April 11, 2003 – A request for rezoning land in Estate Thomas from R-1 (residential-low density) to B-3 (business scattered) met with some opposition at a Planning and Natural Resources Department public hearing on Friday.
The request was made by Zubair and Kathija Kazi, who are seeking to set up an office for their business, Kazi Management V.I., a financial consulting company. The property is situated high on the hill adjacent to the Paradise Point Tramway.
Attorney Bill McConnell of the law firm Dudley, Topper and Feuerzeig, representing several neighboring landowners, said they were all opposed to the rezoning. "It is our position that those landowners should have the area kept as a residential zone," McConnell said.
Among the reasons for their opposition, he stated that having the office there would create additional wear and tear on the estate road.
McConnell also said that Kazi Management is an EDC beneficiary and the owners are seeking to receive tax breaks on the property.
Attorney David Collins, representing the Kazis, refuted McConnell's statements. "Mr. Kazi is just trying to move his business to a place that is convenient," Collins said. He said all of Kazi's clients are based outside of the Virgin Islands and that the 10 to 12 individuals who would be employed would not cause any further damage to the road.
Two other rezoning requests also were heard at the hearing.
Edward and Lucia Thomas requested a change from R-2 (residential-low density, one and two family) to B-3 (business scattered) for parcels Nos. 52-3, 52-3A and 52 Remainder in Estate Frydendahl along the Smith Bay Road.
The Thomases want to build a mini-mart and office building. "We feel that the area is primed for business," Edward Thomas, who is chief executive of The West Indian Co., said at Friday's hearing.
The Housing, Parks and Recreation Department made a rezoning request for the construction of townhouses for homeownership in Estate Nadir across from the Clinton E. Phipps Race Track and in Altona and Welgunst. The site at Nadir is R-2 and the site in Altona is R-4 (medium density). The department's request is to change these sites to S (special) for homeownership.
The purpose of the rezoning "is what we consider to be the public good," said Raymond James, Housing, Parks and Recreation special assistant. "It's about housing."
The public hearing is the first step in the rezoning process. To take effect, rezonings must be approved in turn by DPNR, the Senate and the governor.

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