Dear Senator White,
I have a friend who is building a two-story house and construction is turning out to be more expensive than expected. While he is not sure what the house will cost as was permitted, he does know that he will make much more if he builds more than what is allowed by code.
My friend did some thinking and figured that if he also builds a bar, mini-mart, and a gas station on the same property he will make much more money. So, despite the zoning and governing laws prohibiting this idea and a lack of permits, he started construction but was unfortunately caught by DPNR building a fourth story and was told to stop work. Now he is stuck, told to stop work, and may have to pay fines.
On top of all those problems the neighbors are furious that he is ruining their community and property values, DPNR says he must remove the existing violations, and he is being told that he must be held legally responsible for his actions. It’s all very frustrating; all these people against him just don’t understand that he was born here.
Over the last few months I have read in the papers that these rules are only for those rich, continentals and that we locals do not to need to be concerned about such laws if we have the senators looking out for us.
Because you are quoted as saying that you are of the opinion (isn’t that the word you used?) that the senate can change the zoning for any property it chooses without regard to such concepts as the V.I. Code, DPNR’s findings, the Senate’s own legal opinion, and the governor’s idea of due process, I thought that I would invite you to visit the site and see what a wonderful job my friend is doing building his new house and the newly named “Sen. White Commercial Plaza”.
Sure you will have to ignore a few problems such as a lack of a water supply, electrical power, sewage disposal, etc. (we are working with some well connected people so no worries) but just look at the view! If you could help us out on this project my friend would be very grateful. How grateful, I am sure you will be able to quietly negotiate.
Come on, you have already done all this for Sirenusa and, given this new precedent, I am sure that this will not be the last request made of you. In fact, as the “pro-development” senator, I am sure that many other developers are lining up to ask you to share your opinion and similarly interpret the laws for their projects. Why I would bet that such a unique approach to government will bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “the buck stops here.”
A land owner on St. John
(Name Withheld by Request)