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DPNR Hears Rezoning Request

Although numerous businesses operated on Alfred S. Richards Sr.’s nearly three acres at Susannaberg, his parcel was never correctly zoned to allow that activity.

“We want to correct this deficiency,” said Richards’ attorney, Stylish Willis, at a rezoning hearing Thursday called by the Planning and Natural Resources Department’s Comprehensive and Coastal Zone Planning Division.

It was held at the Legislature building on St. John.

The property is currently zoned R-1, residential low-density. Richards asked for it to be rezoned B-2, business secondary neighborhood. He indicated he wants to lease the property to a water delivery business.

The property sits where Centerline Road bends sharply to the left heading east just past Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center. Willis said that Majestic Concrete once occupied the site.

He said most of the other properties in the area are already zoned to allow businesses to operate.

“It will be within the context of what is taking place in that area,” Willis said.

He pointed out that St. John has limited commercial space.

Willis said the rezoning would increase employment and create income for “a native Virgin Islander who pays taxes.”

Rigo Rodriguez, an environmental planner at DPNR, read a favorable letter from Ronnie Jones, who lives in the area. Jones was one of about 10 people who attended the meeting.

Except for one person who complained about trash on the property, other comments were in favor of the rezoning.

Douglas Hodge, DPNR’s building permits director, said the department will forward its report to the Legislature, which has the final say on the rezoning.

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