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BOTANY BAY PUBLIC HEARING POSTPONED

Oct. 10, 2001 – A public hearing on Botany Bay Partners' request to rezone 380 acres at Botany Bay on the west end of St. Thomas has been postponed from Oct. 18. No new date has been set.
The area is currently zoned R-1, residential low-density. The company is asking for a rezoning to R-3, residential medium density, for three of the parcels. Additionally, it wants a rezoning for the waterfront parcel from R-1 to Waterfront – pleasure, in order to build a dock.
Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett said Wednesday that the hearing was postponed because Botany Bay Partners does not have the minor Coastal Zone Management permit needed before the company can subdivide the property and put in roads.
He said the company failed to submit a rainwater runoff study and a historic preservation clearance letter with its application for the minor CZM permit.
"There are a bunch of historic artifacts there," Plaskett said.
The person who answered the telephone at William M. Karr and Associates, the architect for the project, said the company had no comment. He would not give his name.
Plaskett said the rezoning hearing would not take place until Botany Bay Partners gets its minor CZM permit.
The company wants to build a 100-room hotel, 80 time-share units and 80 vacation villas, as well as to allocate 40 lots for private residences.
Plaskett said Botany Bay Associates needs a major CZM permit before it can begin building. He said that in order to get a permit for the dock, it will have to go before the Legislature.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Association of St. Thomas/St. John
has sent out an appeal for an attorney willing to donate services to help
the organization make sure the project is environmentally sensitive.
So far, officials of Botany Bay Partners "have not provided sufficient information as to protecting the natural and cultural resources on the property," said Dayle Barry, who heads up EAST's Issues Committee.
While EAST and many residents oppose the project for environmental reasons, Plaskett said that if the development is done in an "environmentally conscious" manner, it would be of value to the territory.
Plaskett said plans call for the developers to turn over major archeological finds to the government and the University of the Virgin Islands.
"There are beautiful ruins, Indian artifacts and maybe an Indian burial ground," he said.
In August, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee as to his belief that the territory's economy would be robust for Fiscal Year 2002, Ira Mills, director of the administration's Office of Management and Budget, said that "further proof of the economic revitalization in the territory can be seen in the planned construction of the Botany Bay Resort development estimated at $200 million."
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, an opponent of the proposed development, asked Mills, "Are you counting on this investment as a benchmark?" Mills said he felt the planned development should be included in private-sector projections.

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Oct. 10, 2001 – A public hearing on Botany Bay Partners' request to rezone 380 acres at Botany Bay on the west end of St. Thomas has been postponed from Oct. 18. No new date has been set.
The area is currently zoned R-1, residential low-density. The company is asking for a rezoning to R-3, residential medium density, for three of the parcels. Additionally, it wants a rezoning for the waterfront parcel from R-1 to Waterfront – pleasure, in order to build a dock.
Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett said Wednesday that the hearing was postponed because Botany Bay Partners does not have the minor Coastal Zone Management permit needed before the company can subdivide the property and put in roads.
He said the company failed to submit a rainwater runoff study and a historic preservation clearance letter with its application for the minor CZM permit.
"There are a bunch of historic artifacts there," Plaskett said.
The person who answered the telephone at William M. Karr and Associates, the architect for the project, said the company had no comment. He would not give his name.
Plaskett said the rezoning hearing would not take place until Botany Bay Partners gets its minor CZM permit.
The company wants to build a 100-room hotel, 80 time-share units and 80 vacation villas, as well as to allocate 40 lots for private residences.
Plaskett said Botany Bay Associates needs a major CZM permit before it can begin building. He said that in order to get a permit for the dock, it will have to go before the Legislature.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Association of St. Thomas/St. John
has sent out an appeal for an attorney willing to donate services to help
the organization make sure the project is environmentally sensitive.
So far, officials of Botany Bay Partners "have not provided sufficient information as to protecting the natural and cultural resources on the property," said Dayle Barry, who heads up EAST's Issues Committee.
While EAST and many residents oppose the project for environmental reasons, Plaskett said that if the development is done in an "environmentally conscious" manner, it would be of value to the territory.
Plaskett said plans call for the developers to turn over major archeological finds to the government and the University of the Virgin Islands.
"There are beautiful ruins, Indian artifacts and maybe an Indian burial ground," he said.
In August, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee as to his belief that the territory's economy would be robust for Fiscal Year 2002, Ira Mills, director of the administration's Office of Management and Budget, said that "further proof of the economic revitalization in the territory can be seen in the planned construction of the Botany Bay Resort development estimated at $200 million."
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, an opponent of the proposed development, asked Mills, "Are you counting on this investment as a benchmark?" Mills said he felt the planned development should be included in private-sector projections.