Summers End Yacht Club Permit Request Closed

Summers End Yacht Club Permit Request Closed

I know a lot of you readers out there have requested updates on the Coral Bay Marina project known as the Yacht Club at Summers End.  And, to be honest, there hasn’t been a ton of forward, or backward, movement on the plans.  But recently, the Army Corps of Engineers requested more information, without response,  from the Summers End Group (SEG) that would be needed in order to move forward with their permit review.  And a group in Coral Bay is rallying the local “troops” in order to have their say in further halting the process.

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A rendering of the proposed mega marina in Coral Bay. – 2019

First, in order to get the background on the SEG plans that have been an ongoing conversation with a lot of local opposition since 2014, please take a look at this thorough timeline as provided by Davis Silverman and Save Coral Bay.  SEG submitted their first permit request to the Army Corps of Engineers in May of that year.  And, since, the Corps has submitted now four different requests for more information from SEG in order to address requests for omissions and more information in regards to the requested permit.

Part of the permitting process under the Corps requires that the work being done is consistent with the Endangered Species Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act.  A portion of this part of the process is conducted by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the division of NOAA responsible for reviewing the impacts to critical underwater habitats.  The documents were submitted to NMFS in March of 2021 and, in September of 2021, the Army Corps of Engineers relayed a message to SEG that more information was needed in order to process the request.  (September 13, 2021 letter.)  I’d advise reading the letter, but, in a nut shell, they had concerns in regards to environmental compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the Fisheries Act as well as issues raised with the public and the EPA.

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A quick peek into quiet Coral Bay

Last month, NMFS closed the request without action due to a lack of response, citing the “action agency non-responsive.”

Now, this is not the first time that a request within a Federal agency has been closed due to a lack of response from SEG.  Another was closed in December of 2018.  It was in May of 2020 that SEG resubmitted for another consultation with the Federal agencies and the Army Corps did not re-open the request until March of 2021.  Now, the September 13, 2021 request for additional information from SEG has gone without response.  And the permit request has once again been closed.

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Artist rendering of the Yacht Club as taken from the Summers End online brochure.

Now, SEG HAS received permitting on the local level.  The group received a permit from U.S. Virgin Islands’ Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Coastal Zone Management board in 2014.  And a revised version of the permit was ratified in 2020 after years of back and forth in legislation.

But, this does not mean that they can proceed.  In order to do anything below the water line, they have to have the permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.  That makes it tough to dredge a marina…

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Proposed layout for 144 wet slips

So, in essence, there has been a lot of legal back and forth and not much motion in regards to the proposed “super yacht” marina in the quiet harbor town of Coral Bay.  And now, the Federal permits necessary to move forward with the project have, once again, been closed without action.

A group in Coral Bay is further organizing with a petition in opposition to the proposed Marina plans.  Save Coral Bay will be submitting the petition to the Army Corps of Engineers.  The document, available for signing online, sites a number of concerns in regards to the marina, the majority of which are related to environmental issues and cultural and historical artifact preservation.  If you are interested in supporting their initiatives, please take a look at the online submission form.

The recently closed environmental investigation paired with the publicization of a 1700’s shipwreck in the blueprint of the proposed marina may lead one to believe that we are not going to see any action in Coral Bay anytime soon.  But, I’m no fortune teller…So, we shall see what the future holds for the proposed “Yacht Club” in Coral Bay.

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Coral Bay Harbor


5 thoughts on “Summers End Yacht Club Permit Request Closed”

  1. This would be one big catastrophe for the entire region. St. John is a small paradise that should be left alone. Why do you think that all the land was donated for national parks? They just want to ruin everything. Its too commercialized anyway now with floating taco bars and that nonsense

  2. I totally agree with the above response. With St. John being our first island experience in 1990, when we decided that there was nothing more that we were looking for, we have loved and appreciated the island and people there, and have missed only three years (a brother’s death, and damn Covit!, since) Spending time there has also introduced us to the wonders of the BVI—Virgin Gorda and Beef Island—but St.John has been the ‘home away from home’. Although Cruz Bay area has expanded, sadly, somewhat, the Coral Bay area has remained ‘special’. PLEASE do not allow it to become a ‘commercially’ ruined area! Just, alone, imagine the truck traffic on those sweet, challenging, roads to get to it!!!

  3. Would love for you to show the court document “Trial Brief by Summers End Group LLC” where it shows expenditures of $1.2 million in employee salaries from June 2017 to Dec. 2020. I think there should be an investigation of Chaliese Summers & Rick Barksdale, if there isn’t one already. I also believe she is the one who owns or leases the property in Coral Bay where “Don Carlos” restaurant once stood. This was supposed to be cleaned up by her after hurricane and as of last time I visited in May 2021 it is still a mess. We love St. John & it’s people. Have been going there every year since 1990 & it’s sad to see all the changes & building that has occurred. I pray for Coral Bay & it’s residents this never happens.

  4. Many thanks to the Silverman’s for keeping on top of this issue with Summer’s Group trying to secretly get this potential environmental disaster permit passed secretively during Covid pandemic. If you click on their website, they have the nerve to allow Rich people to reserve a slip! Apparently, the Summer’s Group has more tricks up their sleeves! Beware! Thanks again Silvermans!

  5. I’ve spent most of my vacation time the past 40 years visiting the islands from the Bahamas south to Grenada. Owned property on St John in the 1980s, a charter boat on St Lucia and now live on St Thomas full-time.

    Each island across the southern Atlantic/Caribbean has developed an identity. From my perspective, the intention of the developers of this project seems to be to significantly change the identity of St John from a peaceful getaway to something different.

    What they propose exists in the region, from Peter Island to Antigua to St Barth, even Yacht Haven Grande on St Thomas. Those “niche” destinations are well developed and their “identity” was carved out and established decades ago.

    This plan seems to ignore the “niche” that St John is known for. It’s not a glitzy, superyacht destination and never will be, hopefully. Sure, we see the occasional superyacht anchored offshore but should be the exception.

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