Coral Bay Cauldron Conundrum

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CORAL BAY — The now-not-so-behind-the-scenes efforts to develop a sorely-needed fuel station in the Coral Bay on the inner shore of Coral Harbor may present the ultimate challenge for environmentally-minded community members who have lived in continuous fear of running out of gas for years since the community’s only gas station closed.

The presence of a home-made portable fuel tank on a trailer complete with a Love Co. pump on the side of Route 107 on Moravian Church frontage kept community hopes for a new station alive for all those years — but the site near the shoreline of Coral Harbor across from the site of the long-gone Domino’s gas station worried environmentalists.

Now neat piles of clean gravel fill, properly covered and silt-fenced, dot a small lot further east on the shoreline of the harbor on the opposite side of the federally-protected mangrove and the gas station rumor mill is humming once again.

This time it might just become a reality, according to one Coral Bay St. John Tradewinds source.

“A lot of people question the location, but we need a gas station and he’s willing to do it,“ said the Coral Bay community leader who explained environmental opposition was being confronted by the community reality. “It will get approved.”

A St. John DPNR official did not respond to a St. John Tradewinds request for comment on the status of permitting for any project on the site adjacent to the former Island Blues which is slated to become part of the controversial mega yacht marina project.

Ironically, any DPNR Coastal Zone Management Committee deliberations on the development of the waterfront site will challenge the three-member panel to have a quorum as much as the group’s prior controversial deliberations on the mega-yacht marina just a year ago. That CZM approval still is facing strong environmental opposition.

A photograph of the Coral Harbor shoreline in the September 7 issue of St. John Tradewinds was not the correct photograph for the cutline that accompanied it. St. John Tradewinds regrets the error.