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Coral Bay Community Council Addresses Development Concerns

July 11, 2005 – Ways to deal with St. John's rapid and extensive development were tossed around Monday at the monthly meeting of the Coral Bay Community Council held at the John's Folly Learning Institute.
"Where do St. Johnians decide to say stop?" the organization's president, Sharon Coldren, said.
The group agreed to ask other community organizations to join forces in developing a strategy because there is strength in numbers.
A recent proposal to build 44 condos on 5.5 acres on a hillside above Fish Bay seemed to be the tipping point for many at the meeting. Charles McCallion, a representative from condo project developer Atlantic Northstar, said at the meeting that at the request of the Planning and Natural Resources Department, the project has been scaled back to 36 condos.
The company has applied for a group dwelling permit for the project.
McCallion said that the company already holds a permit to build 24 single-family homes at Estate Rendezvous. He said one is nearing completion, with the start of the second one planned to follow.
And he said the company recently broke ground for 15 condo units near Lavender Hill condominiums in Cruz Bay.
At a June 9 public hearing on the matter, many residents said they opposed the project because they feared environmental problems caused by the steep hillsides.
McCallion said he was designing the condos to adapt to the environment.
After Norm Gledhill asked him if he was doing the project "to enhance the people of St. John or to make money," McCallion said he was building a quality project.
"We are delivering a quality product and obviously will make money," he said.
As a way of slowing down the rampant growth, Coldren suggested that a moratorium be enacted on issuing permits for major projects like Atlantic Northstar's until a comprehensive land- and water-use plan is developed for St. John.
She said that since the local government couldn't seem to develop a plan for the entire territory, it could start with just St. John.
The dozen people at the meeting also discussed other issues. Alvis Christian pointed out that there was no uproar when only half of the 20 ninth-grade students at Julius E. Sprauve School were able to graduate.
"Fifty percent failed, and the community remained silent," he said.
Coldren said that she contacted numerous residents who promised to attend Monday's meeting scheduled to discuss the island's numerous pressing issues, but said they did not show up.
Lorelei Monsanto pointed out that whether children went to public or private school, residents paid taxes that went to support public schools.
Christian later added that lack of parental involvement was the main reason the Sprauve School children aren't doing well.
"You could throw a billion dollars at the educational system," he said, "but if the parents aren't involved …." Although Christian trailed off without finishing his sentence, his point was abundantly clear.
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