Three rezoning requests for projects that suggest growing economic activity around St. Croix received a sympathetic hearing Friday from the Senate Committee of the Whole.
These and other zoning matters will be voted upon in the next legislative session, scheduled for April 8. No votes were taken at the information gathering hearing. The Legislature will vote on these requests at its next session, said Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone.
Shihadeh Qattum, owner of Karim Service Station on Queen Mary Highway, is asking to change the zoning for Plots No. 148 and 149-C Estate Carlton, West End Quarter, St. Croix, from R-3 (Residential-Medium Density) to B-3 (Business-Scattered), to operate a food van with seating area.
Qattum told the senators the food van already exists, but the change in zoning would enable him to move the van and seating further from the main business.
Stuart Smith, director of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Comprehensive and Coastal Zone Planning said there was no opposition from neighbors and the development is in keeping with existing development in the area, and recommended approval.
PC Landscaping is asking for a use variance for Plot No. 18-D Estate Plessen, Prince Quarter, St. Croix, from the requirements of the B-4 (Business-Residential Areas) zoning district, so they can build a water distribution system for the landscaping business and a small guest house. The changes are in keeping with other development in the area and DPNR recommended approval, Smith said.
Peter and Marie McFarlane have applied to amend zoning for Plot No. 246-L Estate Glynn, King Quarter, St. Croix, from A-2 (Agricultural Zone) to R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family). They propose to subdivide a single quarter parcel lot from the original parcel, to create a new two-acre parcel where a home is located. The zoning change is needed to allow the parcel to be subdivided and to allow a home on a parcel of that size.
Barren Spot Developers is asking to change the zoning of Plots No. 293-1, 293-2 and 293-3 Estate Barren Spot, King Quarter, St. Croix, from R-2 (Residential-Low Density- One and Two Family) to B-2 (Business-Secondary Neighborhood). This would affect a little more than 17 acres around Home Depot. Sean Coursey, representing the land owners, said the rezoning would allow a big two-story box store and a second, two-story office building. No development is planned right now, but the change is needed so the company can attract developers, Coursey said.
No senators spoke against any of the proposed zoning changes and variances and several said the requests were a welcome sign of economic activity.