Zoning Issue Remains as Coral Bay Marina Developers Move Forward

Plans for the island’s first marina are moving ahead despite lingering controversy about the zoning of a parcel which will eventually be the site of a waste water treatment facility, according to Coral Bay Marina LLC managing partner Robert O’Connor.

Plans for the 116-slip marina, which is slated to be constructed along Route 107 in Coral Bay, include the construction of a reverse osmosis plant, marine pump-out facility, fuel storage and the waste water treatment plant.

No Sewage Plant in B-3
Part of the future marina site is zoned W-1 which allows for a wide range of land- and water-based activities including a marina and various businesses. The sewage treatment plant, however, is planned to be constructed across the street which is zoned B-3 and does not allow for such a facility.

When originally granted in August 2006, Coral Bay Marina’s major permit hinged on compliance with 36 special conditions. St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee members then voted in September 2006 to amend many of the conditions and eliminate one.

Zone Change Needed Before Construction
Obtaining a zone change or zoning variance to accommodate the waste water treatment facility prior to granting the permit was one of the original conditions. Committee members altered that condition to allow the developer to obtain the zone change prior to construction — which is one of the issues holding up the project.

“We are working on the preliminary work for the marina,” said O’Connor. “We still have the controversy about what is allowed in the B-3. That has to be remedied before anything else.”

V.I. Senate Will Decide
In order to obtain a zone variance or zone change, Coral Bay Marina representatives would have to appeal to the entire V.I. Senate, where the matter would be decided at a Meeting of the Whole.

In the meantime, developers are moving ahead, O’Connor explained.

“We’re moving ahead at this point,” said O’Connor. “We’re trying to get the zoning issue resolved soon.”