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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, May 20, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesV.I. CODE HAS POLICY ON PRESERVATION, NOT PROFIT

V.I. CODE HAS POLICY ON PRESERVATION, NOT PROFIT

Editor's note: This is a copy sent to the Source of another letter sent to the governor regarding the rezoning of Botany Bay.
Dear Source,
I am a full-time resident of the island of St. John. You have heard much on the impact the Botany Bay project would have on the island of St. Thomas. Now, on my third reading of the zoning, building and housing laws and regulations in the V.I. Code, I would like you to read Section 531, page one of the book:
"Declaration of policy. The Legislature of the Virgin Islands hereby determines and finds that the lands and waters comprising the watersheds of the United States Virgin Islands are great natural assets and resources; and that improper development of land results in changed watershed conditions … "
Throughout the code, the phrases "protect the natural resources of the islands," "promote the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens," and "the conservation of beaches, shorelines and the coastal zones" are expressed in the many forms that have been adopted by the Legislature. Also in the code, in different sections, the prevention of major impact to the already stressed infrastructure of the islands is stated.
Nowhere in the code does it state, imply or suggest that a developer should have the right to an excessive return on his investment. Botany Bay Partners purchased the land knowing that it was zoned R-1. Now they want to change the rules for their benefit, including tax benefits. The difference between R-1 (section 228, page 31) and R-3 (same section, page 33) is great, and with some "creative developer thinking," the impact on the property and on St. Thomas will be irreversible.
The Virgin Islands needs money. But destroying property [to get it] is not the answer, and developers do not have a positive record in correcting their mistakes. For the people living here now, and the people to come, please veto bill No. 24-0199. It is the right thing to do.
Bruce L. McMakin
St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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Editor's note: This is a copy sent to the Source of another letter sent to the governor regarding the rezoning of Botany Bay.
Dear Source,
I am a full-time resident of the island of St. John. You have heard much on the impact the Botany Bay project would have on the island of St. Thomas. Now, on my third reading of the zoning, building and housing laws and regulations in the V.I. Code, I would like you to read Section 531, page one of the book:
"Declaration of policy. The Legislature of the Virgin Islands hereby determines and finds that the lands and waters comprising the watersheds of the United States Virgin Islands are great natural assets and resources; and that improper development of land results in changed watershed conditions ... "
Throughout the code, the phrases "protect the natural resources of the islands," "promote the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens," and "the conservation of beaches, shorelines and the coastal zones" are expressed in the many forms that have been adopted by the Legislature. Also in the code, in different sections, the prevention of major impact to the already stressed infrastructure of the islands is stated.
Nowhere in the code does it state, imply or suggest that a developer should have the right to an excessive return on his investment. Botany Bay Partners purchased the land knowing that it was zoned R-1. Now they want to change the rules for their benefit, including tax benefits. The difference between R-1 (section 228, page 31) and R-3 (same section, page 33) is great, and with some "creative developer thinking," the impact on the property and on St. Thomas will be irreversible.
The Virgin Islands needs money. But destroying property [to get it] is not the answer, and developers do not have a positive record in correcting their mistakes. For the people living here now, and the people to come, please veto bill No. 24-0199. It is the right thing to do.
Bruce L. McMakin
St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.