June 13, 2001 There were no objections Wednesday to a variance request for the rebuilding of a Hurricane Marilyn-damaged house into an eight-bedroom bed and breakfast in Havensight.
In a Department of Planning and Natural Resources zoning committee public hearing, the biggest concern about Oliver Deligny's request to build the bed and breakfast was that it be handled as a variance, not a rezoning matter.
Deligny, who operates a charter boat business, wants the B&B primarily to house his charter guests before and after their week-long sailing trips, according to his attorney, Derek Hodge.
Attorney Edith Bornn, who lives in the neighborhood, repeatedly questioned Hodge about the rezoning-versus-variance issue.
Another attorney who lives in the area, Paul Hoffman, sent a letter supporting the idea of the bed and breakfast if it is handled as a variance.
Hodge apologized for an original letter sent to DPNR requesting a rezoning, saying, "I miswrote."
"We are requesting a variance," Hodge said over and over at one point putting his hand to his chest and saying Bornn could ask him to swear to it.
Even the League of Women Voters of the Virgin Islands, which would normally disapprove of a variance according to its statement, supported the plan as long as it is deemed a variance.
Colette C. Monroe, interim chairwoman of the league's Committtee on Planning and Environmental Quality, said, "Bed and breakfasts are generally located in residential areas as they tend to house small numbers of guests for short periods of time and this is consistent with Mr. Deligny's charter business."
DPNR committee chairwoman Sue Higgins explained a variance would only allow Deligny to operate a bed and breakfast, nothing else.
Deligny quelled other concerns about infrastructure for a commercial operation, saying he plans to install a sewage treatment system and has a 65,000 gallon cistern and access to Water and Power Authority potable water.
Jane Sorrelle, who lives below Deligny's property, expressed concern about balconies, bathrooms and air-conditioning units above her property, causing noise and sewage problems, but she did not testify against the variance.
Margit Kanstrup, also a Havensight resident, wondered how the issue had ended with DPNR after it was vetoed by the governor.
Higgins said it had been resubmitted and would have to go through the Legislature's hearing process, too.