When Coral Bay area resident Monika Aranha asked how many people wanted a marina the size of the one proposed for the Sirius Resort and Marina in Coral Bay, only one hand was visible.
“I don’t know any boat people who say we need a marina,” Coral Bay resident Les Anderson added, noting that he’s boated in Coral Bay since 1969.
The marina is slated to hold 92 boats in 74 slips as well as tied up along the bulkhead.
David Silverman of the Save Coral Bay group calculated that the water portion of the marina will occupy 11 acres.
Aranha took the informal poll at a meeting Monday called by the Coral Bay Community Council to discuss the proposed marina on land in Coral Bay largely owned by the Moravian Church Conference. About 60 people attended the meeting held at the John’s Folly Learning Institute.
However, one man said he didn’t have enough information to make an intelligent decision on the marina.
The Sirius Marina is part of a proposed hotel and marina resort. However, Sirius consultant William McComb said, should the developer not get the needed rezoning for the hotel portion, the marina could stand alone. Silverman calculated the land portion where the hotel would sit would occupy a dozen acres.
Another Sirius consultant, John Woods, said that if Sirius doesn’t get the rezoning, it would probably turn the land into residential development.
Sirius also needs Coastal Zone Management permits for both portions of the projects. It has already applied for an Army Corps of Engineers permit, and Community Council President Sharon Coldren said the public has until Jan. 25 to comment.
Additionally, the Summers End Marina proposed for the same bay is still on the drawing board. However, the Army Corps recently withdrew the application from consideration until the developer comes up with answers to numerous questions. When or if that will happen remains unknown.
The questions Monday came fast and furious, with winter resident Diane Esser quick to ask how long it would take to put in the pilings.
“Four months,” McComb said. He said that it would be up to the developer to decide whether to pound or screw them in, adding that plans call for 420 pilings of 14 to 18 inches in size.
McComb’s comment that the entire marina project would take a year drew snickers from many people at the meeting who likely experienced the frustrations that come with building at the end of the supply pipeline.
He said Sirius plans to avoid the trek from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay with materials by barging them in.
McComb also announced that the existing dinghy dock will stay. “And it will stay in operation all the way through construction,” McComb said.
He said use of the dinghy dock will be free.
While the Sirius consultants had answers to nearly every question, at least one resident said he thought things were moving too fast.
“I think we need to slow down and pay attention to what is going on,” Delroy “Ital” Anthony said.
He also complained that many of the people at the meeting were “johnny-come-latelies,” meaning they moved to St. John in the not-too-distant past.
“We need to involve people from here or there will be lash-back,” Anthony said.
Send comments to the Army Corps at Jose.Cedeno-Maldonado@saj02.usace.army.mil with subject line: SAJ-1982-05019 (SP-JCM) – Sirius T-Rex Marina in Coral Bay.