Marsh Family Gets OK To Construct $2.9 Million Coral Bay Development

The G.E. Marsh Legacy Development and Holding Group Inc. plans to bring a recreational, residential and commercial complex to Coral Bay.

Coral Bay will be the site of new commercial, residential and recreational services soon and will see the construction of the area’s first open air theater complex.

In a decision meeting on Wednesday, April 7, at the Cruz Bay legislature building, the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee approved G. E. Marsh Legacy Development and Holding Group Inc.’s major land permit application to construct a commercial, residential and recreational development and open air theater.

In the same meeting, the four-member board also okayed the V.I. Port Authority’s permit modification request to create 151 free parking spaces at the Enighed Pond Marine Facility.

As VIPA’s plan will provide relief to the years-long Cruz Bay parking problem, the Marsh’s planned Coral Bay development will bring new services to the expanding population on the island’s eastern end.

Project developer Genevieve Marsh, president of G.E. Marsh Legacy Development and Holding Group Inc., plans to construct a $2.9 million six building complex to house a larger Love City Mini Mart, five residential units, vendor kiosks and additional commercial space.

The recreational portion of the development calls for constructing a tennis court, basketball court and a toddler play area. An open air theater, two windmills, three freshwater wells, a food court, maintenance building and 70 parking spaces round out the development plans.

The development site is a 4.967 acre lot in Estate Lower Carolina off King Hill Road, the eastern portion of which houses the current Love City Mini Mart and a nearby residential structure. Domino Gas and Service station is also located on a portion of the Marsh land. Plans call for the gas station to remain in that location.

The development was conceived to meet the needs of the growing Coral Bay population, according to CZM acting assistant director Jean-Pierre Oriol.

“The applicant’s object is to develop the site primarily based on the commercial and residential needs of the area,” said Oriol. “The proposed development will address many of the needs of the area without having to travel to the over-crowded Cruz Bay and could relieve some stresses in Cruz Bay.”

The property is already zoned B-2 (business – secondary) and the developer eased CZM’s concerns about flooding and drainage in the area, explained Oriol.

“According to the applicant, while the area is at the base of a watershed, it should be noted that the guts draining the entire watershed flow to the east and west around the proposed project site,” he said. “There are two guts traversing the site draining the parcel and a small intermediate area to the north.”

“To prevent flooding, all roadways, parking areas and walkways will have sloped surfaces directing storm water to ponds and stone lined drainage structures,” said Oriol.

The developer will carefully control sediment runoff and maintain erosion control devices, Oriol added.
“The applicant recognizes that sediment runoff needs to be carefully controlled to avoid adverse impacts,” he said. “Erosion will be controlled during construction by placing double silt fences erected on the downstream side of the construction site. Erosion devices will be inspected and maintained on a periodic and frequent basis.”

Five of the buildings will be one story with only one building reaching two stories and all structures will be designed to blend in with the landscape, Oriol added.

CZM staff recommended approving the permit application with nine special conditions including that the developer must incur all costs associated with solid waste disposal, install and implement sedimentation control measures and surround stockpiles of dirt from digging and grading with a dike and swale system.

Adopting the staff recommendation, St. John CZM Committee members Madeline Sewer, Gerry Hills, Edmund Roberts and Andrew Penn all voted in favor of granting the major land use permit.