Three Story Residence Approved for Grande Bay’s W-1 Parcel

Bay Isle Associates’ permit application to construct a “three-story family residence” on its W-1 parcel adjacent to its 44-unit luxury condominium develpoment Grande Bay Resort was recently approved by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

Permits for a “three story family residence with a mezzanine” — which could be as large as 16,000 square feet based on zoning laws and the lot size — have been approved for Grande Bay Resort developers Bay Isle Associates’ W-1 parcel, according to Department of Planning and Natural Resources spokesperson Jamal Nielsen, who did not have further details on the project.

No more than two dwelling units are allowed under W-1 zoning, which also requires that no more than 40 percent of the lot be developed.

A permit application for construction of the residence on the 0.28-acre parcel, which Grande Bay developer Bay Isle Associates tried unsuccessfully to rezone from W-1 to R-4 last year, was submitted earlier this year.

W-1 zoning allows for a wide array of possibilities, including a dock, marina, restaurant and sundry shop.

Renderings of the family residence were not available at the St. John DPNR office.

Construction Continues Despite Lawsuit
The parcel abuts the 1.03-acre waterfront parcel where Bay Isle’s 48-unit luxury condominium development, Grande Bay, is nearing completion.

Construction at that site continues, despite a lawsuit filed by neighboring property owners one year ago which is not expected to go to trial for nearly two years.

The suit, filed by Alexander Jadan, Natalie Jadan, Anastasia Trey and Liza Trey — owners of Paradise Found, a 650-square foot one-story cottage located 35 feet behind of the development — alleges privacy nuisance due to zoning violations, including height, density and lack of lateral support.

A motion to dismiss the suit filed by Bay Isle Associates was dismissed by Judge Rhys Hodge in May, and both sides have now entered the discovery phase, according to plaintiff Liza Trey.

“The discovery phase will most likely take all of 2007,” she said. “We have expert witnesses coming in.”

DPNR Officials May Be Deposed
Anyone who has been involved in the design,  construction and permitting process of Grande Bay, including DPNR officials, will likely be deposed.

“Anybody that has been, or is, affiliated with that project will be deposed,” said Trey. “That includes expert witnesses that have yet to be named.”

The trial could take place in late 2008, said Trey, who cited difficulty in coordinating the schedules of witnesses, ex-perts, and everyone else involved in the suit for the delay.

Although Trey and the other plaintiffs have invested personal time and energy to keep the suit moving forward, she is not ready to give up just yet, she said.

Views Gone, No Adequate Support
“If you inherited a home that’s been in your family for 50 years, and somebody took it out from underneath you, what would you do?” said Trey. “Nobody knows what the family is going through until it happens to you. You fight a little harder when it affects you.”

In addition to blocking the cottage’s views of Cruz Bay harbor, Grande Bay developers have not provided an adequate supporting wall, said Trey.

“Forget the view, and forget everything else; if I start digging in our yard, will the rock underneath crumble?” she said. “It is not supported.”

St. John residents have become more and more vocal about large-scale development since the suit against Bay Isle was filed, said Trey.

“Think about how much has changed since then,” she said. “People know now it’s okay to speak out and nothing will happen to you. This was the first project of this magnitude that’s raised a lot of questions.”