79.1 F
Cruz Bay
Sunday, July 25, 2021
HomeNewsLocal newsDPNR Opposes Rezoning Request for Agricultural Land on St. Croix's South Shore

DPNR Opposes Rezoning Request for Agricultural Land on St. Croix’s South Shore

Reginald Perry representing Longford Property LLC at the meeting of the Committee of the Whole Wednesday (photo from the V.I. Legislature)

A request made by Longford Properties LLC to rezone 492.96 acres on the island of St. Croix from Agricultural Zone A-1 to A-2, which would allow for the acreage to be broken up into smaller lot sizes and used for affordable housing, was opposed by several testifiers during Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ territorial planner Leia LaPlace-Matthew said if the request is approved, the property, which is primarily vacant, would no longer require a minimum parcel size of 40 acres, and DPNR suggested the request should be denied.

Reginald Perry, representing Longford Property LLC, said the intent of the rezoning request is to divide the land into lots as small as two acres to be used for the building of residential homes. The only thing the land is currently being used for is the raising of livestock by the University of the Virgin Islands and by a few additional farmers.

Barbara Walsh, a 44-year resident of St. Croix, testified that she owns a neighboring property to the land being considered for rezoning, a request that she said has been made on four separate occasions and denied in the past by both the Legislature and DPNR.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

“Longford Properties LLC bought the property in 2005 with full knowledge it was A-1 land and has made multiple attempts to rezone it. Their application includes a conceptual plan drawn in 2006 showing two-acre house lots directly on the coastline and along the borders of the property. It would appear that the applicant has had plans to subdivide this property since they acquired it,” Walsh said.

Perry said he could not say what the intent was of the landowners from the very beginning but that it “was never to take the farmers completely off.” He added they had never considered moving UVI off the property.

Testimony from Leonor Gillett, who has lived in St. Croix for 39 years and was concerned about beach access, was read by the court’s clerk.

“Yes, the beaches are public but the access to them is not. By not providing such access they are curtailing and or denying this sector of the population their means of livelihood. Our population swims and snorkels there too. They too will be denied access,” Gillett’s testimony said.

DPNR and the Legislature were never provided with complete plans from Longford Properties LLC that show how the land is to be developed if rezoned. Instead they were only were given plans for a small portion of the acreage, Perry said. He said future plans would include the housing development and leave the rest for agricultural purposes.

Additional testimony delivered before the committee revealed other concerns, namely regarding a proposed national park.

The president for the Trust for Virgin Islands Land Carlos Tesitor submitted testimony that said the site has historic and environmental resources that must be protected, as supported by the National Park Service.

“Our opposition is based on the summaries found in the National Park Service Castle Nugent Farms Special Resource Study and Environmental Assessment. After a comprehensive study the report concludes that ‘the site meets established criteria for inclusion in the National Park System, and that the inclusion of the area into the National Park System enjoys strong local support,’” Tesitor’s testimony read.

Perry said Longford Properties management “had brought people in from the states to do archaeological surveys and studies to see what was there. On the property we have an indigenous plant that is there … and we understand the severity of it.”

Sens. Novelle Francis, Kenneth Gittens, Kurt Vialet, Allison DeGazon, Alicia Barnes, Javan James, Marvin Blyden, Myron Jackson, Stedman Hodge, Athneil Thomas and Dwayne DeGraff were all present for the meeting, but no vote was taken. Francis said the vote will be done in session on Sept. 16.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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
20 hours ago
Virgin Islands Source

Juju & Cece’s Lemonades and Treats is hosting a "Freco and Lemonade" event today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cultured Naturals Body Care located on Company Street in Christiansted, St. Croix.

The business, Juju & Cece’s Lemonades, evolved from a summer project put together by 4-year-old Juliett Reid-Ventura and 3-year-old Gracie Reid-Ventura. #visource #usvi #supportlocalbusiness
... See MoreSee Less

Juju & Cece’s Lemonades and Treats is hosting a Freco and Lemonade event today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cultured Naturals Body Care  located on Company Street in Christiansted, St. Croix. 

The business, Juju & Cece’s Lemonades, evolved from a summer project put together by 4-year-old Juliett Reid-Ventura and 3-year-old Gracie Reid-Ventura. #visource #usvi #supportlocalbusiness

Comment on Facebook

Cute as a button. Darling little princess. Please protect them

Make sure they Mask 😷 up.

Loving and trusting someone is such a risk and i don't wish any woman to be in the same shoes as i was sometime back when I caught my husband red-handed with my own best friend in our own bed. I couldn't believe it when I saw it and my heart started beating so fast and felt like my body is shaking then I ran straight to my elder sister's house. I cried so much and my sister left me to cry and told me it would help ease the pain I was feeling. Then she sat me down and asked me if I still love my husband and I told her yes of course, and she told me that we all learn and grow through mistakes and no one is perfect and told me that if I wanted my man back I should fight for him and never trust friends again.My sister told me to contact profisma+27783320386 who had helped her husband with financial issues and told me he will help me bring my man back. It took me weeks to think about it because we come from a strong religious background but things worsened because I could not even concentrate at work and i got fired, and after that, i remembered what my sister had told me about consulting with him. That's when I contacted him and told everything, he listened, and told me that he will solve all my problems in 48 hrs. Since it was my first time doing this, i could not believe his words just like that but i had to wait until the time he had promised. I was asked to buy materials to help me which I did, we begun the prayer and results were delivered in three days. My husband called me and asked me where I was, and he came straight to me and confessed how my best friend seduced him, and he was sorry to fall into her trap and showed me all the messages my best friend was sending to him and promised never to see her again and promised to love me and only me. That evening he took me to a romantic dinner, Since prophet isma helped me, I got a better paying job than the previous one, my husband is back to the old man I used to know and he loves me so much and does everything to see that am happy. Thank you so much prophet, your spells indeed work. If you're going through struggles, you can text him on WhatsApp +27783320386 or call him

Load more
Print Friendly, PDF & Email