28-Unit Development Proposed on East End

development map east end

Here’s what we know:

East Bay Holding Company, LLC of Florida is looking to build a 28-unit East Bay Beach Club on the East End. These beachfront and hillside units are expected to be three and four bedrooms each. In addition, a club house, a pool and other structures are proposed.

Now here’s the deal:

According to the St. John Tradewinds, “the area is zoned R-1, residential-one, which allows for two homes per half-acre of land.” This developer is proposing 28 condos on an eight-acre parcel and needs a “group dwelling permit,” according to the Tradewinds. Therefore the developer is asking for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ sign off.

Here’s where you all come in:

DPNR is holding a hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, March 11 at 6 p.m. at the Guy Benjamin School. This will be the public’s chance to speak out against this proposed development.

There’s also a petition circling the web. I’m not sure what effect, if any, this will have, but here’s a link for those of you who wish to sign it: Petition Against 28-Unit Development on East End

Let’s all take a moment to remember what’s happening over in Denis Bay where DPNR allowed a property owner to build outside of the regulations for that particular area… Need a refresher? Click here. 

5 thoughts on “28-Unit Development Proposed on East End”

  1. Although development is inevitable, this project is simply too dense. Keeping the the current zoning would mean 16 units and that would be more than enough. It would allow of green space between the units and less impact on the area. The EE is not like Cruz Bay where most condo development is… It is very remote and has a sensitive environment. It gets much less rain on the windward side of Hansen Bay (where this is proposed) and I can see them running out of water all the time. Due to the remoteness I don’t see condo sales going fast on this development, and everything costs more to get out to the EE. What about buying the defunct Pond Pay club in Chocolate Hole? That would make a much more suitable condo development.

  2. I know that the conventional wisdom is that “such-and-such a percentage of St. John is National Park” and, therefore, we don’t have to worry about development like some of the other islands. Bull dinkies. We have to worry about it all the more since off-island developers will try every trick in the book to squeeze as much as possible on to as little as possible. Development regulations are there for a reason and should only be waived or varied in cases of extreme hardship. “Extreme hardship” is NOT “I paid too much for the land and now I need 28 units to make it pay”.

  3. The warnings signs of the impending land speculators and developers ruining St. John were everywhere back in 1997 when we first arrived on St. John. If it hadn’t been for devastating hurricanes, it would have happened sooner, but those hurricanes created land and property available cheaply for speculators…

    The late Doris Jadan and many of the “founding families” of St. John lamented the inevitable exploitation of St. John by greedy developers. My wife and I had many dozens of opportunities to speak with locals “bahn here” when we published our magazine Virgin Voice.

    The problems had already started well before we arrived as the corporate banks gave carte blanche to land speculators who descended on St. John, scooping up property, thus raising land prices dramatically with the resulting extreme rise in property taxes as land and homes were being assessed at “fair market values.”

    Native St. Johnians of many generations saw their property taxes soar. And those with large land tracts and no cash flow had to start selling off tracks to pay for then increasing taxes.

    And some of those landowners who could well afford not to sell tracks did so because land lot prices skyrocket 2000 %…..who would’nt be tempted to sell out the island to the speculators with cash in hand?

    Gentrification soon occurred whereby low and middle income St. Johnians simply could not afford to live on the land and build homes or even rent because of the land grab and developers rush to exploit the island.

    There was and is no such thing as “coastal zone management” or an effective “planning and conservation” of natural resources…..it was and still is up to the highest bidder, and those in charge of controlling this destruction of St. John were and are still are complicate.

    “Politics and business as usual.” Everyone takes their cut.

    Look at the mess these developers and “natural resource regulators” created. Failed projects, eyesores like SERENUSA and Grand Bay, destruction of the environment and a host of other infrastructure “problems” that this massive exploitation of St. John has and still is creating.

    And look at the imported “documented” exploited down island and Dominican day labor workers that have lined up at the wall waiting for the construction management company’s to drive by in their pick up trucks and pick up the equivalent cheap “slave labor” that built these developments.

    Where is your service worker labor force?
    Now has to now be ferried in when they used to be able to live on St. John.

    This development can’t be stopped. It is too late. Too much money and political muscle behind it with a group of sycophants that allow it to happen.

    The genie is out of the bottle.

  4. Some thoughts on this topic:
    I first came to the Virgin Islands in the mid ’80’s. I fell in love with the “untouristy” aspects of the islands. Not just the natural beauty but also the culture. At that time local’s were already complaining that St. Thomas was overbuilt and St. John was following in its path. I didn’t think that was possible. I guess I was naive.

    During the late ’50’s & early ’60’s, Puerto Rico was subjected to intense land speculation and rampant overbuilding. Whole stretches of beach were lined with massive high rises, with just a narrow alley between them to allow public access to the beach. People were displaced, many lost their livelihood. Crime rates skyrocketed. And guess what? The tourists left. Many of those building are now half empty and the once luxurious El Condado strip looks like a dump. The developers made their money and went on to other things leaving Puerto Ricans with the mess. Puerto Rico, as a tourist spot, has never really recovered.
    Building a 28 condo development in an area where water is a scarce resource is stupid. But the developers don’t care. They’re in it for the short term gain. They will destroy what makes the E.E. special and magical, take their millions and leave the island. Those who remain will have to deal with the consequences.

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