A bill to require state master plans passed second reading in the House of Delegates on May 18th.  The bill mandates that states adopt master plans and that budget requests for capital improvement projects be justified with a state master plan.

House bill 11-31-3 findings states, “The Olbiil Era Kelulau finds that the land planning title should be amended to incorporate updated language and provide for state master plans, modernize relevant provisions of the Code, establish state planning commissions which will guide the development goals and objectives of each state, and establish the Palau Regional Planning Commission responsible for providing expertise and resources to the state planning commissions.”

The bill mandates that under the budget call, “State government requests shall justify the capital improvement programs provided for within state master plans requested through reference to the prioritized needs of its state master plan.”

Capital improvement projects are defined as “public improvements which are financed either in whole or in part by public funds or economic stimulus grants and which require the use of land, either public or private.”

The state master plans will cover both public and private lands. The creation of state planning and state zoning entities are mandated in the law, one to assist with creating state planning and another to enforce the plans.

States will be able to issue citations to enforce compliance with their master plan and land use plan laws.

If the bill passes into law, states will be required to have their state master plans completed a year after the enactment of this law. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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