Controversy is already brewing over a proposed Bordeaux Mountain multi-family condominium development.
Bordeaux Mountain Estates LLC is seeking a group dwelling permit from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources to construct 16 dwelling units, a pool, a gym and ancillary service buildings on five acres at parcel 10-10 Remainder, Estate Caro-lina, Coral Bay Quarter.
A public hearing regarding the requested group dwelling permit is scheduled for Friday, March 9, at 4 p.m. at the Legislature building in Cruz Bay, where residents are invited to share their comments and questions.
No Plans at DPNR St. John
While plans for the development are available for review at DPNR’s Cyril E. King airport office, a copy is not available at the department’s St. John office. The plans were drawn by local architect Michael Milne’s firm Barefoot Architect.
Barefoot Architect representatives did not return calls requesting a copy of renderings of the development by press time.
The Bordeaux Mountain site is not a part of DPNR’s Tier 1, making the developers exempt from the need to traverse the Coastal Zone Management process.
Instead, the developers will plead their case for a group dwelling permit before officials from DPNR’s division of Comprehensive Coastal Zone Planning.
Trouble at the site first arose last year when neighbors were outraged by what they deemed an illegal road which was cut through the property.
After meeting with then-owner Eric Tillett — who also owns Centerline Concrete, two planned Cruz Bay condominium developments, Voyages de St. Jan, three and a half acres at Little Plantation, 19.2 acres at Hansen Bay and the former Oscar’s Building in Cruz Bay — tensions seemed to ease. Tillett no longer owns the Bordeaux Mountain parcel.
News of the upcoming group dwelling permit public hearing, however, has prompted a new wave of concern about the pace of development on Love City and group dwelling permits in general.
Residents are eager to see how Gov. John deJongh’s administration will act in this case, according to one opponent of the project.
“We don’t know how the new administration is going to deal with a sensitive development like this that is testing the limits of V.I. Law and practice,” said Sharon Coldren, president of the Coral Bay Community Council. “For instance, the early plans I’ve seen show a third story for a fourth bedroom which is being called a mezzanine by a willful misinterpretation of the V.I. Code.”
Writing to DPNR officials on behalf of the CBCC, Coldren requested an end to issuing all group dwelling permits.
“CBCC requests that DPNR suspend consideration and approval of group dwelling permit applications until appropriate procedures and regulations have been developed to ensure that the process is beneficial to the future of the Virgin Islands and fulfills the statutory intent,” Coldren wrote to DPNR’s then-Commissioner Dean Plaskett.
The owner of the parcel, however, contends that the proposed group dwelling permit will be used to minimize impacts to the site.
“We are trying to use the group dwelling permit not to maximize the site, but to minimize the impact on the site and to preserve as much green space as possible,” said Eric Munson, land owner and managing member of Bordeaux Mountain Estates LLC.