D sly Nm e*,fa Jmy g. 19 16
Rezonings often don't consider
impact on fragile environment
be Coastal Zone Management is sad to see soch beautiful places as
C vision held a public hearing Mages Bay destroyed by those
las week the Seichnamberon Olsee who say they have the best interest
St. Thomas. The lar crowd li- Havis of the people atheart.
oleed attsively to Aden Develop- Li ke Jack's and saac's Bays on
mee aCorp, which wsos to build a St. Croix, Magens Bay is one of Ihe
subdivision of 43 lots above UI 18 Are of Particular Concenthat
Mages Bay. were designated and signed into law
The problem is that so much by the last dminisuation.
lad in the Virgn Islands is resed polls. During public'earings bhld on
without regard to what impact ay You stee some of these legisa- the 18 APC's. staff recommeda-
development might have on the tom think they know it all. Yet, few ioos and public input for APC
enviaatmer. can tell the difference between a boundaries were approved.
In my opinion. the zoning laws slope and a hill, much less dit from Magem Bay bomdaries were set
in the Virgin slslan m o n ahtog soil. as follows: "Beginning at Tropaco
if people can oa land without a The developed who wanted to Point, the boundary extends south-
valuable b on. build the hotlatestat Zat ieden. east along the ridg line to the peak
Zoning laws in the Virgin hei claimed that only 50 acres of wet of Reseau Bay; then coninu-
Islands were established to govern the 166.6 would be developed. The g along the ridge line so to the
the use of land. The topography, et of the ld.they ad, would be pea of St. Peter Mountain; then
stotypend other characteristic of for 300 private houses, which early alg the ridge line o Sig-
thelad determine the land's use would cause even more damage to al ill; then cominuing along the
Tham, soil nteprelatioas paicular- Magers Bay's manerlenviraemomt. ridge line to a peak at the base of
ly are made to aid in the under- The public was so outraged by Peterig peninsula; then nonb to a
standing of howpaolcn be expect- this peopaed-developmew that the point on the shor ine nortbwest of
ai to eaaunder certain temn Legislamre rescinded the develop- oventaud Bay. ths noath, passing
P" ast experience and studies ..mnea. however, the same developer to the west of Hans Lollik Island, to
reveal that sil behavior differs made a second attempt a few years the shelf edge or three mile limit
fom onesoilto another. Whenleg- later. This time, they proposed a (whichever is closer); then west
islatos rezone land, it isn't based resort-style development. They along the shelf edge or the three
on land characteristic but rather auempted to develop the Sydney's mile limit to a point directly north
who ismyfriendihecommnn ty. Fancy Commmnity Center on the of Tropaco Point; then south to
Today we have bars next to PetesbrgAHilnnrthwestofMageas TropacoPoint, thepointoforigin."
churches. gaages ha neighborhoods Bay beach. As you can see the Magens Bay
and the list of zoning misuses goes Tis project ws discussed gin APC encompasses a large area The
on. in 1990 when the Board of Land Magens Bay APC is an important
A lot of environmentally sensi Use Appeals overturned a 1988 creational, historical. naoral and
tive land in the Virgin Islands decision by the St Thomas Coastal esthetic resource for the people of
where developers want to develop Zone Management Commission, these islands.
isnotjesthefaultofdevelopers. which rejected theappliation. The area is prized by tourists
The blame falls on legislators Nonetheless most of the land on and residents alike for its panom ic
who permit land to be rezoned both sides of Magens Bay beach views, forested areas sandy beach
without a reasonable cause. In already has been subdivided into and alm, protected waters.
1984, the rezoing ofthe 166.6acr lots. A number of lots have sruc- By no means should we compro-
Estate Zfioedenleit.eaer Magens. lures on them, and construction mise the integrity of this priceless
Bay by the 15hLegislatre became shoreline properieshave increased. resource. After all. Magens Bay is
headline nwas for weeks. Many of thee sholin pope part ofm heritage.
The zoning wr to provide for lies have very slopes. The soil
a 390-room ho and cdominiu limiatio for septc tank filter fields Olasee Davis ho holds a mas
complex on the sothwestn cm er in his ae is severe. aer of science degree in range man.
of Mag s Bay beach. Believe me. I is unknown to what degree the agesent and forestry ecology, is a
the senators who voted to rezone surfacing of septic effluent has on St. Croix ecologist, activist and
this land paid for it at the voting Magens Bay marine environment It writer.