Friends of Round Bay Issue Statement on Lime Out

Friends of Round Bay Issue Statement on Lime Out 1

Earlier today, we told you all that the future of Lime Out is in jeopardy and how the owners were asking the public for support. We reached out to some homeowners living on the East End to get their viewpoint on the Lime Out and its effects on Round Bay and St. John’s East End. Friends of Round Bay sent the following statement to me earlier today:

Thank you for being willing to write a fair and balanced review of the Lime Out. Friends of Round Bay includes 80+ homeowners of the East End who are very concerned about the impact of the Lime Out on the environment and on our once quiet residential neighborhood. We are witnessing daily violations of the regulations that are intended to protect the coral reefs, wildlife and the surrounding neighborhoods. The boat traffic they attract are dragging anchors through the sea grass, exceeding the speeds allowed. We witnessed a sea plane recently anchor directly over the historical wreck “Santa Monica “. Many swimmers have reported near misses by speeding boats. We have also observed many drunk drivers and trash along the roads. These are only a sample of the violations we witness daily.

The customers of Lime Out are being misled into believing that they are participating in an eco friendly business when in fact the Lime Out is violating almost every regulation on the books and they and their customers are in fact harming Round Bay. There will reach a time when this harm is irreversible.

Round Bay is a restricted area yet Lime Out continues to operate and then acts as though THEY are being persecuted when they never had permission to be here in the first place. Imagine if someone opened a very busy and noisy tavern next door to your own home and then had their customers doing donuts in the street and yelling drunkenly in front of your children.

These are not only the concerns of villa owners. The majority of Friends of Round Bay are residents of St. John, pay taxes here in the VI and some are local residents that have been here for generations.

Lime Out has been informed in a 12/6/19 letter from DPNR that they are in violation and have to cease operating immediately. This is not a random decision of DPNR – it is based on the fact that they are violating the law and harming the environment.

We pray daily that DPNR will enforce the laws that are in place to protect the environment and that Lime Out will move to an unrestricted area. Until then, we are literally a village under siege.

So clearly, we have two very different viewpoints. I’d like to know what you all think. Please let us know by answering the poll below.

We ran the poll for one day and here are the results. The poll has now ended.

Friends of Round Bay Issue Statement on Lime Out 2

Have an opinion on this? You can contact Chelsea Baranowski, an owner of Lime Out, at [email protected]. You can also contact the Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ media representative via email at [email protected].

As we said earlier, we will keep you all posted on this. 🙂

34 thoughts on “Friends of Round Bay Issue Statement on Lime Out”

  1. The vote idea will be interesting for sure, representative of your readership more than a ‘facebook’ post.
    Thanks for keeping us all informed.

  2. The sea plane came in during Christmas/NYE week. I saw it drop down to land from the terrace of my villa rental in Coral Bay. My husband and I couldn’t believe what we were seeing. There is no way that a sea plane landing in or near Round Bay is a good thing. I visited Lime Out in March 2019 and thought it was a great idea. Now considering all of the environmental and full-time resident concerns, I think it needs to find a new home.

  3. Always two sides to every story. Moving to a more appropriate location in the Coral Bay area shouldn’t be a problem. We visited there on a day cruise & found the area dangerously congested, people paddling out while boats were trying to anchor (with difficulty because our anchor kept snagging underwater trees). A new set-up in a safer, more appropriate area is needed before someone gets hurt.

  4. How are there two sides to this story? Lime Out is breaking the law. That’s it.

    You can’t moor in that bay for more than two cumulative weeks in a six-month period. There are four bays where you can, so they should apply for a permit in one of those bays. Round Bay is a protected bay, they should leave immediately.

    • During the whole time they were in business, they used my mooring at night without my permission. They had a barge on it and a powerboat and caused damage to my mooring. I called DNPR many times as well as told the owner to take their barge of my mooring in Johnson Bay. They just ignored me. Thanks to DNPR they are off my mooring but on someone else’s mooring now. They need to go.

  5. My family has been vacationing on St. John for over 20 years. We love it like our own home town. When on island we appreciate the quiet areas like Brown Bay, Haulover and Round Bay and although we love the idea of Lime Out we worry about the effect it might have on the area. The biggest reason for us to start coming to St. John was the idea that it was protected, surrounded by national park and “off the beaten path”. As a visitor I don’t know the regulations that businesses face in the Virgin Islands so it is hard to make an informed suggestion. If fuel is not prohibitive could moving around the island and anchoring at different sites on different days be possible? Then one area is not bearing the brunt of the extra traffic. I hope a solution that favors both parties can be found. It sure is a unique idea and Lime Out has proven itself to be a very popular stop in the islands!

