This Act: makes provision for the establishment of a Commonwealth Zoning Board and the Zoning Advisory Council; defines functions and powers of the Board and the Council; defines duties of the Zoning Administrator; provides for the establishment of Land Use Districts; and makes provision for land use and town and country planning in general.The Zoning Board shall implement a land use policy for various purposes of development including the wise use of natural resources including land, water and biological resources.
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Under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the US. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975, and came into force on 24 March 1976. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978.
The Northern Mariana Islands are a presidential democracy and are part of the commonwealth in political union with the US.