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Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeNewsLocal newsSenate Denies Zoning for Fuel Storage and Lookout Snack Bar

Senate Denies Zoning for Fuel Storage and Lookout Snack Bar

Senators called Lionel Warrell hardworking, tenacious, persistent, and a real Virgin Islander in the Committee of the Whole hearing Friday morning, but when they went into legislative session in the afternoon, they did not approve his request for a zoning use variance for his property at 30C Estate Elizabeth.

This was Warrell’s third attempt at zoning that would allow the development of his acre of property between Sibs on the Mountain and Mafolie Restaurant. This time, he showed up with an artist rendering of a snack bar, regular bar, and lookout area that would straddle the gut that runs through the middle of the property.

Leia LaPlace-Matthew, Territorial Planner for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, read the report from DPNR, which recommended denying the request. A big problem with the development of the project, according to DPNR, was the gut but the report also raised other issues.

Sen. Javan James said though he wished for Warrell’s success, he had to trust that DPNR had done its due diligence. He added also that he saw the proposed project “had some issues.”

LaPlace-Matthew testified, “In conclusion, the appropriateness of the request was evaluated; and the department finds that the presence of the gut, the proximity to an exclusively residential neighborhood, and the current traffic and parking issues of the area do not comport with the development of the site for retail, restaurant, and bar.”

DPNR recommended approving a second zoning request that was before the senators Friday, but they also shot it down.

Christian Rosenberg, who owns the property at 17D-1 Estate Bovoni, Nos. 1 & 2, Frenchman’s Bay Quarter, requested zoning to permit a fuel storage facility consisting of a storage building and a truck storage containment structure.

His timing was bad as a fire was burning at Bovoni landfill last week and the landfill is less than a quarter mile from the property. Senators, in questioning Rosenberg, kept referring to the fire. Sen. Dwayne DeGraff said, “fire and gas don’t mix.”

Rosenberg said the site would store about 42,000 gallons of fuel, and most if not all of it, would be diesel fuel.

The Bovoni landfill location was a double-edged sword. DPNR’s recommendation to approve the zoning change said the landfill’s location had turned the area into a good spot for industrial development.

Several senators also appeared upset that Rosenberg referred to some “dilapidated buildings” nearby, where people lived, and said they were going to be demolished.

All 15 Senators were present for the session.

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