A group dwelling permit for a development which will change the face of bucolic Bordeaux Mountain is rumored to be near approval by Department of Plan-ning and Natural Resources Director of Planning Wanda Mills-Bocachica.
About 70 residents voiced strong opposition to Bordeaux Mountain Estates at a March public hearing saying development on the steep hillside would upset the downhill area, change the view of the entire Carolina Valley and disrupt one of the island’s prized few forested areas.
Although no official word has been issued by DPNR, Bordeaux residents say Mills-Bocachica confirmed the possible approval last week.
“I had heard a rumor about this, so I called Wanda Mills-Bocachica who told me that the developer had a right to get these permits signed,” said Bordeaux resident Catherine Fahy. “The permit has not been signed yet and we’re not going to give up without a fight.”
16 Four-Bedroom Units
Property owners Eric Munson and Scott Humphrey are requesting a group dwelling permit for their 5.623-acre parcel at 10-10 Remainder, Estate Carolina, Coral Bay Quarter, to construct 16 four-bedroom units in four clusters of four attached buildings, and a gym and pool.
A group dwelling permit for the property would allow the developer to minimize impacts to the site, the architect for the project, Michael Milne of Barefoot Architect, explained at the March public hearing.
Residents in the area, however, say the steepness of the site makes spreading out the development a near impossibility.
The development is also not in harmony with the surrounding neighborhood which consists of mostly single family homes and small rental villas, according to residents opposing the project
“This development absolutely does not fit into the neighborhood,” said Bordeaux resident Jay Goldman. “It’s a really small community of single family homes with a few small rentals. I would guess that well under 50 people live on Bordeaux now and this high-rise will include more than that alone.”
Not in Harmony
“Supposedly group dwelling permits can not be approved if they are not in harmony with the neighborhood and this development is definitely not in harmony with our neighborhood,” said fellow Bordeaux resident Cristi Lankard.
Residents also expressed concern about what Milne called a “mezzanine,” which many Bordeaux neighbors feel is really an additional story.
“They say the buildings are two stories, but they are really five,” said Fahy. “Because you don’t count the bottom two stories which are for parking and a cistern, then you have the two stories and then the mezzanine, they are trying to say it is two stories only.”
“If you don’t call a story a story, but call it something else, you get away with it,” Fahy continued. “It’s ridiculous.”
With residents still licking their wounds from the legislature’s overturn of Governor John deJongh’s veto of Sirenusa’s zoning variance, the rumored approval of this latest high-density development has the community on its toes.
“I believe if these permits are issued, they will ram it through just like Sirenusa,” said Fahy. “After what happened at Sirenusa, it’s mind-boggling that they might let this happen again. It’s very disheartening and you just feel so helpless sometimes.”
“DPNR says the developers have a right to whatever they want just because they submitted an application for a permit,” Fahy continued. “But what about our rights and protecting the island and simple common sense.”
Fahy is planning a meeting for concerned residents on October 6, the time and place of which has not been finalized yet.
Those interested in more information can call Fahy at her place of business, Kaleidoscope Video at 779-4464 or 715-0880.