After waiting more than a year for documentation supporting a challenge to the ownership of the land, the V.I. Legislature this week approved rezoning a plot of land in Estate Hoffman and Nullyberg belonging to the Government Employees Retirement System.
The land – parcel nos. A-1 remainder, (consolidated) Estate Hoffman and Nullyberg; no 2B, New Quarter, St. Thomas – was rezoned from A-1 Agricultural, to R-3 Residential Medium at the behest of GERS. When the Legislature considered the matter in October 2011, Conchita Benjamin, a member of the New Herrnhut Moravian Church, spoke against the change, saying she had research suggesting the land properly belonged to the church.
GERS reported back to the Legislature in April that a 1910 Sheriff’s decree declared the Moravian Church the owner of the Niesky and Herrnhut plantations. But the document "clearly authenticates that the Estate Hoffman/Nullyberg property that was purchased by GERS is not part of the Moravian Church’s property," according to the GERS report to the Legislature.
Based on that finding and on a lack of response from the church, GERS requested the Legislature approve the rezoning, which the Legislature did Tuesday.
The Legislature also approved the sale of two parcels of land owned by the government on St. Croix. In one case it approved the sale of the land where La Reine Chicken Shack is located, along with an adjacent 1.5 acres for a total of two acres to Angel Diaz Jr. and Robert Leguillou, the operators of Chicken Shack.
Diaz and Leguillou want to purchase the land they are leasing from the government along with the adjacent land, to expand and improve the business. The land is located at parcel no. 21-I Estate Body Slob, Kings Quarter, St. Croix. The purchase price is $193,000.
In the other case, the Legislature approved the sale of a half-acre plot at Parcel no. 11-A and 11-D Estate Penitentiary Land, to the V.I. Water and Power Authority for a reverse osmosis plant at the price of $67,000. WAPA owns adjacent parcels 1 and 2 in Estate Richmond and wants the property to build the reverse osmosis plant.
The Legislature also approved the following permitting and zoning actions:
- Major Coastal Zone Management Permit CZT-04-10 (L) Modified and Lease Agreement for the use of Parcel No. 5 Crown Bay Fill, St. Thomas by Impex Trading International Inc., d/b/a The Sea Chest Inc.;
- Major Coastal Zone Management Permit CZT-07-11 (L&W) for the continued use and occupancy of existing wooden dock and expansion by addition of a 1,064 ft. floating dock owed by the Sprat Bay Estates Homeowners Association;
- Major Coastal Zone Management Permit CZT-07-11 (L&W) for the continued use and occupancy of existing docks, pilings, walkways and 2300 sq. ft. of fill submerged land.
- Sunil and Ronita Mohanani’s request for amendment to Official Zoning Map No. STZ-7 from R-1 (residential-low density) to R-2 (residential- low density-one and two family) for Parcels Nos. A-1-28, 1-29, and A-1-30 Estate Thomas, St Thomas, for;
- Seven Star Realty’s request for amendment to the official Zoning Map No. STZ-4 from R-2 (residential – low density – one and two family) to R-3 (residential- medium density) for Parcel No. 11-4 Remainder Estate Contant, St. Thomas;
- Church of God Seventh Day Adventist’s request for amendment to Official Zoning Map No. STZ-9 from A-1 (agricultural district) to R-3 (residential-medium density) with a retail use variance for Parcel No. 19F-1-A Estate Smith Bay, St. Thomas;
- James L. Hymes and Eula Castleberry-Hymes ‘ request to rezone Parcel No. 33-1 Estate Elizabeth, St. Thomas, requesting that a use variance be granted to R-2 (residential –low density – one and two family);
- a grant of easement between the V.I. Port Authority and Gordon I. Coffelt and Soraya Diase Coffelt for Parcels No. 20, 24 and 199 Crown Bay, 4B Southside Quarter, St. Thomas.