Governor Should Declare Zoning Override Illegal

An open letter to Governor deJongh –

Thank you very much for listening to the people of St. John and vetoing the Sirenusa Rezoning bill.  Thank you also for your strong words in the press releases after the veto and the Senate’s override. As you said: “the Virgin Islands Zoning Code requirements were dispensed with, thus depriving parties of due process and demonstrating a disregard of existing law which my administration cannot condone.”

We request your administration take the next appropriate step by having you or your Attorney General declare the new law contrary to the enabling law and existing law, and therefore not enforceable. We request that you as Governor or the Attorney General communicate to DPNR not to approve any building permits based on the Senate’s variance, since it was done illegally, and is in conflict with existing law.

We feel this could be done in the same manner as the past Governor Turnbull’s action not to accede to the Legislature’s act to locate the Supreme Court on St. Croix. Or the Attorney General could ask the courts to decide on the legality of the Senate’s act, and direct DPNR not to go forward with the permits until it is decided through the courts.

We are very grateful that we have a current Governor who respects the rule of law, and will take the actions needed to enforce the law.

Could you please let us know your intended actions, so that we as citizens will know what our next actions should be to support the rule of law?

For the St. John Coalition

Alan Smith, Sharon Coldren, Elissa Runyon,
Don Porter and Katie Porter

Additional References:
1. VI Code:  Title 29 Zoning:  § 226. General provisions
Conflicting regulation
(a)  When any provision of this subchapter imposes more stringent requirements, regulations, restrictions, or limitations than are imposed or required by the provisions of any other regulations, statute or law, the provisions of this subchapter shall apply and govern.
2. A memorandum on US Presidential refusal to execute certain laws, by the US Dept of Justice: