Tag: Zoning


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ST. THOMAS- Members of the 31st Legislature, led by Senate President Neville James, held a meeting at the Capitol Building on Tuesday, to receive testimony on several zoning request applications including Alford S. Richards Sr., – To amend the Official Zoning Map No. SJZ-1 from R-1 (Residential-Low Density) to B-2 (Business-Secondary/Neighborhood) for Parcel No. 29 Estate Susannaberg No. 17A Cruz Bay Quarter, St. John.

According to a memorandum submitted by Yvonne Tharpes, Legal Counsel of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, it suggested to postpone the hearing in order to allow St. John Residents to express their concerns as it pertains to this zoning request.


However, lawmakers did not want to further delay the meeting.

“The zoning hearing that was scheduled for November 21st was cancelled due to inclement weather,” said Sen. James. He continued, “Considering that the 31st Legislature is coming to a close, instead of prolonging this zoning request, we should at least receive testimony on it. There will be no voting on any of the zoning requests today.”

Leia Laplace Matthew, Territorial Planner for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) stated that the purpose of this request is to lease the site for a water delivery business to operate from and store water trucks. She also recommended approval of the petition.

Similarly, Kelly Davis, Planning Technician for DPNR also gave a favorable recommendation. She said, “The current use is that it is vacant land with an abandon tennis court. The property is surrounded by condominiums on the north and there is vacant land on the east and west.

Sen. Marvin Blyden asked, “Once approved, would the project move forward immediately?” In response, Stylish Willis, Law Offices of Willis said, “When this zoning request was originally submitted, we learned that the area was considered residential. Therefore, as soon as it is approved, the Water Companies that the property is leased to, will begin using the land for commercial use.”

“How many water trucks will be using the site?” asked Sen. Blyden. In response, Willis stated that there will be approximately three to four water trucks and four to five heavy equipment that will occupy the land.”

Sen. Clifford Graham asked, “Where is the property located on St. John?” Willis said, “It is located right off the main road.” Sen. Graham said, “I know that area very well. Although, the property is zoned as residential, it is surrounded by a lot of businesses.” Willis added that the land has been used for commercial use for many years.

“How would maneuvering large vehicles impact the traffic?” inquired Sen. Jean Forde. Willis said, “According to the lease agreement, the property is approximately three acres. Therefore, there will not be an issue for the trucks to access the land. There isn’t a lot of traffic on the main road, so I don’t foresee traffic congestion of any sort.”

Sen. Nereida Rivera O’Reilly asked, “Are all of the taxes current on the property?” Willis stated the property taxes are current.

Separately, lawmakers also received testimony on other zoning requests including:

  • Dale LeFebvre- Authorized Agent Stephanie Berry – To amend Official Zoning Map No. STZ-9 – Application No. ZAT-16-3- requesting that a use variance be granted to the R-2 (Residential-Low Density One and Two Family) zoned Parcel Nos. 19-2-101 and 19-2-102 Estate Smith Bay, Nos. 1, 2 & 3 East End Quarter, St. Thomas Purpose: To utilize a portion of his residence as his business’ office space
  • Sergio Laplante – To amend Official Zoning Map No. STZ-11, Application No. ZAT-16-6; requesting a use variance be granted to R-4 (Residential-Medium Density) zoned Plot Nos. 52 and 54, First Avenue (combined), First Subdivision of Estate Thomas, St. Thomas Purpose: To operate a restaurant out of a food van
  • Development Partners International, LLC – Authorized Agent David A. Bornn, Esq, – To amend the Official Zoning Map No. STZ-10 – Application No. ZAT 16-7 from R-1 (Residential-Low Density) to W-1 9(Waterfront-Pleasure) for Parcel Nos. 6L-remainder and 6L-25 Estate Nazareth, No. 1 Red Hook Quarter, St. Thomas Purpose: To consolidate the lots and subdivide into four residential lots, a utility lot and parking for residences on Parcels No. 6L-30 Estate Nazareth. It will be part of a larger residential and accessory development, to include Parcel Nos. 6L-30 and 6L-24 Estate Nazareth



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ST.THOMAS— The Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and Planning, chaired by Senate Vice President Janette Millin Young, approved two zoning requests Tuesday, at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall.

“Every permit request that we review in this committee, that we vet, that  we vote on, represents economic development,” said the Committee Chair. “A great majority of these requests allow for businesses to conduct business and therefore attributes to our commerce. And this I believe is important to mention because it is necessary for all of us to embrace the work that contributes to the economic development of our territory because it doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” she said. “It behooves all of us to ensure that something is actually built on the foundation that we lay here.”

Major Coastal Zone Management Permit No. CZT-05-12, which allows for the continued use and occupancy of an existing dock and authorizes the installation of a swim platform to be located in an uncolonized area of the bay, was approved with a vote of 5 yes, 4 absent.

During the discussion, lawmakers inquired about why the request took almost 2 years to reappear before the body, ensured that public access would not be compromised and verified that code, as well as the language of the permit request,was within established parameters.

Yvonne L. Tharpes, Deputy Chief Legal Counsel of the 31st Legislature offered a brief analysis of the  permit.

“Of concern are the intake and outfall lines of the desalination plant. The R-3 Zoning District’s Table of Permitted Uses in the outdated zoning code of the Virgin islands dos not allow desalination plants,” she wrote in the memorandum.

Sen. Clifford F. Graham, a committee member, asked officials to respond to the concern.

Jean-Pierre Oriol, Director of Coastal Zone Management at the Department of Planning and Natural Resources obliged.

“In review of the Legal Counsel’s analysis,” he said, “It is responding to the zoning code as if the desalination plant itself was looking to be erected in the R-3 zone. Then the zoning code does not allow a desalination plant in a medium density area,” he said.

Oriol explained that other concerns raised by Legal Counsel pertained to commercial use of  desalinized water, but the water is not being used commercially, he said.

The Committee also approved Major Coastal Zone Management Permit No. CZT-9-14, which allows for continued use and occupancy of land north and south of Muhlenfel’s Point and authorizes the use of the existing reconstructed fixed dock and its associated leased submerged lands and the installation of 11 buoys, 9 of which are swim buoys.

Later lawmakers removed Major Coastal Zone Management Permit No. CZJ-2-14  to allow the continued use and occupancy  of an existing dock and 6500 square feet of submerged lands surrounding the dock structure from the agenda so that it could be heard on the island of St. John giving residents the opportunity to attend and voice concerns.

Committee Chair Sen. Janette Millin Young and committee members,  Senators Clifford F. Graham, Myron D. Jackson, Almando “Rocky” Liburd, Tregenza A. Roach, were present.