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Judge Lifts Golden Resorts Restraining Order Pending Hearing

Feb. 2, 2009 — On Monday Superior Court Judge Francis D'Eramo lifted a temporary restraining order he issued Friday evening to prevent Golden Resorts from earth moving in Tier One of the Coastal Zone at Great Pond on St. Croix.
No digging is expected before 9 a.m. Friday, when D'Eramo will hold a previously scheduled hearing in V.I. Superior Court on St. Croix regarding the dispute underlying the restraining order.
The V.I. Conservation Society (VICS) sought the restraining order in response to the arrival of earth-moving equipment at the site of developer Paul Golden's planned large resort hotel and casino by St. Croix's Great Pond. VICS fought Golden's Coastal Zone Management permit in court for several years. In March 2008, the federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Golden's permit, effectively ending the case. (See "Court Nixes Challenge to Golden's Zoning, Permits.")
Now, VICS contends, the original CZM permit issued Jan. 12, 2005, to Golden Resorts expired one year later because Golden Resorts did not obtain an extension of the permit from the St. Croix CZM Management Committee or the Commissioner of Planning and Natural Resources.
"By statute, only one or the other may grant an extension," said Andrew Simpson, attorney for VICS, last week.
Asked previously about the expiration date on the CZM permit, Golden said he understood the one-year clock on the permit to start once the permit was finally declared valid by the court, as the permit did not exist until the court ruled that it did. By that argument, the permit would not expire until March of this year.
On Friday, the court will address the VICS contention.
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Feb. 2, 2009 -- On Monday Superior Court Judge Francis D'Eramo lifted a temporary restraining order he issued Friday evening to prevent Golden Resorts from earth moving in Tier One of the Coastal Zone at Great Pond on St. Croix.
No digging is expected before 9 a.m. Friday, when D'Eramo will hold a previously scheduled hearing in V.I. Superior Court on St. Croix regarding the dispute underlying the restraining order.
The V.I. Conservation Society (VICS) sought the restraining order in response to the arrival of earth-moving equipment at the site of developer Paul Golden's planned large resort hotel and casino by St. Croix's Great Pond. VICS fought Golden's Coastal Zone Management permit in court for several years. In March 2008, the federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Golden's permit, effectively ending the case. (See "Court Nixes Challenge to Golden's Zoning, Permits.")
Now, VICS contends, the original CZM permit issued Jan. 12, 2005, to Golden Resorts expired one year later because Golden Resorts did not obtain an extension of the permit from the St. Croix CZM Management Committee or the Commissioner of Planning and Natural Resources.
"By statute, only one or the other may grant an extension," said Andrew Simpson, attorney for VICS, last week.
Asked previously about the expiration date on the CZM permit, Golden said he understood the one-year clock on the permit to start once the permit was finally declared valid by the court, as the permit did not exist until the court ruled that it did. By that argument, the permit would not expire until March of this year.
On Friday, the court will address the VICS contention.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.