The Coastal Zone Management Committee remained undecided during a meeting on Tuesday about a permit request to demolish a non-functioning water feature within Yacht Haven Grande on St. Thomas and replace it with a gazebo to be used for musical, artistic and cultural public performances.
“It’s really minor. It’s just a landscaping change if anything,” said Eric Simonton, representative of Yacht Haven USVI LLC. “We are really just trying to build a performance venue for kids to sing and to play some steel drums and create a venue for the community to perform.”
Simonton said Yacht Haven USVI LLC has built a relationship with the Virgin Islands Council for the Arts and the students would have access to the space.
The gazebo, which has been on-site and ready for installation for the last 18 months, would replace what Simonton said is “a derelict eyesore, old landscaping feature.”
But committee members were hesitant to vote without first seeing the site, even though the agenda item said the application would receive a decision during the meeting.
“I think we have gotten to the point where anything that comes in, we need to see it to understand it, and seeing where it is going regardless of what it is for. Whether it is new, minor, opposed, no matter,” Coastal Zone Management Chairman Winston Adams said.
Adams requested the committee make a site visit before voting on the request, and the committee scheduled to meet on-site at 2 p.m. on Monday.
Simonton agreed to arrange the on-site visit and said, “I certainly recognize your need and commitment to being thorough with your review of this, but time does kind of kill all projects and unfortunately that happens to us quite a bit … We have followed all the protocols to apply for this permit, I just want to install this and give the kids something fun to do. That’s all we are after here.”
It was unclear during the meeting if the committee plans to vote on the day of the on-site visit, or if members will wait until the next meeting; tentatively scheduled 30 days from Tuesday’s meeting.
The committee also reviewed a request for a permit renewal of the existing Independent Boat Yard and Marina located at 6249 Estate Frydenhoj No. 49, St. Thomas. However, no action was taken and while a public comment was permitted there were no residents who went on record with a comment.