79.6 F
Cruz Bay
Tuesday, November 28, 2023


It's going to be a long night when St. John residents gather next week for a Coastal Zone Management hearing on the proposed Pond Bay development near Chocolate Hole, according to predictions from CZM staff.
The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Legislature building in Estate Enighed.
Plans to build tourist accommodations on the site have been in the works for nearly 20 years. CZM issued a permit in 1986 to the St. John Beach Club and Villas. Land was cleared and two cisterns built, an 887,000-gallon freshwater cistern and a 94,000-gallon gray-water cistern. But the project was never completed.
The new applicant is First American Development Group/Carib Limited Partnership. The proposal now calls for two- three- and four-bedroom time-share condominiums, a total of 62 units in 25 buildings, a restaurant/bar, three pavilions, two swimming pools, two tennis courts and parking for 132 vehicles. The highest structure would be three stories.
The 13.5-acre site is bounded on the north by the pond, on the west by the ocean and on the south and east by residential areas.
Many of those neighboring residents have written and called CZM to voice opposition to the development, citing concerns about noise, traffic and environmental damage.
According to the Environmental Impact Assessment report in the CZM file, brown pelicans, brown boobies and terns frequent the general area, but it is not a major nesting or hunting site for any of them. Green turtles and hawksbill turtles also are sometimes seen in the area and "the proposed development and additional human presence will tend to discourage turtle nesting."
However, the report also states that Pond Bay is not a major nesting site and turtles nest more frequently in the summer months when human visitors probably will be fewer.
A concern to some residents is the effect development may have on nearby mangroves. The project site includes or is close to beach, woodlands, wetlands and deciduous forest.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.