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CZM Grants Permit for 72 Affordable Housing Units

Dec. 28, 2005 – With no dissent, the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee Wednesday granted Reliance Housing Foundation a CZM permit to build 72 affordable housing units at Calabash Boom.
"It's very important that you guys do the right thing because you're in a sensitive area," CZM Chairman Julien Harley said.
The committee also agreed to recommend that Gov. Charles Turnbull approve the water portion of the permit.
About 40 people attended the meeting held at the Legislature building.
Reliance President Robert O. Jackson said he expects to start construction in March.
The project sits on two parcels totaling 9.3 acres and will have two-, three-, and four-bedroom units along with a community center.
Harley acknowledged that there was some opposition to the project, but said the project would help with St. John's affordable housing shortage.
CZM director Victor Somme III addressed some of the concerns raised at an Oct. 26 public hearing.
"The proposed development meets all zoning requirements," he said, discussing issues such as setbacks and open-space requirements.
He said that while the development is located in an Area of Particular Concern, there are no rules, regulations or standards that govern development in such areas.
In response to concerns about discharge from the desalinization plant, the CZM mandated that Reliance run the brine discharge line 1,000 feet out into Johnson Bay.
Reliance consultant Amy Dempsey of Bio-Impact said that the area will be marked to make sure boats don't drop their anchors on top of the pipes.
She also said that the amount of sedimentation going into the bay will be decreased because the roads will be paved and areas planted with vegetation.
"There will be more water flowing, but it will not be picking up dirt," she said, indicating that the increased water flow will be a result of the paved road.
Jackson said the existing senior citizen center located on the property will get a new roof and new gutters.
"It will be open to seniors and the community," he said.
The CZM also approved the modification of a major CZM permit for Concordia Campgrounds to allow it to build a yoga pavilion and construct 15 additional eco-tents.
"Good luck and keep the interest of St. John at heart," Harley told Concordia owner Stanley Selengut after he made a brief presentation.
Selengut said he wants to move the yoga pavilion from its planned location near a restaurant to a spot overlooking the water.
Selengut, who also owns Maho Bay Camps and Harmony Studios, is focusing efforts to develop Concordia because his lease runs out on the Maho Bay property in 2012.
He said the Concordia expansion will be planned in phases.
The resort currently has 25 eco-tents and nine studio condominiums.
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