  6. Full disclosure, I wasn’t a fan of this idea in the first place (or Maho Crossroads & Honeymoon for that matter) but I am just a frequent visitor and thus not my place to tell people living on STJ what to do. That said, if indeed Lime Out is breaking existing laws/regulations it is necessary to enforce said laws to avoid ‘violation creep’. We see this all too often stateside with HOA or local entity regulations and the resulting quagmire becomes that more difficult to clean up as violations reach a breaking point. I noticed they have added more flotation seating. What’s next, a floating dock or second story? See what can happen?
    Apparently, there are optional legal locations and Lime Out should consider using them.

  7. Maybe they need to be somewhere different every day. Do a weekly schedule so tour groups know where they are.
    I’m surprised they got a permit in the first place. Love St John, hope it works out for everyone!

  8. I do applaud News of St John for posting both sides of the story

    I find most of the East Enders are NIMBY’s (Not In My Back Yard) They do not care where it goes as long as it’s not in their area. Which is a very selfish attitude. They claim environmental issues but then say it belongs elsewhere. If they were truly concerned about the environment they would not have built huge homes that require massive amounts of energy , tore up the fragile natural environment was the East End. Its sure okay for them to rent out their houses and make money as they see fit.

    Those of us who have lived on St John for a long time have seen it go from a laid back island with friendly local people, tree huggers, granola eaters and old hippies. Many of us that lived here then and still do sure wish we could have it like it was. However change in inevitable, even here on beautiful St John
    I have seen the charter boat fleet go from a handful of boats to hundreds of them. The scary part of that is that many of these licensed Captains should NOT be driving a boat, let alone a boat for hire
    I have lived on Lovango Cay for over 20 years. It was quiet, quaint and idyllic. Though word got out how nice it was and more homes were built, development are starting, we have crazy Captains tearing through our mooring area, drunks shouting from their charter boats, loud music, along with people trespassing on private land. Another thing I have noticed about all these charter boats is that I have never seen a pump out vessel pumping out the charter boats raw sewage. Wonder where it goes ???

    The owners and workers of Lime Out are local people, they were born here, are raising their children here, they have a long term vested interest in St John. Their Lime Out barge has zero discharge – ZERO ! On board they have a composting toilet for the staff, grey water is pumped ashore and trucked away, they hardly ever run their generator because they make their own electrical power, their serving plates, knives, spoons and forks are all made of biodegradable ingredients. Lime Out has won quite a few awards already for their short time being in business. Money that used to go to the BVI is now staying in the VI. Lime Out pays ALOT of money in Gross Receipts to the VI Government. They have hired local people.
    The whole blame here is NOT with Lime Out. The blame lies with DPNR for not enforcing the safe boating laws of the VI. Why should the owners of Lime Out be blamed for fast boats and drunk people ? Our waters are supposed to be patrolled by DPNR, they receive Federal Funds specifically for Safe Boating. They should be fining the violators ! The VI Government is pretty close to being broke. Why not enforce the boating laws and let a tax paying business stay in business ?

    Tacos anyone !!!

  9. Scoop- The regulation that requires an anchoring permit after 14 cumulative days of anchoring per six months refers to OVERNIGHT anchorage. You can anchor for a few hours in any bay for as many consecutive or cumulative days as you want. Many of the day charter boats anchor do this very thing. It is not illegal. This is why Lime Out leaves every evening so they are in compliance with the law.

    This letter is so full of hyperbole and exaggeration, it makes me think it was written by an old fart with noting better to do. “Literally a village under siege”? You need to look up the definition of the words “literally” and “siege”. Also you say “violating every regulation”? You literally have no idea what you are talking about.

    It would be great if News of St John did some actual journalism instead of just printing opposing viewpoints and opinions which may or not be based on reality. And the comments are even worse. Except for Dan Boyd’s — he is spot on!

    • Good day, no one is forcing you to read this blog. It’s a blog, remember, not a newspaper. If you are looking for “real journalism” as stated above, the VI Consortium is quite good.

      I won quite a few awards in my past life in “real journalism”. Today I prefer to simply blog.

      In the future, perhaps use your real name and email address when posting a comment here rather than fakes.

      Have a blessed day!

      • They did not comply with the law, when they left at night they towed the barge to Johnson bay and put it on my mooring without my permission with a powerboat as well. The mooring is now damaged and not safe for my boat until I have it repaired and that will cost me thousands of dollars. They were told by me and DNPR to get off my mooring and they lied to both of us when they said they would.

    • Isn’t that a bit like driving a food truck out onto the beach at Cinnamon Bay and saying: “What’s the problem? We leave every day at 5:00.”

