St. John CZM May Go High Tech To Review Coral Bay Marina Plan in Electronic Meeting


The miracle of modern internet technology may bring a decision on a marina development to Coral Bay in record time if the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee deliberates on the  proposed 145-slip project over the internet.

After decades of talk, the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) has deemed the permit application for the first true St. John marina to be complete and the permitting review process is officially under way.

With the five-member St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee still stuck at three members, DPNR officials are hoping the three can meet electronically to review the application for the 145-slip project which has been year’s in the planning, Anthony Richards, DPNR Major Permits Coordinator told St. John Tradewinds on Friday, July 18
“We are going to try Skype,” Richards said of the plans to use the internet conferencing system to conduct their deliberations.

Mid-August Public Hearing
The St. John CZM will conduct a mid-August public hearing on the plan, Richards said.

“Summer’s End will give a synopsis and at that point testimony will be open to the public,” the DPNR official explained. “At that point testimony will be opened to the public.”

After the hearing there will be seven days for written public comment and “within 30 days it will go to a decision,” Richards said.

“I am shooting for mid-August, but we have a quorum problem,” DPNR’s Richards, told St. John Tradewinds.

Andrew Penn, Sr., J. Brion Morrisette and Edmond Roberts are the three current members of the five-member St. John CZM and it can be difficult to get all three members on the island at one time to have a quorum, Richards explained.

A copy of the permit application is available for review at the Elaine Sprauve Library and at the St. John office of DPNR.

While the St. John CZM organizes its review process, a number of federal and local agencies and civic organizations can file written responses to the permit application, according to Richards of DPNR.

In addition to DPNR’s CZM, the application already is under review by federal and local  agencies and civic organizations, including “the Coral Bay Community Council and DPW, UVI, ACE, NMFS,” according to Richards,

“They will have until July 28 to respond,” Richards said. “We will judge which ones the applicant need to respond to.”