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Ritz-Carlton Must Remove Fill from Sediment Pond

Feb. 4, 2006 – The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas hotel must remove fill material it "erroneously" placed in a sediment pond, according to Planning and Natural Resources spokesman Jamal Nielsen.
"It's still under investigation," Nielsen said Thursday, noting that the resort has not been fined or issued a citation.
He said that after Coastal Zone Management visited the site Wednesday, the developer, William Karr, was told to remove the fill material. "He was told to rectify it," Nielsen said.
Karr's office said he was off-island and could not be reached for comment.
Andrea King, president of the Red Hook Alliance, said she didn't believe a company as large at the Ritz-Carlton did anything "erroneously." She said Thursday morning a huge backhoe was busy removing rocks, boulders and pieces of concrete from the filled-in area located near the timeshare units.
King said it looked like the Ritz was putting in a parking lot.
She said the project was in an area affected by tides. "You can't stop or impede the flow of water," King said.
King, who called the Source about the problem, said it was up to the community to blow the whistle on such events.
She said the Ritz-Carlton was not a good neighbor. She said the hotel had built buildings up to seven stories tall, much taller than the neighbors had anticipated.
King said the hotel increased the noise level in the neighborhood and recently, "ran people off" the beach.
The Red Hook Alliance has been active in pushing the government to preserve nearby Vessup Beach.
Ritz-Carlton manager Brad Jenks did not return a phone call requesting comment.
Nielsen twice said that CZM Director Victor Somme III would phone with more information, but he did not call.
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