  10. A couple notes about the Santa Monica…The sea plane was not anchored on it, but in fact a few hundred feet away. Boats DO anchor on it but that has happened for decades. VISHPO has been pushed to put a bouy on it to protect it and to date has done nothing. The Santa Monica should not be politicized, it should be protected on its own.

  11. I remember the Angel’s Rest & Capt Pete from a few years back. This sounds like a similar operation. When I visited then, it was just swimmers as customers. No boats, sea planes, etc. and it seemed fairly calm, no more than 10-12 people. It seems things have changed. Anything or anyone causing damage to the delicate sea environment needs is disturbing. The residents voices should be respected. As a visitor, I would never want to support something that the locals oppose…this is their home and I’m only a guest. Time to find a more suitable location.

  12. My family was in the East End for four generations. The lime out is in the front yard of my family estate. And we do not have a problem with it the only thing we would like to see is for the barge to
    want move back a little more. With any change people will always have a different point of view most of the people complaining want things to be as the was, East End as their private island, any development that is not theirs is bad and any development that their do is good. In our own neighborhood the Little School House which was the only School in the East End which was open in April 23, 1862 is in need of major repairs and none of the eightyljp members has come forward to fix or clean this historical building, but can find a problem with Lime Out that is 500 feet in the water, I guess that by cleaning up this historical building too much people might be coming to the East End to see it which may cause another problem. The next thing I didn’t hear the group talk about is the Mega yachts that anchor in the harbor destroy the reef and play loud music at night. Lime Out is putting Our Beloved Virgin Islands on the map what new businesses like this our tourism product will improve but with regulations. Tourism is the gas that keep the Virgin Island economy going and we are competing with the rest of the world.

  13. This is a tough one because I can see both sides. But I will say that as an annual visitor to Hansen Beach , the increase in boat traffic has made it dangerous for snorkelers and swimmers and the vibe has turned into more of a party scene. I think the Lime Out concept and eco-operations are great, but the boat traffic is not.

  14. I appreciate the presentation of both sides on this blog, however this letter is very anecdotal and fails to produce hard evidence supporting its claims.

    Has there been an environmental impact study since Lime Out began its operation? Is there hard evidence to suggest that any trash observed on the roadside is in fact coming from this business (and not just an unfortunate byproduct of tourism in general)? Have there been police reports filed regarding the dangers to swimmers, water sports enthusiasts, etc.? Are there any underwater photographs supporting the assertion that the seaplane has had an impact on the historic site? Who wrote and co-signed on this letter?

    I see a lot of feelings and not a lot of data here, and that’s unfortunate for those who wrote this letter. Including things beyond anecdotal evidence would go a long way in getting others to support this side of the issue.

    • Nah, they never produce evidence. It’s all subjective. Not objective at all.

      CZM is gearing up to squash any and all business activities near the water based on selective enforcement. Read the bill Silverman just floated. They (he) wants the power to change zoning on a whim! Scary stuff. I think they also voted themselves pay raises recently.

      CZM (a small committee) wants the power to make-or-break business based on where you come from, who you know or who you’ve pissed off. Not based on facts or evidence.

      Which is fine I guess in a land of no laws.

      • I’m actually all for setting down some standards and practices to dictate the operation of a floating business. Putting laws into place can address a lot of issues surrounding the environment, historical preservation, safety, and fair/equitable business practices.

        My issue here is that the lack of hard CZM governance doesn’t seem to be the primary motivation behind this letter; rather the other concerns (which are not supported by data) are couched in the CZM issue to lend the other concerns credibility. If the writers of this letter wanted to be “legal eagles,” then fine. But where is the factual basis for the other concerns raised?

  15. Just because the Lime Out says they are sustainable doesn’t mean this “concept” is a good idea. People are not always good stewards of the environment and that is the problem. St. John is 2/3rds National park and protected. Recent cuts in US Park service workers has led to bad behaviors by many. The lure of St. John is the environment and the quiet. While kayaks are less intrusive, a large group of them is not. The Lime Out is better suited to St. Thomas, or if it must stay on St. John, then put it out in front of the Westin.

  16. We visited late last year and had a wonderful time at Lime Out. It is a great idea, and one that brings jobs, and people to that corner of the island. I can see that an increase in cars and boats might impact the quiet of the locals, but if rules were followed, it seems more a benefit that a threat. Car traffic does not seem heavy, and if boats are violating rules then enforcement is needed and should be upgraded. I think that LO has other benefits by bringing some folks over to Coral Bay side, and likely increases sales at other locations on this side of the island. I hope all can find a balance that works.

  17. Lime Out is a nice concept, but if it continues to operate in a reckless and irresponsible manner that’s also detrimental to the environment, it has to go. Perhaps it could relocate to a less-environmentally-sensitive area.

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