After years of rumors and months of delays, a marina in Coral Bay is closer than ever.
Coral Bay Marina LLCs application for a major Coastal Zone Management (CZM) permit to construct a 116-slip marina on 1.5 acres of land along Route 107 adjacent to Island Blues, has been deemed complete by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR).
Their application has not been approved, it has been deemed complete, said DPNR spokesperson Jamal Nielsen. It will now be reviewed by staff.
DPNR officials must also submit the projects Environmental Assessment Reports (EAR) to various agencies, Nielsen added. We have to submit the EARs to other government agencies for external review, he said. If they come back with no technical deficiencies, then a public hearing will be scheduled.
Plans for the marina were altered to eliminate dredging and minimize environmental impacts, the developers attorney, Brion Morrisette, previously told St. John Tradewinds.
We expect to eliminate dredging altogether, Morrisette said in early-March. The part of the dock that leads from the shore out has been lengthened. The slip areas and the functional part of the dock have been moved farther out, so we dont have to dredge.
The only impact on the seabed will be the installation of pilings for the dock, he added.
Sixty days after DPNR officials complete their review of the major permit application, a public hearing with the St. John CZM Committee will be scheduled. The local CZM Commit-tees decision hearing is usually conducted 30 days after the public hearing.
Overall plans for the first St. John marina include the islands only marine pump-out facility, a desalination plant, a fuel dock for boats, a laundromat, and retail and office spaces.
There has been positive public feedback on the proposed marina, according to Coral Bay Marina LLC attorney Morrisette.
We have received overwhel-ming statements of support from various people in the community, said Morrisette.
But we understand that there are legitimate environmental, and other concerns, and we will be receptive to the publics comments, he added.