86.8 F
Cruz Bay
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsSTJ Coastal Zone Management Rejects Application for Cowgirl Bebop

STJ Coastal Zone Management Rejects Application for Cowgirl Bebop

More than two dozen members of the public tuned in to the online CZM-STJ meeting called to decide on an application by Cowgirl Bebop. (Screenshot image)

In a unanimous decision, the St. John Committee of Coastal Zone Management voted to disapprove an application by Cowgirl Bebop LLLP to permit a 120-foot floating lounge and restaurant off Mingo Cay in Pillsbury Sound between St. Thomas and St. John.

The three CZM-STJ committee members who attended and voted at the online meeting cited several reasons for rejecting the permit.

“The weather, waves, wind and currents make this location unsuitable,” said commissioner  Rafe Boulon. Boulon said he approved of the project’s concept and commended the developers for being “relatively environmentally sensitive,” but added that the project’s proposed location next to the wildlife sanctuary on nearby Grass Cay made the site especially inappropriate.

Artist rendition of Cowgirl Bebop (Screenshot image from a previous hearing)

Commissioner Brion Morrisette agreed with Boulon’s concerns about the environment. He said that although a vessel the size of Cowgirl Bebop might be able to weather unexpected waves and currents, smaller vessels moored or anchored nearby might not be able to handle hazardous conditions.

In the late 1980s, three young boy scouts drowned in the cut between Mingo Cay and Grass Cay when the swell kicked up and overturned their dinghy.

Although the developers of Cowgirl Bebop said they would not permit patrons aboard to go swimming, Morrisette said the staff would not be able to control the activities of people in nearby boats.

Commissioner Andrew Penn echoed the other committee members’ concerns about the location and said, “This is an extremely pristine area. We don’t have many of these now.  They need to be protected more seriously at this time.”

Penn said that boaters looking for a bar and restaurant could go to nearby Lovango Cay where a resort is underway. “People have options,” he said.

Commissioner Kurt Marsh did not attend the meeting. Former commissioner David Silverman was removed from his position on the committee two days before the decision-making meeting was held.

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.