Questions for DPNR Regarding Mezzanines

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Dear Department of Planning and Natural Resources Unit Chief Mr. Douglas Hodge,

After reviewing the contents of the DPNR files regarding the Grande Bay Resort project in downtown Cruz Bay, I need clarification on the definition of a loft used by Michael Milne, instead of the mezzanine definition used in the 2003 IBC. I also would like to know the rationale and calculations used by both Milne and DPNR for the approval of what Milne called “loft” units.

I’m addressing you since various correspondences in the DPNR file relating to my concerns bears your name either as a recipient or as a sender. I expect an expeditious response to me through my counsels, Lorren Caffee or Hank Smock. To save time and effort, I attached a copy of the pertinent documentation addressed to you and dated November 15, 2005, from Michael Milne, first architect of Grande Bay Resort.  

In it, Mr. Milne outlined the scope of the Grande Bay project and provided a description of the work. For maximum height, first Milne referred to the V.I. code, Section 229, page 88, R-4 Residential-Medium Density, Item f. He continues to state that “the project height complies with the maximum requirement by proposing three stories and a loft, as defined on page 20 on the V.I. code 92. Story, as less than 33 percent of the floor below, and is equal to the maximum height allowed.”

Next, Milne provided the square footage of the loft levels of buildings C and D totaling 2,828 square foot floor area of 32.67 percent of floor below. The plans submitted by Milne provided calculations only on the enclosed areas for the “loft” units. The covered verandas, decks and hallways on the “loft” level were excluded in the calculations submitted to DPNR. The V.I. code for a story reads as follows: “A mezzanine should be deemed a full story when it covers more than 33 percent of the area of the story underneath said mezzanine.” The decks, covered verandas and hallways cover the story below. Why were these areas omitted in the calculations?

I would appreciate your prompt attention to this matter. Thanking you in advance.

Liza Trey