Requests to rezone two parcels on St. Croix, one for a proposed medical office building in Estate Diamond and another for either a restaurant or car wash in Peter’s Rest, were heard Monday by Leia LaPlace, the territorial planner for the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources Comprehensive and Coastal Zone Planning.
LaPlace said she would forward her recommendation to the commissioner in 30 days. If she recommends approval, the commissioner will send the request to the Legislature, which will call a meeting of the Committee of the Whole – the full Senate – to vote on the requests.
The first request came from Angela Henry who wants to rezone a lot in Estate Diamond from Residential 2 to Business 3 to build a two-story building with medical offices on the ground floor and three or four apartments for medical staff on the second floor.
Architect Clarence Brown said the project is west of Peppertree Terrace, east of VIYA, with the Sunny Isle Shopping Center to the south and the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital down the street. He said they had not decided how many medical offices would be on the ground floor.
“To be fair, it is very fluid. There could be three, there could be two or there could be one,” Brown said.
Brown said “some of the busiest traffic on St. Croix” would be buffered by trees, landscaping and fencing. The building would be constructed in one phase and would take about 16 months.
Melva McDougal lives next to the proposed medical building. She bought her property in 1974 and said she thought it would always be residential. She is concerned about excess noise from the air conditioning units, generators and trash removal.
The prospective developer of the property pointed out the lot has been maintained and kept clean. He said there would be no restaurant or night club and they “would work with her every way possible to alleviate her concerns.”
Brown said the air conditioning units would be installed on the roof. He also said the garbage disposals planned are a brand well-known for being quiet.
The second rezoning request was presented by LaVerne Bailey, deputy commissioner of V.I. Planning and Natural Resources. She said there have been several requests to develop the land owned by the department adjacent to the Peter’s Rest Convenience Center for a restaurant or a car wash.
The property is two vacant lots that will be leased together. Asked about restrictions, Bailey said, “Nothing that can take away the quality of life or beautification.”
Glorie Brathwaite lives next to the property in question and said a restaurant would add to the noise level and a car wash would increase traffic on an already busy road. She said the music from Cool Out Bar often starts around noon and lasts until 4 a.m. After the police show up to warn the establishment, the volume increases right away after the officers leave.
“I prefer residential because the traffic is congested – you can’t come out or go into your yard. It is terrible with the music. We suffer that a lot,” she said, adding the music is so loud, the glass in the house “rattles.”
LaPlace said she would take everything into consideration before sending a recommendation to the commissioner and then ended the hearings.