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HomeNewsLocal newsSt. John Zoning Request for Gas Station OK'd by Senate

St. John Zoning Request for Gas Station OK’d by Senate

Sen. Marvin Blyden, seated, and Neville James, center, speak to Senator-at-large Brian Smith, who was absent during the zoning votes that allowed construction of a gas station on property he owns on St. John. (Photo by Barry Leerman for the V.I. Legislature)
Sen. Marvin Blyden, seated, and Neville James, center, speak to Senator-at-large Brian Smith, who was absent during the zoning votes that allowed construction of a gas station on property he owns on St. John. (Photo by Barry Leerman for the V.I. Legislature)

A land-use variance allowing construction of a third gas station on St. John was among a array of zoning requests and government leases approved during Friday’s Senate session.

Senators approved two use-variance requests by Jerome Lake, the agent for Parcel No. 5C, Estate Adrian, Cruz Bay Quarters, which is owned by Senator-at-large Brian Smith. In addition to the construction of a laundromat and restaurant, the use variances would allow for the island’s third gas station that – while still closer to Cruz Bay than Coral Bay – would mean a shorter trip for Coral Bay residents.

Smith was absent during the two votes, which was unanimously approved by the 14 senators who remained.

According to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Lake was incorrectly granted a permit to build a gas station, restaurant, and laundromat in 2015. The erroneously granted permit allowed developers to invest $2 million to construct the gas station, according to testimony at a Wednesday senate zoning hearing on St. John.

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In a review of comments submitted after a public hearing in May, DPNR Commissioner Dawn Henry on Aug. 17 published a statement recommending the agency deny the variance for the gas station.Lawmakers also approved a request to rezone Parcel Nos. 14C and 14D Estate Enighed on St.John, from R-2 (residential-low density) to R-3 (residential-medium density). The rezoning would allow for the development of six one-bedroom units for long-term affordable housing.

Senators also unanimously approved several lease agreements, including:

– A lease agreement between the Virgin Islands government (on behalf of the Department of Agriculture) and tenant Ricardo Barnes for the use of Plot 22-1 Estate Plessen on St. Croix to grow fruits and vegetables.

– A lease agreement between the V.I. government and Charles Electric Services for the lease of Parcel No. 100 Subbase on St. Thomas. The agreement reflects an initial term of 20 years, with two 10-year options to renew at an annual rent of $10,143. Charles Electric will operate as an electrical contractor.

– An agreement between the V.I. government and ERK Corporation for the lease of Parcel No. 48, Estate Nadir, on St. Thomas. The initial term is 30 years, with one 10-year option to renew at an annual rent of $12,552. ERK Corporation will operate a catering service.

– An agreement between the V.I. government and Quality Paving, LCC for the lease of Parcel No. 149 Subbase on St. Thomas. The initial term is 20 years, with two five-year options to renew at an annual rent of $48,000. Quality Paving will use the the parcel as a site for a paving company, asphalt plant, aggregate storage and offices. If it uses its option to install and operate a concrete plant, the annual rent will increase to $96,000.

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Sen. Marvin Blyden, seated, and Neville James, center, speak to Senator-at-large Brian Smith, who was absent during the zoning votes that allowed construction of a gas station on property he owns on St. John. (Photo by Barry Leerman for the V.I. Legislature)
Sen. Marvin Blyden, seated, and Neville James, center, speak to Senator-at-large Brian Smith, who was absent during the zoning votes that allowed construction of a gas station on property he owns on St. John. (Photo by Barry Leerman for the V.I. Legislature)
A land-use variance allowing construction of a third gas station on St. John was among a array of zoning requests and government leases approved during Friday’s Senate session. Senators approved two use-variance requests by Jerome Lake, the agent for Parcel No. 5C, Estate Adrian, Cruz Bay Quarters, which is owned by Senator-at-large Brian Smith. In addition to the construction of a laundromat and restaurant, the use variances would allow for the island’s third gas station that – while still closer to Cruz Bay than Coral Bay – would mean a shorter trip for Coral Bay residents. Smith was absent during the two votes, which was unanimously approved by the 14 senators who remained. According to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Lake was incorrectly granted a permit to build a gas station, restaurant, and laundromat in 2015. The erroneously granted permit allowed developers to invest $2 million to construct the gas station, according to testimony at a Wednesday senate zoning hearing on St. John. In a review of comments submitted after a public hearing in May, DPNR Commissioner Dawn Henry on Aug. 17 published a statement recommending the agency deny the variance for the gas station.Lawmakers also approved a request to rezone Parcel Nos. 14C and 14D Estate Enighed on St.John, from R-2 (residential-low density) to R-3 (residential-medium density). The rezoning would allow for the development of six one-bedroom units for long-term affordable housing. Senators also unanimously approved several lease agreements, including: – A lease agreement between the Virgin Islands government (on behalf of the Department of Agriculture) and tenant Ricardo Barnes for the use of Plot 22-1 Estate Plessen on St. Croix to grow fruits and vegetables. – A lease agreement between the V.I. government and Charles Electric Services for the lease of Parcel No. 100 Subbase on St. Thomas. The agreement reflects an initial term of 20 years, with two 10-year options to renew at an annual rent of $10,143. Charles Electric will operate as an electrical contractor. – An agreement between the V.I. government and ERK Corporation for the lease of Parcel No. 48, Estate Nadir, on St. Thomas. The initial term is 30 years, with one 10-year option to renew at an annual rent of $12,552. ERK Corporation will operate a catering service. – An agreement between the V.I. government and Quality Paving, LCC for the lease of Parcel No. 149 Subbase on St. Thomas. The initial term is 20 years, with two five-year options to renew at an annual rent of $48,000. Quality Paving will use the the parcel as a site for a paving company, asphalt plant, aggregate storage and offices. If it uses its option to install and operate a concrete plant, the annual rent will increase to $96,000.