CZM Will Decide on Coral Bay Marina at October 1 Meeting

The St. John CZM committee will conduct its decision meeting on the controversial Coral Bay marina at noon on October 1 at the Legislature Building in Cruz Bay.

The developers of the proposed St. John Marina agreed to a deadline extension of the 30-day time limit for the St. John CZM committee to rule on the application heard at the heavily-attended, August 20 public hearing because Edmund Roberts, one of the two CZM members who will vote on the application, is not expected return to the island until the end of September.

The applicants agreed to extend the CZM’s deadline for a decision meeting, Summer’s End spokesperson Rick Barksdale told St. John Tradewinds on Thursday, September 18. Barksdale referred questions to CZM officials.

The jam-packed audience at the August 20 St. John CZM meeting which was predominantly opposed to the Coral Bay marina proposal did not raise any objections to Mr. Robert’s historic electronic participation, but there were catcalls at CZM member Brion Morrisette.

A longtime CZM member and island attorney, Morrisette participated in the committee’s first action of the evening, approving a Westin Resort solar project, before recusing himself from the subsequent marina hearing to on the Coral Bay Marina citing a conflict of interest, leaving Roberts and committee chairman Andrew Penn as the only voting members on what should be a five-member panel. (There have been two vacancies on the panel for years.)

Morrisette explained to the audience then and again in a subsequent letter to St. John Tradewinds that, if he had not participated in the August hearing, there would not have been a required quorum and the Coral Bay Marina permit application would have been officially deemed approved according to the law if the committee had not heard the application within the required period of time after it was deemed accepted by the CZM or an extension had been requested or agreed to by the applicant.

Although Roberts made the historic first Skype participation in a St. John CZM application hearing on August 20 when he called in from California on the internet telephone/video service to participate in two committee actions, the St. Johnian is expected to return to the island by the end of September, according to CZM Permits Director Anthony Richards.