ST. THOMAS- Members of the Committee of the Whole led by Senate President Donna A. Frett Gregory, convened Thursday in the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Chamber to receive testimony on seven zoning map amendment applications. Policymakers did not vote on the zoning map amendments. However, action will be taken during the next scheduled Legislative Session.
Lawmakers were informed of zoning map amendment applications geared toward economic growth, small business opportunities, and job creation. Applicants or their representatives defended their applications to convert and/or construct structures into a hair salon, to build multiple storage facilities, to also build affordable housing, and to expand existing businesses.
Acia E. Brathwaite – ZAT-22-13: Request to rezone Parcel No. 173-A-66 Estate AnnaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Retreat, No. 1 New Quarter, St. Thomas from R-2 (Residential Low Density-One and Two Family) to B-2 (Business Secondary/Neighborhood). Braithwaite testified that the purpose is to convert an existing laundry room into an appointment-only hair salon that will be operated part-time. Furthermore, the source of water for the salon are cistern and portable water. Sewer lines are connected and there is adequate parking for customers. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources Assistant Commissioner Keith Richards noted that DPNR recommends that a use variance be granted.
Sunshine Parking, LLC – ZAT-22-14: Request that a use variance be granted to the B-2 (Business Secondary/Neighborhood) zoned Parcel No. 18A Remainder Estate Smith Bay, Nos. 1, 2 & 3 East End Quarter, St. Thomas. Richard P. Bourne-Vanneck, Attorney and legal counsel of the applicant, Sunshine Parking, LLC stated that presently, the property is a gated parking lot with plans of converting it into a Warehouse and Storage facility housing twenty-nine storage containers to be utilized by the Marine Industry. Leia LaPlace-Matthew, Territorial Planner, Division of Comprehensive and Coastal Zone Planning, Department of Planning and Natural Resources stated that DPNR supports the request.
Petrus Properties, LLC – ZAT-22-12: Request to rezone Lease Area 47D-1 Kronprindsens Gade, Kronprindsens Quarter, St. Thomas from P (Public) to B-3 (Business Scattered). The purpose is to commence the second phase of Petrus Plaza which entails constructing a two-story building with rental spaces for local businesses. Approximately fifteen additional parking spaces will be added to accommodate consumers. There is one individual who opposes the expansion. The opposer cited reasons such as building in a flood zone, overdeveloped projects, and plans that do not show adjacent uses to include intended access for existing neighboring businesses. In accordance with the Report on Petition to Amend Official Zoning Map No. STZ-11, DPNR is in favor of the application.
E&C Development, LLC – ZAT-22-9: Request to rezone Parcel No. 2 Remainder Estate Bovoni, Nos. 1 & 2 FrenchmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Bay Quarter, St. Thomas from R-3 (Residential-Medium Density) to C (Commercial). The purpose of the application is to build warehouses and storage space. Julio King, Project Manager noted that the modern and sustainable four-building complex is to be used as a General Warehouse and Storage building. The project entails a $7,000,000 construction project with a deadline of completion in 2025. King indicated that employment opportunities will increase because of the need to hire construction workers and fill 100 job vacancies post-construction. Overall, LaPlace-Matthew stated that DPNR is in favor of the application with restriction of the entrance/exit access to the western boundary.
Diego A. Lima, Jr. – ZAT-22-15: Request to rezone Parcel No. 3-103 Remainder Estate Bovoni, Nos. 1 & 2 FrenchmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Bay Quarter, St. Thomas from R-3 (Residential Medium Density) to B-3 Business Scattered). Jeffrey Boschulte, Project Architect for Boschulte Architecture, LLC., shared that presently the building is a two-story structure with an apartment on the second floor and storage units on the first floor. The applicant seeks to rezone it into a mixed-use development to keep the apartments and to lease the storage rooms for business purposes. LaPlace-Matthew shared that DPNR recommends that the application is granted.
The Soraya Diase Coffelt Living Trust – ZAT-22-4: Request to rezone 19F-1 Rem & 19N Rem Smith Bay, Nos. 1, 2, & 3 East End Quarter, St. Thomas from A-1 (Agricultural) to R-3 (Residential-Medium Density) and C (Commercial). Brian Turnbull, Zoning Consultant representing the Soraya Diase Coffelt Living TrustÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Petition. Turnbull stated that the client intends on establishing commercial and housing opportunities inclusive of commercial warehousing, bulk and cold storage facilities; funeral homes, businesses for equipment and services; small business centers, and affordable housing. LaPlace-Matthew indicated that DPNR recommends that the application is granted.
Market Square East, Inc. – ZAT-22-11: Request to amend the Official Zoning Map No. STZ-7 from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) and C (Commercial) to B-2 (Business Secondary/Neighborhood) and R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) for Parcel Nos. L-1, 1-1, 1-Rem., C-1, C-Rem., D-Rem., G, H, M, N, P, S, R.O.W. Parcel Nos.1-A, C-A, D- A, Q, and R Estate Raphune, No. 5B New Quarter, St. Thomas and Parcel Nos. 1-1-1, 1-11, 1-1-Rem., 1-5-B-1, 1- 5-B-2, 1-5-B-3, 1-5-F, 1-15-1, R.O.W. Parcel Nos. 1-3(Revised)-1, and 1-3(Revised)-Rem. Estate Donoe, No. 2A New Quarter, St. Thomas. LaPlace-Matthew stated that DPNR recommends that the application is granted.
Senator Frett-Gregory expressed sentiments on Market East. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We need to look towards getting a larger anchor store other than K-Mart. We need to put ourselves in a position to be able to shop at a store and purchase what we need, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not happening right now. I am happy that you are redeveloping that area. We need to see something that is fruitful,Ã¢â‚¬Â she concluded.
Senators attending the meeting: Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Kurt A. Vialet, Franklin D. Johnson, Samuel CarriÃƒÂ³n, Carla J. Joseph, Marvin A. Blyden, Alma Francis Heyliger, Angel Bolques, Jr., Janelle K. Sarauw, and Milton E. Potter. ###