- Written by Tradewinds Staff
Sunset over Maho Bay
Sunset over Maho Bay
The developers of the proposed Coral Bay Marina agreed to a deadline extension of the 30-day time limit for the St. John CZM committee to act on the application heard at the heavily-attended, August 20 public hearing because Edmund Roberts, one of two CZM members who will vote on the application, is not expected return to the island until the end of September.
Summer’s End spokesperson Rick Barksdale said Thursday, September 19, the applicants had agreed to extend the CZM’s deadline for a decision meeting and referred questions to CZM officials.
The jam-packed audience at the August St. John CZM meeting which was predominately opposed to the Coral Bay marina proposal did not raise any objections to Robert’s historic video participation, but there were catcalls against CZM member Brion Morrisette.
A longtime CZM member and island attorney. Morrisette participated in the committee’s first action of the evening, approving a Westin Resort solar project, before recusing himself from the subsequent marina hearing to on the Coral Bay Marina citing a conflict of interest, leaving Roberts and committee chairman Andrew Penn as the only voting members on what should be a five-member panel.
Morrisette explained to the audience then and in a subsequent letter to St. John Tradewinds that if he had not participated in the August hearing there would not have been a required quorum and the Coral Bay Marina permit application would have been officially deemed approved according to the law if the committee had not heard the application within the required period of time after it was deemed accepted by the CZM or an extension had been requested or agreed to by the applicant.
Although Roberts made the historic first Skype appearance at a St. John CZM application hearing on August 20 when he called in from California on the internet telephone/video service to participate in two committee actions, the St. Johnian is expected to return around the end of September and the decision meeting will be scheduled for sometime after he returns, according to CZM Permit Director Anthony Richards.
Jacqueline Wynter, from Native Son Ferry, shows off new tickets that will be used with an automated system. The $21,000 system is designed to keep better track of ticket sales and for quality control. Passengers holding tickets currently in use are asked to use them by October 1.
CORAL BAY — Nael Amhad made his decision to open what he calls “a mini St. John Market” in Coral Bay before the St. John Coastal Zone Management (CZM) committee hearing in August on plans for the controversial Coral Bay mega-yacht marina.
“I’m taking over Lilly’s,” the discreet grocery maven told St. John Tradewinds in early August, shortly after that former grocery tenant vacated the retail space on the second level in the Coccoloba commercial complex overlooking Coral Bay harbor and the potential future home of the controversial Coral Harbor mega-yacht marina.
“The marina is coming,” Amhad said self-assuredly of the major factor in his decision to add a fourth store on St. John to his St. John Market, Dolphin Market and Dolphin Market Wholesale.
Amhad had renovations underway and new coolers being moved into the space by early September – before a CZM vote on the plans for the marina in the Coral Harbor directly across the street from the store – as he continued his effort to dominate the St John grocery market in competition with the island’s Starfish Market in The Marketplace commercial complex in Enighed.
The Coccoloba commercial complex is under contract to the developers planning the potential marina and Ahmad is counting on its construction to support his investment in a modern grocery store for the community. He plans for the store to be open by November.
(photo by Bill Stelzer)
I admit I must have looked quite incongruous standing on the roof of my one-room cottage on Wednesday morning, September 10, dressed in my pajama pants and a Trinidad Charlie t-shirt as the distinctive whoop-whoop of the rotors of a large helicopter echoed through the broad valley above Virgin Grand Estates and the Westin Resort on the south shore of St. John.
I had already wandered through the quiet residential neighborhood filming the aircraft as it slowly floated up and down the valley, eventually concentrating on an area deep in the center of the ghutt near what is known as the pig farm.
The large black helicopter at times was at eye level to the Bethany Moravian Church nearby while descending over the ghutt at the center of the broad valley between Pastory and Gifft Hill and sweeping up and down, its doors wide open on both sides and dark-clothed figures visible inside looking out.
Eye-level Helicopter Surveillance
Back in my cottage getting ready to go to work when the noise again intensified, I had climbed the rickety stairs to my roof deck to film the ominous aerial war machine while it hovered over my neighbor’s beautifully landscaped ridge-top home.