DPNR Hears Lease Application for St. John Car Rental Business

Roosevelt David, owner of Best Car Rental, talks about his business at Wednesday’s CZM hearing. (Microsoft Teams screenshot)

A Coastal Zone Management hearing was held Wednesday to renew a lease for a car rental company on St. John and ensure it conforms with V.I. zoning regulations.

Former V.I. Sen. Roosevelt David said he was notified that his business was out of compliance when he wanted to renew the lease approved by the Legislature in 1992. He graded and cleared the property at that time. He served for 10 years as a senator, ending his political career in 2006.

Keshoi Samual, territorial planning technician, chaired the hearing and said that after the hearing, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources committee will prepare a report recommending approval or rejecting the lease application. If approved, the application will be forwarded to the Senate Committee of the Whole for approval or denial.

David first described his business, Best Car Rental, and the neighborhood, saying the business consists of a lot with parked vehicles for rent, one wooden office building, and another small wooden building used for storage. He said the surrounding area comprises a guest house, a gaming center, a laundry, a supermarket, the Sprauve Library, the Animal Care Center of St. John and other car rental shops. He added it was 150 feet to the nearest residence.

“Like I said, we are 90 percent surrounded by commercial activities,” David said.

Currently, there are two employees, and the business has not changed since 1992. He testified there has been no flooding on the property and he has no plans “at my age” to change or expand the business. Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“I just want to serve the public and provide for my family,” David said at the end of his testimony.

Next, Samuel asked for questions from staff and then comments and questions from the audience. DPNR staff members Jewel Polimis and Leia LaPlace asked how far the nearest residence was, about past flooding and about plans for development. David answered that 15 rental cars can be parked on the property. LaPlace said David’s business did not qualify for “grandfathering.”

At the end of the staff questions, LaPlace asked if there were questions or comments from the audience. There were none. She added they would accept comments via email until March 3.

David was allowed closing comments and thanked LaPlace, DPNR and the Legislature for their work.