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CZM Committee Considers East End Subdivision

Jan. 16, 2007 — Developer Mark Davies told the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee Tuesday that he plans to build a house, not a monument, on the 13 acres he plans to reserve for his own home in an 84-acre subdivision at Hansen Bay on St. John's East End.
"My main reason for doing it is to build my own home," Davies said as more than a dozen people who attended the meeting at the Legislature building listened.
He later said that he had "stewardship" for the land because he had the opportunity to develop the property.
Except for Davies' 13 acres, the 84 acres will be divided into 31 lots ranging in size from one to eight acres. The R-1 (residential low density) zoning allows 160 lots.
After Davies said he'd been on St. John for 15 years, CZM Committee Chairman Julien Harley told him that, in fact, he'd been a tourist for 15 years. Davies then allowed that he'd owned land for four years.
Harley told Davies that the covenants and restrictions placed on what buyers could do with their property by the homeowners association would keep people out.
"I’m almost 60 years old, and I've seen everything taken because people have money," Harley said.
He said that this situation has caused frustration among St. John residents.
Davies said that he doesn't plan to put all the lots on the market at once. He said that instead, the first ones will be sold to friends. "I may sell a few a year," he said.
Harley told Davies that he should use his expertise to help the community.
Only two residents spoke at the meeting. Lindell Anthony asked how Davies was going to control the runoff that comes when land is cut for roads. "How are you going to keep the area pristine?" Anthony asked.
Steve Crumrine said he was glad that Davies showed "restraint" in limiting the number of lots but said that the economic benefit to St. John was negligible since the island doesn't have enough people to fill all the jobs available.
Crumrine also expressed concerns about the wear and tear on the road and the concrete spillage that occurs when concrete trucks head uphill.
Davies said he owns 70 percent of the 84 acres, with Ed Netherland owning the rest.
The St. John-based Flamboyant Realty Services was hired by Davies and Netherland as a representative and to put in the road.
Davies and his team are asking for a CZM permit for the road and the subdivision.
Architect John Woods said that the way the lots will be cut will follow the slope of the land as much as possible.
He said the road will be 12 feet wide with pullouts for cars to pass.
Amy Dempsey of Bio-Impact said that the area is home to three species on the endangered/threatened list. They are the butterfly orchid, the wooly nipple cactus and the string bush. "If we can't avoid them, we'll transplant them," she said.
She said that she'll do a baseline study of the waters off the area to be developed before the project starts and will monitor the water during construction.
Woods said each home will have its own sewage-disposal system, not a septic tank.
No date has been set for the committee to render a decision.
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