Land Trust.
“It’s an emotional issue and a difficult issue, but there’s one thing that people have to remember too. The original claimants, who have paid the dues, have passed on. And compensation was done twice by the federal government. I’m hoping we can reach an agreement to avoid going to court.”
Mafnas is working with the families who own property to come to an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration and GIAA.
The previous meeting included a slideshow presentation, in which people could answer questions. This time around, display boards were set up in a museum-style fashion. Many felt the display boards didn’t present details and put them at a disadvantage in terms of asking questions.
Anne Pangelinan, who owns property in Tiyan and is in disagreement with the current plans to build a new roadway, said: “So many are disappointed. They feel like they have no say.”
According to DPW Director Joanne Brown, the airport will close down Central Avenue beginning in February or March of next year to begin construction on its runways.
For a period of about two years, until the Parkway is complete, Central Avenue will be closed off to motorists.