Chapter 02 - Territorial Planning Commission Rules

5.0201 Definitions.


As used in this chapter the term definitions in 10.0101 ASCA shall have the meanings ascribed to terms in that section and as supplemented, explained and further defined in this chapter.

5.0202 Authority.


The territorial planning commission derives its authority to promulgate these rules pursuant to 10.0102(e) ASCA.

5.0203 Chairperson and officers.


The chairperson of the commission shall be designated by the Governor from among the commissioners. The commission may elect one of its members as secretary. Should the chair- person be unable to attend a meeting, the members shall elect an interim chairperson.

5.0204 Meetings.


The commission shall meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. in the office of development planning, unless otherwise announced. Such other meetings and hearings as are necessary for the efficient conduct of its business may be held at such times and places as determined by the chair. All meetings shall be public and may be recorded.

5.0205 Attendance.


The commission by a majority vote shall recommend to the Governor the need for a replacement for any member who misses 3 consecutive meetings without cause. Cause shall include health reasons and off-island business trips.

5.0206 Quorum.


A quorum shall be one-half or more of the appointed members in attendance at a meeting. A quorum shall not be lost when members leave the meeting unless the quorum is questioned by at least 1 member still in attendance. No official business can be conducted without a quorum.

5.0207 Duties.


In addition to duties found in 10.0101 et seq. ASCA the commission shall have the following jurisdiction and authority:

(1) To review and approve a comprehensive general plan for the future development of the territory and to make a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature following public hearings;

(2) to initiate a review of the provisions of the zoning law and to make a report of its findings and recommendations based on the comprehensive general plan;

(3) to hold public hearings on elements of amendments to, and the total comprehensive general plan to review public opinion;

(4) to prepare revisions annually as needed coinciding with the fiscal year;

(5) to prepare necessary documents for the Governor and Legislature summarizing the highlights and the budget implications, if any, of the comprehensive general plan.

5.0208 The comprehensive general plan.


(a) The comprehensive general plan may be concerned particularly with industrial, commercial or agricultural development; with education, social services, housing, essential fire, water and electric utilities services, and with transportation, communications, recreation, conservation, cultural services and with other relevant aspects of life in American Samoa.

(b) In order that a comprehensive general plan may be developed for the territory, it is desirable that any of its foregoing subjects be considered in terms of:

(1) defining existing problems, policies, and

(2) establishing goals;

(3) developing and evaluating the impact of alternative strategies;

(4) determining any necessary revisions to local decision-making processes; and

(5) developing an implementation plan, having broad-based community support, which defines priorities and assigns responsibilities for action

(c) The comprehensive general plan shall be established for the following purposes:

(1) to promote the public health, safety, morals, convenience, comfort, prosperity and general welfare of the residents of American Samoa;

(2) to preserve a wholesome, serviceable and attractive community that increases the safety and security of home life;

(3) to prevent congestion, disorder and changes: and

(4) to prevent overcrowding, and other conditions which generally tend to diminish the well-being of residents.

(d) To accomplish the purposes stated in this section, the territory is divided into 6 planning districts as stated in 10.0105 ASCA to promote the public health, safety, welfare and morals.

5.0209 District planning areas and boards.


The commission shall meet with each planning district boards or all such boards as a need arises but shall meet with them at least once each year.

5.0210 Advisory committee.


(a) Pursuant to 10.0102(c) there is an advisory board to the commission which shall consist of 7 department and office heads or their delegates of the government of American Samoa. The commission shall name the advisory committee annually at its meeting in October or as needed to replace members.

(b) The commission by majority vote shall decide what departments or offices shall be requested to serve on the advisory committee and may request particular talent, expertise or persons in such departments or offices.

(c) Members of the advisory committee shall be expected to attend certain commission meetings and may work with the planning district as well.

(d) The following departments or offices shall be ex officio members of the committee:

(1) Office of development planning;

(2) Department of public works;

(3) Office of the attorney general: and

(4) Department of parks and recreation.

5.0211 Other committees.


The chairperson may name additional committees of the commission to perform certain investigations or tasks to report back to the commission. These may be committees of the whole or committees of no less than 3 members of the commission. Committees shall report to the commission in a public session with its recommendations or report. The commission may accept, reject or amend the recommendation or report of any committee.

5.0212 Public participation.


(a) All persons addressing the commission at a public hearing shall identify themselves by name, village of residence, and, if applicable, employment or group affiliation. Persons may make oral or written presentation in person or through a representative or attorney. The chairperson may limit any oral presentation to no more than 5 minutes duration to allow for full participation. The chairperson may require pre-presentation scheduling of persons who wish to address the commission to ascertain the number of presentations for full participation and to set equitable time limits.

(b) Prior to recommending a plan to the Governor and Legislature the commission shall hold a public hearing(s) so that all parties in interest and residents will be given an opportunity to be heard in respect to the plan. Notice shall be sent to the press and media and all other means reasonably to attract public attention at least 15 days prior to any hearing relative to a plan or the comprehensive general plan. Said notices shall also be sent to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, director of the office of development planning, the attorney general, director of public works, members of the advisory committee, and members of the district planning boards(s) affected.

5.0220 Business licenses.


(a) Pursuant to 27.0201 et seq. ASCA the commission will review all new applications for a business license including those filed by individuals, partnerships and corporations. ew business licenses, includes first applications for a business license, for additional locations and relocations, and applications for businesses which have changed ownership. All individuals, partnerships and corporations regardless of race, sex, national origin, or status in the territory will be subject to this review.

(b) The applicant shall file with the commission the business license application, the partnership agreement or articles of incorporation if a partnership or a corporation, a copy of any requests filed or to be filed with the zoning board for a variance, including but not limited a description the location, a plot plan showing existing and proposed structures with necessary dimensions indicating yard spaces id adjoining structure when required, and a ground and typical floor plan of the building, towing work area, bathrooms, water and wage facilities, storage area, and other uses with all necessary measurements.

(c) The applicant shall be given at least a 5y notice of a hearing at which time the applicant shall be prepared to discuss with the commission the following factors:

(1) traffic safety;

(2) adequate parking facilities;

(3) availability of water and sewage facilities;

(4) effect on land resources and economic opportunities for resident Samoans;

(5) effect on Samoan customs, culture and traditions; and

(6) conformity to the general comprehensive n and the general economic plan.