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Wednesday, May 22, 2024


Oct. 24, 2001 – The Senate Committee of the Whole approved six zoning requests Tuesday night, sending them on to the full Senate, but it wasn't smooth sailing for one dealing with new development in the Old Tutu area of St. Thomas. Another zoning request, concerning a proposed new Plaza Extra supermarket on St. Thomas, was deferred at the applicant's request.
That request, by the Harthman family on St. Thomas to rezone a 27-acre parcel from agriculture to commercial, was being considered at its third public hearing. Located behind the Tutu Park Mall, the land is adjacent to the Old Tutu residential area.
The Harthman family, represented by Arthur, Edgar, Albert, Sammy and Austin Harthman, said that commercial rezoning would attract potential developers and could possibly include a tie-in with Tutu Park Mall.
Former senator Stephanie Scott-Williams, who has voiced concerns at the previous hearings on the matter, said, "The Harthman family needs to state what the plans are for the area. We do not need another concrete slab in the area under the guise of growing the economy."
Erva Denham, president of the League of Women Voters, said the League realizes that the property is an obvious area for future commercial development. But, she said, "Without even a rough sketch to indicate the type of commercial development envisioned for it by the property owners, there is little or no reason for the residents of the area to support this zoning change application."
The Planning and Natural Resources Department had given the request a favorable recommendation. However, Susan Higgins, Coastal Zone Management senior planner, testified that "having visited the site [and] listened to previous testimony at a public hearing," DPNR "concludes that a recommendation for approval subject to specific conditions to protect the environment and quality of life in the Old Tutu residential district is not unreasonable."
The other rezonings approved were:
– A request from Cheryl Boynes-Jackson, Michael Jackson Sr., Noel Boynes Sr. and Bernice Boynes to rezone a parcel of land at Enighed Bay, St. John, from residential to business to use an existing building for cargo storage for their barge business.
– A request from Frank Powell to rezone a one-acre parcel on St. Thomas to create four separate parcels for his children. Attorney Mark Hillman, representing the Boatman Point Property Owners Association on St. John, objected, saying the rezoning "would distort the rural character of the area, and the boundary lines would be hard to stop." The senators strongly endorsed Powell's desire to pass the property on to his children.
– A request from Oliver Delingy to rezone a parcel in Estate Havensight, St. Thomas, from low to high density residential so he can build a bed-and-breakfast inn on the property.
– A request from John Fredricks to rezone a parcel of land in Estate Adrian, St. John, from residential to light industry so he can manufacture and sell concrete products. DPNR approved the rezoning with the stipulation that Fredricks operate his business between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; however, a DPNR officer said the agency would be willing to make modifications in this regard.
– A request by Kenneth Marsh to rezone a parcel of land in Estate Carolina, St. John, from residential to business so that he can operate a small grocery store.
The request by Plessen Enterprises to rezone a parcel in Estate Thomas, St. Thomas, from commercial to business-central business district so as to allow greater lot coverage for a proposed supermarket and related activities was taken off the agenda at Plessen's request. Alton Adams Jr. of the Alton Adams and Associates engineering firm, said information about Plessen, his client, would need to come from the Plaza Extra management.
The existing three Plaza Extra stores on St. Thomas and St. Croix were raided early Tuesday by federal agents in what authorities described as an investigation concerning illegal aliens.

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