Home News Local news Senate Committee Unable to Approve Two CZM Permits

Senate Committee Unable to Approve Two CZM Permits


Nov. 16, 2006 — Senators at Wednesday's Economic Development, Planning and Environmental Protection Committee meeting held two Coastal Zone Management permits for Divi Carina Bay and St. Croix Country Club in committee due to inconsistencies in the applications.
The Senate's legal counsel, Key Walker, highlighted several errors and inconsistencies in both documents, giving senators no choice but to hold the permits in committee until they were corrected.
Grapetree Shores Inc., which does business as Divi Carina Bay Resort, had submitted a permit application for construction of a pizza bar, a miniature golf course and a 10-stall driving range in time for spring. Divi Carina Bay General Manager Richard P. Henry told the committee that once construction is complete, the resort would hire 10 additional full- or part-time employees.
"This will be a big asset to the resort and the community would be greatly enhanced," Henry said.
Things were going well for the Divi representatives, with senators lauding the project as a boon to the St. Croix tourism package. That is until several errors were discovered regarding signatures and dates in the document. There were also problems in the language of the permit regarding renewal.
Committee Chair Sen. Neville James elected to hold the permit until the errors were corrected. He urged CZM Director Victor Somme III to act expeditiously to correct the document and submit the changes to the committee for Thursday's meeting on St. Thomas.
The scenario was repeated in the next CZM permit request for St. Croix Country Club, which sought a minor permit to install a temporary, removable access ramp to allow elderly and handicapped residents access to the seawater in front of the Frederiksted club. Representatives of the club explained that because of beach erosion, the shoreline is rocky, and that club members asked to have a ramp installed over the rocks so they can get to the sandy-bottomed water.
However, significant flaws were once again noted in the permitting document. The problems stemmed from the fact that the amended application, for a temporary ramp, still contained language from the original application, which had been submitted for a permanent ramp.
James again decided to hold the permit in committee until the changes could be made.
The meeting, which began at 6:30 p.m. in the St. Croix Legislative Conference Room, adjourned at 10:15 p.m. Other committee members present were Sens. Craig W. Barshinger, Liston Davis and Pedro Encarnacion. Sen. Lorraine Berry was excused.
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