Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: 50-lot development in flood plain is bad idea
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300919/00069
 Material Information
Title: 50-lot development in flood plain is bad idea
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: December 30, 1994
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00069
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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18 The Dally News, Friday, December 30,1994


Environment


50-lot development in flood plain is bad idea


Last month, I attended the sec-
ond annual Virgin Islands Nonpoint
Source Pollution Conference. I pre-
sented a paper "Integrated planning
and Control of Soil Erosion in
Watershed Area of the U.S. Virgin
Islands."
Watershed started in mountains
aeas where rainfall drains into sev-
eral srams, allowing water to run
downhill to streams, guts. ponds,
wetlandsorestuaries.
Recently I read that a subdivi-
sion. Mango Gardens, is under way
in a major watershed area. behind


Coble Village and below Jealousy
Estate, in St. Croix.
I also read that ppl pans call for
50 lots, approximately one-quarter
acre each. situated in what has been
and is now a flood-prone area suit-
able for cattle, agriculture, and
watershed use.
But the permit process did not
allow local residents to speak up on
the project, which will have major
impact on their area. This demon-
strates tha a developer can basical-
ly do as he pleases under the pre-
sent law.


Ou environment


The Virgin Islands have a two-
tiered system to govern develop-
ment. The first tier is basically to
manage coastal development. An


OLASEE: It is time to protest


Cont rued hm acting page
interest t their heart while they
degrade the environment and peo.
pIle's lives.
I myself investigated the area to
see wht kind of impa this Mango
Gardens subdivision would have.
To my uproise they bulldored the
gut which in some areas was about
150 feet across, by falling the go


wihsoil.
Yet the law says "... a permit
must be obtained from DPNR to cm
any tre over three inches in diam.
eter. No vegetation may be dis-
tuoed withi 25 feet o the edge of
a up or 30 fet from the center of a
gI."
I urge the resides in Coble Vil-
lage and the surrounding areas to


protest against this subdivision. A
subdivision can occur in this rea.
but not te way it is proposed now.
Residents of Coble Village, do
he right thing.
Olmse Davit. who hold a ars-
er ofcieace degree in rage mo.-
agemare and foresnr ecolfgy, Is a
St. Croix ecologist, acrivis and
writer.


applicant must have an earth change
permit and an environmental
assessment report describing the
social, economical and physical
impact on the area.
To get building permits, devel-
opments in the first tier system
must be submitted to a public hear-
ing and voted on by the Coastal
Zone Management Committee.
On the other hand, inland devel-
opments are subject only to the
earth change permit, and the appli-
cant may submit an application for
a building permit
The two-tier system gives no
consideration for social, economic
and environmental impacts that
such projects may have in the area.
Therefore, having a two-tiered
system in the Virgin Islands to reg-
ulate development is ineffective to
protect our resources.
A section of the CZM Act said
"...ll land and water areas of the
Territorial sea.." To me, this mean
that the Virgin Islands tier system is
inconsistent with the Coastal Zone
Management Act. If development
occurs within the present tier two. it
should have the sae requirements
as tier one has. Because most of
these islands land are hilly and
mountainous, improper develop-


meant in tier twoan cause irepara.
ble damage to such coastal
resources as coral reefs and sea.
grass beds.
The new Virgin Islands compre-
hensive Land and Water Use Plan.
which is in front of the Legislature,
proposes a one-tier system
approach to development. The pro-
posed V.I. Development Law,
which is par of the land and water
use plan, gives standards of devel-
opmen thmougout the territory.
Section 222, Legislative Find-
ings, Goals, Objective and lnem in
the Development Laws 7 says:
"Improper development of the sec-
ond tier of the coastal zone and its
resources has resulted in land use
conflicts erosion sediment deposi-
tion, increased flooding, gut and
drainage fillings, decline in produc-
tivity of the marine environment,
pollution and other adverse envi-
ronmental effects in and has
adversely affected the beneficial
uses of the shorelines and trustlands
by the people of the Virgin
Islands."
This is the kind of nonsense that
goes on in these islands: People say
they have these islands in the best
V See OAEE facing page


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