The developers of the proposed Coral Bay Marina agreed to a deadline extension of the 30-day time limit for the St. John CZM committee to act on the application heard at the heavily-attended, August 20 public hearing because Edmund Roberts, one of two CZM members who will vote on the application, is not expected return to the island until the end of September.
Summer’s End spokesperson Rick Barksdale said Thursday, September 19, the applicants had agreed to extend the CZM’s deadline for a decision meeting and referred questions to CZM officials.
The jam-packed audience at the August St. John CZM meeting which was predominately opposed to the Coral Bay marina proposal did not raise any objections to Robert’s historic video participation, but there were catcalls against 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.
Morrisette explained to the audience then and 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 appearance at 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 around the end of September and the decision meeting will be scheduled for sometime after he returns, according to CZM Permit Director Anthony Richards.