St. Thomas

St. John

St.Croix

May 2024
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ST. THOMAS- Members of the Committee of the Whole, led by Senate President Novelle E. Francis, Jr., convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building to receive testimony on several Zoning Map Amendment applications. Policymakers did not vote on the zoning map amendments.

Senator Francis stated that we are delighted to vet these proposals because they promote economic development, provide non-profit services to our community, and for the establishment of dwelling units. The measures were not contentious, and all parties involved agreed on them.

The zoning map amendment applications were aimed at relocating an animal care center to a larger space and building a permanent home for Alpine Securities in Estate Thomas that could withstand a 200-mph hurricane.

Bill No. 35-0052 An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. SJZ-3 for the island of St. John to change the zoning designation of Parcel No. 14 Rem Estate Carolina, Coral Bay Quarter, St. John from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to B-2 (Business-Secondary/Neighborhood). The purpose of the zoning application is to relocate the Animal Care Center of St. John from downtown Cruz Bay to Coral Bay. A. Michael Milne, AIA, of the Barefoot Design Group, LLC, stated that the new center is suitable for the needs of the community. Furthermore, the expansion of the site opens more job opportunities for residents. Another perk is that the proposed location allows the animals open air and space to walk, while the downtown property cannot. In response to Senator Alma Heyliger Francis, Milne indicated that the center will be able to hold 20 dogs and 40 additional animals. Leah LaPlace, a representative of DPNR, recommended that a noise impact survey be done, a noise-proof building be built based on the report findings, and, kennels must remain indoors.

Bill No. 35-0040 An Act granting a zoning variance for Parcels Nos. A1-24 & A1-25 Estate Thomas, No. 6K New Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, to allow an office, 2 one-bedroom apartments, flex space, gym, 13 parking spaces (1 handicapped), a cistern and grey water cistern, and accessory buildings for a generator and garage space. Jason Charles, Chief of External Affairs of Alpine Securities, mentioned that once built, the site will be utilized by ten people daily. Currently, the land is undeveloped, and once developed, Alpine will not be charged property taxes. The development will cost approximately $3 million. LaPlace-Matthew, a representative of DPNR, expressed support for the application. She recommended a use variance to allow for dwellings. Senator Frett-Gregory inquired about the economic value of the project. Charles indicated that job creation would stem from construction. The Virgin Islands will reap tax revenues during the construction process, and it will bring economic value to downtown Charlotte Amalie.

Bill No. 35-0024 An Act granting a zoning use variance for Parcel No. 5C Estate, Anna’s Retreat No. 1 New Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, to allow for dwellings. According to the DPNR report, LaPlace mentioned that the purpose of the application is for the applicant to add a third floor. The third-floor addition was permitted because the applicant changed the building’s use to eight commercial units. However, the applicant wishes to convert three of the units to residential use.

Bill No. 35-0053 An Act granting a zoning use variance for Parcel No. 84 Estate Contant, No. 7B, Southside Quarter, St. Thomas Virgin Islands, from the R-3 (Residential-Medium Density) zoning designation to allow for offices The purpose is to create a mixed-use development consisting of offices and dwelling units. DPNR LaPlace stated that DPNR is in favor of the application.

Senators attending the meeting: Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Angel L. Bolques, Franklin D. Johnson, Samuel Carrión, Carla J. Joseph, Javan E. James, and Marvin A. Blyden, Alma Francis Heyliger, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Samuel Carrion, Marise C. James, Kenneth L. Gittens, Diane T. Capehart, and Milton E. Potter.

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