Senate Supportive of St. Croix Zip Line

Senators were supportive of a Carambola Golf and Country Club request for a variance to allow a zip line, during a Committee of the Whole hearing Thursday. The line is expected to run a windy route of more than 4,900 feet through the North Shore treetops, giving visitors about a two-hour ride, according to Carambola Golf agent Cosmo Williams.

If all goes well, they hope to have it up and running around June, Williams said.

Carambola Golf wants a zoning variance on 4.7 acres of land west of the golf course. The land at Plot 5B North “A” Quarter, St. Croix, is zoned R-3 (Residential-Medium Density). They want a variance to allow the landing portion of the zip line as matter of right.

Several senators said they were happy about and supportive of Carambola’s new business venture and of two other rezoning applicants’ hopes of opening a car wash, salon and a dog day care and grooming center.

“I’m very happy to support your initiative,” Sen. Nereida “Nellie” Rivera-O’Reilly told Williams. She said she attended the initial Department of Planning and Natural Resources hearing on the zoning a year a go, saying some residents were for it and some opposed “for very legitimate reasons.” Rivera-O’Reilly said Williams had since changed thee plan to address those concerns.

“Is it true the golf course is requesting funding for working capital?” Rivera-O’Reilly asked.

“No senator … that was not made by us,” Williams said. He said there had been a discussion with the Public Finance Authority about possible funding, but not initiated by them and the proposal “has been rescinded.”

The Committee of the Whole also discussed a request from Chandra Henderson for a use variance to let her operate dog-related services, including grooming/washing, training, boarding and doggy day care, at Plot no. 30, Estate La Grande Princess. The area is zoned R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family).

Senators heard testimony from Carlos Castillo Padilla, requesting a use variance at Parcel no. 365 Estate Peters Rest, to allow a car wash. The property already has an operating beauty salon and used to have a bar and restaurant. The Legislature actually approved this variance in December, making the hearing unnecessary.

No votes were taken at the hearing. The two other zoning variances will now be heard before the full Senate when it meets in session.

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