Pond Bay Club Major CZM Permit Approved, R/O Plant No Longer Planned

More than eight years after originally submitting their major Coastal Zone Management permit application, First American Development Group/ Carib Limited Partnership, the developers behind Pond Bay Club, were granted their permit on Thursday evening, January 11.

Pond Bay Club developers plan to construct  a five star resort consisting of 10 two-bedroom units; 42 three- and four-bedroom units housed in 20 guesthouses; seven one-story buildings; seven two-story buildings, six three-story buildings; two support structures to house a restaurant and bar, lobby check-in, fitness center, waste water treatment facility and generators; two tennis courts; two swimming pools; and 120 parking spaces in Estate Chocolate Hole.

Hills Says “Nay”
While three of the St. John CZM Committee members present — Julien Harley, Andrew Penn and Edmund Roberts — voted in favor of granting the permit, a dissenting voice came from committee member Gerald Hills.

“I have concerns about the potential environmental impacts to the wetlands, salt pond and bay,” Hills said in a prepared statement.

In a continuing St. John CZM Committee trend, 24 special conditions — ranging from compliance with the V.I. Fire Code to absorbing all costs associated with solid waste disposal — were attached to the permit approval.

The originally planned reverse osmosis plant is no longer on the table since the V.I. Water and Power Authority plans to complete a new pipeline on the East End of St. Thomas by the end of 2007, and will extend their distribution line on St. John from Enighed Pond to Chocolate Hole, Tracy Roberts of Springline Architects explained at the meeting.

Water from WAPA
“We no longer need a reverse osmosis facility because a reliable source of fresh water will come on line prior to our start-up date,” said Roberts.

Once underway, construction is expected to last about two years, according to First American principal Robert Emmett.

“We’ll start as soon as we go though this checklist,” Emmett said about the special conditions. “Construction should last about 24 months, mother nature willing. The CZM staff held us to high standards and in the end we’ll have something that will be mutually beneficial to investors and the island.”