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ST. JOHN- Members of the Committee on Housing, Public Works, Waste Management and Planning, chaired by Sen. Marvin Blyden, held a meeting at the Cleone Henrietta Creque Legislative Conference Room on Wednesday, and voted favorably for Coastal Zone Management (CZM) permit Nos. CZJ-2-14(W), CZJ-14-16W, CZJ-24-16W, and CZJ-29-16W. All permits approved will be forwarded to the full body for further consideration.

“All of the CZM Permits are for continued use. Thus far, there hasn’t been any complaints or violations by the permittees. I do not see any issues with the CZM Permits that are before me today,” said Sen. Marvin Blyden.

CZM Permit No. CZJ-14-16W-allows continued use and occupancy of an existing 50’x6’ floating dock in Fish Bay, St. John. CZM Permit No. CZJ-29-16W- allows for the installation of a 70’x6’ floating dock in the nearshore area of Cruz Bay, St. John. CZM Permit No. CZJ-2-14W-allows continued use and occupancy of an existing 100’x5’ dock and 6500 ft2 of submerged lands surrounding the dock structure seaward of Lovango Cay, St. John. CZM Permit No. CZJ-24-16W-allows for the continued use and occupancy of an existing 12’x12’ rectangular floating swim platform, an existing 6’x4’ water access walkway and three swim buoys near Cruz Bay, St. John.

“The reason for the docks are significant. Some of the docks will alleviate stress for the elderly and disabled population,” said Sen. Brian Smith.”

Similarly, Gregory Richards, Representative for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) noted that DPNR supports all the CZM permits because the permittees were compliant over the years. “DPNR Commissioner and the St. John Committee of the V.I. Coastal Zone Management Commission has found these four CZM permits consistent with the policies and standards of VIC Title 12 Chapter 21 for the V.I. Coastal Zone Management Program.”

Sen. Sammuel Sanes asked, “At any time were there any complaints on any of these entities?” In response, Richards stated that although there was not a public outcry, in the past some residents submitted letters of complaint. “Was there a physical inspection conducted for the CZM permits?” asked Sen. Sanes. Richards stated that an environmental inspection was done prior.

As it pertains to CZM Permit No. 29-16W, Sen. Myron Jackson inquired about the community contributions of Low Key Watersports. Ann Marie Estes, President of Low Key Watersports, said, “The company donated snorkel gear for a Snorkeling Program that taught residents how to snorkel. Post-Hurricanes Irma and Maria Low Key covered 100% of medical and dental insurance for employees.”

Senators present are Marvin Blyden, Janette Millin Young, Sammuel Sanes, Myron Jackson, Janelle Sarauw, and Neville James.