83.2 F
Cruz Bay
Sunday, August 7, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesPort Authority Tests Waters with Creek Plans

Port Authority Tests Waters with Creek Plans

St. John Planner Stuart Smith and architect Robert deJongh.His seven different plans for the Cruz Bay waterfront and Creek area just ideas, St. Thomas architect Robert deJongh said at a town meeting Monday held at the Westin Resort and Villas.
“This is one way of forming a consensus,” deJongh told the crowd of about 125.
The town meeting was called by Sen. Craig Barshinger, the St. John Chapter of the St. Thomas/St. John Chamber of Commerce and the St. John Administrator’s office.
The seven plans drawn by deJongh’s office for the V.I. Port Authority varied in design. All included parking, shops and relocation of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building now located in the parking lot across from the post office. Some plans had amphitheaters and others had walkways around the peninsula that serves as home to the Battery.
Some people who commented after deJongh’s presentation weren’t thrilled. One man said that St. John was becoming a concrete jungle. St. John resident Lorelei Monsanto called them grandiose ideas. And Craig Friedenberg suggested that Cruz Bay shouldn’t look like Havensight Mall on St. Thomas.
Others also made formal presentations with their ideas for the Cruz Bay waterfront. Andrew Rutnik, who represented the Chamber, suggested that the taxi drivers who now crowd nearly all the parking spaces on the Cruz Bay waterfront be relocated to an area near the public tennis courts. He said six parking spaces along the waterfront could be used by the taxi drivers who are called from the tennis courts as needed.
“And six could be reserved for vacation villa managers,” he said.
Steve Black, in his PowerPoint presentation, suggested locating the villa managers’ parking spots at the parking lot across from the post office. He said that area could also be used to drop off and pick up ferry passengers. However, they’d have to walk about a block from the ferry dock to get there.
Black and Paul Devine also pushed for marinas.
No one disagreed on the need that something needs to be done to improve the often chaotic Cruz Bay waterfront.
“Our waterfront has grown a great deal. Traffic and population have grown, but we’re still doing things the same way we did them 30 years ago,” Barshinger said.
There also was no disagreement on what residents thought about the extensive fencing that shuts off the Cruz Bay Dock and the Creek bulkhead from the rest of the town. Nearly everyone in the room raised their hands when Barshinger asked if they wanted to work on getting a waiver from the U.S. Coast Guard so the town could get rid of the fences. Barshinger said it was possible to get a waiver but it would take work on the part of the community.
On the issue of parking, deJongh said that the requests for proposals to build parking spaces at Enighed Pond Marine Facility are due back Aug. 6, but he expects the Port Authority to extend that deadline by a couple of weeks because there are logistical issues concerning the project.
“We’re dealing with sloppy material,” he said of the dredged material that must be smoothed out to make the parking spaces.
St. Thomas resident Don Lewis, who owns a company called Seaflight, proposed to run seaplane service from St. John to St. Thomas and San Juan. However, he said Seaborne Airlines has an exclusive arrangement with the Port Authority so its land won’t be available. He said he plans to discuss the matter with V.I. National Park, which owns the land where V.I. Seaplane Shuttle operated until 1989’s Hurricane Hugo put the company out of business.
“We could taxi right up to Caneel Bay,” he said, speaking about the upscale resort located around the point from Cruz Bay.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.


Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more