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HomeNewsLocal newsDPW Seeks Zoning Change for Susannaberg Site on St. John

DPW Seeks Zoning Change for Susannaberg Site on St. John

The Public Works Department is seeking to rezone a parcel of land on St. John in order to rebuild their headquarters at Parcel No. 6A  Est. Susannaberg.

Architect Jeffrey Boschulte shares his screen showing the location of the Susannaberg site. (Image from online DPW zoning change request meeting held Jan. 17)

Architects and engineers presented their case at an online meeting held by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources on Wednesday morning. Members of the public have until January 28 to send in their comments concerning the proposed zoning change to leia.laplace@dpnr.vi.gov.

Jermaine McClean, district engineer with Public Works, said the zoning request was being made to bring the site into compliance with its actual use. The 2.44-acre site is currently zoned R-2 – Low Density Residential – although it has been used for maintenance and office space for as long as anyone attending the meeting could remember.

DPW is seeking to change the zoning now to P – Public – to correct that inconsistency and qualify for Federal Disaster Funding to rebuild the decades-old structures that were ruined by the 2017 hurricanes.

The DPW site is located adjacent to the V.I. Waste Management Authority’s transfer station, which was rezoned from R-2 to P in 2022. VITEMA and Island Green Living Association’s Resource Depot and recycling center are also housed on the DPW’s property.

DPW now shares this building, which was rebuilt after Irma with VITEMA. (Image from online DPW zoning change request meeting held Jan. 17)

Both Waste Management’s and Public Work’s facilities are situated on the site of the former Susannaberg landfill, which was eventually closed after it caught fire and burned for six months in the 1990s.

At Wednesday’s meeting, architect Jeffrey Boschulte presented photos of the site in its current condition as well as architectural drawings of the proposed new structure.

Boschulte presented a more detailed drawing of the proposed maintenance facility. (Image from online DPW zoning change request meeting held Jan. 17)

The new building will include several bays for DPW vehicles and equipment, office space, a new wastewater treatment system, an above-ground cistern, a paved parking area, a waste oil collection facility, and a small retention pond for runoff.

DPW equipment is now stored in bays without roofs. (Image from online DPW zoning change request meeting held Jan. 17, 2024)

Once permits are in place, construction should take about two years, according to officials.

The need for a new facility was evident from the photos, which show severe damage to the structure resulting from Hurricane Irma.

The view of the hurricane-damaged DPW maintenance facility as seen by passersby on Rt. 104. (Note the never-used traffic light which was placed on the wall after residents protested its deployment in Cruz Bay. St. John still has no permanent traffic lights.) (Image from online DPW zoning change request meeting held Jan. 17)

At the meeting, officials said the site has no flooding issues, cultural or historic significance, or endangered species. “We’re not changing any uses,” McClean repeated at the end of the meeting. We’re just attempting to come into compliance.”




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