The Coastal Zone Division of the Planning and Natural Resources Department wants your input on planned changes to the territory’s Coastal Zone Management Act.
The division is holding a series of meetings that begin Tuesday at Julius E. Sprauve School on St. John. The meetings move to Planning’s conference room at Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas on July 30 and to the Education Department’s Curriculum Center at Kingshill, St. Croix, on Aug. 1. All begin at 6 p.m.
“This is a participatory process,” CZM Director Jean-Pierre Oriol said.
The CZM Act hasn’t been updated since it was enacted in 1978 although Oriol said there were a few changes along the way.
“We’re asking the public to provide input on what sort of things CZM should include or change,” he said.
Oriol said he was particularly interested in input from architects, engineers, environmental consultants and attorneys.
He said CZM has some ideas in mind. For example, any projects with a value of less than $75,000 need only minor permits, but Oriol said that you can hardly build a retaining wall for that price so that figure will no doubt be increased. He said CZM didn’t have a figure in mind.
While many people have suggested that inland, as well as coastal areas, come under the CZM domain, Oriol cautioned that it would come at a price.
“We’re not getting additional funding from the federal government,” he said, referring to the fact that federal funding is used to pay for the CZM program.
Oriol cautioned that not all ideas will make it to the final draft.
He said the final draft should be completed by the end of the year. He said the public will have a chance to comment again once the draft is done.