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Coral Bay Marina Gets Okay — With Conditions

Aug. 10, 2006 — Coral Bay Marina got the okay from the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee on Thursday on its plans to build a 116-slip marina in Coral Bay.
At a CZM meeting at the Legislature building, the marina plans got the okay, but not without a slew of conditions the developer must meet before, during and after the construction process.
For starters, the permit is contingent on Coral Bay Marina getting a variance or rezoning on the parcel of land where the wastewater treatment plant will set. CZM program manager Victor Somme III said the B-3 zoning, business scattered, does not allow for wastewater treatment plants.
Coral Bay Marina also must hire an engineering firm approved by CZM to determine if the marina will survive a hurricane. This also must be done before CZM grants the permit.
The CZM also mandated that pile driving can only be done from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and that construction work can only occur 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Coral Bay Marina also must get proof from the V.I. Water and Power Authority that it can supply power to the marina.
The rest of the 36 conditions mainly concerned environmental issues, monitoring and permit matters.
The public hearing on the project, held July 13, drew a crowd of about 75 people. Many spoke in support, but a few opposed the project because they feared its exposed location would leave it vulnerable to hurricane damage.
Former Sen. Robert O'Connor Jr., Eglah Marsh Clendinen and Minerva Marsh Vasquez are the principals in the project. All are St. John natives.
The marina is slated to go up on Marsh family waterfront property where Island Blues bar and restaurant is now. Additionally, stores and offices will be built on property located across Route 107.
The facility will also include a portable pump out station, a wastewater treatment facility, a reverse osmosis plant, a Laundromat, a repair shop, showers and two employee apartments.
O'Connor sat with his hands clasped and head bowed as Somme spent an hour reading the report at Thursday's meeting.
CZM Committee Chairman Julien Harley told O'Connor at the end of the meeting that he expected Coral Bay Marina to meet the conditions imposed with the permit.
"These things must be done in order to give you the permit," Harley said.
After the meeting, O'Connor said he didn't agree with the CZM's interpretation of the law concerning wastewater treatment plants on land zoned B-3, but he would apply for the variance or rezoning.
"I'm happy I got this far. We're going to try to satisfy all the conditions," he said.
O'Connor estimated it would take six months to a year to get all the permit issues out of the way.
Harley and CZM Committee members Madeline Sewer and Gerald Hills voted yes. Andrew Penn and Edmond Roberts were absent.
The committee also gave the Westin Resort and Villas a CZM permit to install sprinklers and a cistern as part of its conversion of seven of its buildings to timeshares.

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