The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation in the Northern Marianas has passed a bill that requires the removal blighted buildings.
The original intent of the bill was to rid Saipan of "eyesore" buildings that are dilapidated, home to criminal activities and breeding ground for pests, but after amendments it now includes blighted government buildings and facilities on public land.
The majority of abandoned and blighted properties on Saipan are remnants of the once-flourishing garment industry.
Ridding the island of these eyesores is expected to increase Saipan's appeal to tourists as tourism remains the CNMI's main economic driver.
The local bill now passes to the Governor for approval.