Coral Bay: campground or resort?

The owner of Coral Bay Organic Gardens is growing quite a controversy.

Hugo Roller says he wants to build a campground “to sustain the geographical character of (Coral Bay) — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.”

Two Coral Bay residents beg to disagree.  

“He’s building a major resort,” Pam Gaffin said after attending a Planning and Natural Resources meeting about the project.  Loreli Monsanto told the St. John Source, “It looks like a resort.”

Roller is asking for a zoning change to construct 13 two-story structures, retail, residential units, 50 parking spaces, a health spa, and two restaurants, according to Gaffin.

Roller says he simply wants to build a campground on 2.5 acres of land adjacent to his farm.

After the PNR hearing, Roller was angry.  He wrote a 1,500 rambling, unfocused letter to the Tradewinds complaining that at the hearing he was “attacked … vehemently … by a female pit bull” and “an unruly mob’s … cacophonous chorus”.  He concluded that the hearing showed, “The needs of my family farm are of little value to those who equate money with virtue.”

Roller’s campground/resort is a long way from shovel ready.  If rezoning is approved, the project still needs Costal Zone Management review and approval buy the Legislature.

6 thoughts on “Coral Bay: campground or resort?”

  1. st.john is going down hill with people like this, just worry about there pocket book $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.i remember when you could rent a cottage for 700.00 a week. now your looking @ 2000.00 to 3000.00 week what a shame. paradise is gone to these money hungry whores.

  2. I certainly do not see it like that atall.
    Hugo Roller and his wife Josephine has successfully created an amazing farm on St. John because they are hard workers and recognize the great need to grow food in our VI’s. Have you been to their farm/landscaping business?
    What is sad- is that it is so hard to differentiate between those folks trying to make money by means that do not “fit” with St. John and who we are.
    St. Johnians have been “hit” with so many poorly developed projects with NO infasructure in place as in Sirenusa, Grand Bay and Pond Bay that I see many “knee jerk” reactions to everything presented for developements here!
    Growth WILL happen…that is inevitable. Sound, appropriate development based on laws and suitability for the Communities involved with open Meetings are needed, of course.
    People in general need to be more open to this proposal, esp. from long-time good people like these folks.
    What is NOT needed is the often petty personal exchanges done in disrespect at these Meetings.
    I understand the frustrations we have experienced on our Island about developemnt AND I really hope that our good citizens can find a better way to communicate concerns without personal attacks. THAT is not helpful to us in the goals of good planning that we so need on St. John. My 2 cents worth, anyway.

  3. A campground on that site is a hair-brained idea. It is down-right muggy low in the valley far from the sea breeze. If he wants to build it, let him find out the hard way. I, for one, would rather be up on the mountain or down by the sea. Maybe it’s not about the money to Hugo- maybe he wants to run a summer camp type operation.

  4. I just read Hugo’s editorial in Tradewinds. 1st – my advice to Hugo would be to try and make your arguments in a succinct and concise manner. It was challenging to figure out wtf you were going on about. 2nd – (as I have no real interest in this issue) I believe the arguments by your opponents should be addressed in a simply fashion – Is it a ‘campground’ or not? From the plans and zoning switch – it does not appear to be plans for a simple campground as stated. And therefore, comes across as a ‘bait and switch’. If I lived in Coral Bay (I can dream…) – I would want a clear answer on this, and assurances that it is not part of a grander plan that would affect all those living in CB. It is one thing to have a farm and expand on this – it is another thing to expand into a resort being sold as a campgrond.

  5. Well, don’t forget the family “development” planned just down the road. THAT plan looks like downtown Pittsburgh. Shopping mall and all kinds of commercial growth. Maybe a little hypocritical?

  6. As an annual visitor to St. John and a former Chairman of our local Planning Commission here at home, it is clear to me that there is little or no actual planning going on in St. John. Development seems to be ad hoc with no regard for the overall quality of life on the island. St. John is coming close to the point of no return and I would encourage St. Johnians to step back and look at basic planning for things like water, trash, traffic and zoning before the island becomes St. Thomas. The deterioration over the last ten years is alarming.

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