On Friday, August 1, the same day she resigned from her position as Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Alicia Barnes signed the approval for East Bay Beach Club’s Group Dwelling Permit.
DPNR’s approval came almost five months after a public meeting on the project which drew strong opposition with residents questioning the size and environmental impacts of the development.
Plans at the time called for constructing a 28-unit beach club consisting of 16 three-bedroom and 12 four-bedroom units spread among one and two-story structures, a clubhouse and pool on the remote and largely undeveloped East End of St. John.
The eight-acre property is zoned R-1 (residential-1), which allows for the construction of two units per each half-acre, and developers requested a Group Dwelling Permit in order to cluster those 28 units on one portion of the land.
The developers, Marc Davies and Clark Bottner, have been meeting with DPNR officials since March and what was approved on August 1 is smaller than what was presented at the March 11 meeting, according to DPNR’s Division of Comprehensive and Coast Zone Planning Director T. Stuart Smith.
The project still consists of 28 units, but are clustered now in eight beach front duplex buildings, four additional duplex buildings and four single-family units. The project still also includes the pool and clubhouse.
“It is along the same lines, but it is a far reduction of what was shown at the meeting,” said Smith. “In concept, the design of the buildings haven’t changed but their location and the number of buildings is different. Everything else is pretty much the same.”
The revised plans should be available for review at DPNR’s Cruz Bay office by Monday afternoon, August 11, according to Smith.
With its Group Dwelling Permit application approved, East Bay Beach Club can now proceed with its Coast Zone Management application, Smith explained.
“The approved permit now allows the developer to complete their CZM application package for official submittal,” said DPNR’s CCZP Director.
Residents, many of whom were opposed to the East Bay Beach Club’s development, will have another chance to voice their opinions on the project during the CZM process.
“Once it [the application] is received by CZM it would be at least 60 days before a hearing would be scheduled,” Smith said.
The proposed development site, Parcel No. Remainder 6A-1 Estate Hansen Bay, is located past Privateer Bay close to the far end of the East End of St. John.