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Alana33
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July 28, 2015 12:11 pm  

Property zoned W1 which is developable beachfront has many uses allowable as does R1- Residential low density.

These uses can be found starting on page 33 for R1and page 83 for W1 properties in the VI Zoning, Building and Housing Laws and Regulations. (Which hasn't been updated since published in 1984.)


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East Ender
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July 28, 2015 9:00 pm  

What is amazing is how the whole issue blew up on Facebook in just a few hours. There is such a dearth of civil discussion on this topic and many others. As I said, until there is a land and water use plan, and I do not believe there ever will be, development will be willy-nilly.


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Spartygrad95
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July 28, 2015 9:50 pm  

What is amazing is how the whole issue blew up on Facebook in just a few hours. There is such a dearth of civil discussion on this topic and many others. As I said, until there is a land and water use plan, and I do not believe there ever will be, development will be willy-nilly.

You do not qualify name calling and threats of sabotage as civil?


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Alana33
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July 28, 2015 10:29 pm  

As I said, until there is a land and water use plan, and I do not believe there ever will be, development will be willy-nilly.

Unless we have a comprehensive land and water use plan, I agree, we'll just continue to have these issues. However, having such a plan would mean our Senators would have to give up their "spot zoning"
powers for their buddies and families. We've long been promised such a plan, for decades.

Personally, beaches like those at hotel resorts do absolutely nothing for me. I like wild, natural beaches.

As an aside:

I recently heard that Sugar Bay Dreams (?) Resort has become an all inclusive resort but now if you are not a guest of hotel and wish to get on property for lunch, dinner or a swim, it'll cost you $100 per person to do so. Not sure if that includes the lunch. They need to get over themselves.


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OldTart
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July 28, 2015 10:55 pm  

My understanding so far is that Dreams Sugar Bay offers different guest passes at different prices with the one on the lower end of the scale going up to 5PM and including breakfast and lunch, beach chairs and umbrellas (unclear about kayaks and other "beach toys); and the higher priced pass extending later into the night and including dinner. This is not at all uncommon for all-inclusive resorts and of course the general public has access to the beach as they do to all beaches but without the use of any of the resort amenities.


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Spartygrad95
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July 28, 2015 11:13 pm  

My understanding so far is that Dreams Sugar Bay offers different guest passes at different prices with the one on the lower end of the scale going up to 5PM and including breakfast and lunch, beach chairs and umbrellas (unclear about kayaks and other "beach toys); and the higher priced pass extending later into the night and including dinner. This is not at all uncommon for all-inclusive resorts and of course the general public has access to the beach as they do to all beaches but without the use of any of the resort amenities.

It has been widely reported that they are not letting people access beach via their property w/o paying.


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OldTart
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July 29, 2015 12:13 am  

Where "widely reported"? Dreams is a very reputable company, that would be illegal, and I highly doubt that this is true but just another coconut telegraph rumor. In any case, in all my years here I've never met even one person who's used the beach there other than hotel guests as the nearby choices are infinitely preferable.


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Spartygrad95
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July 29, 2015 12:16 am  

I will find the thread on Facebook where this was discussed. They own up to beach and were indeed charging people to access beach through their property. It was another shitstorm Facebook post. I'll find it.


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Alana33
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July 29, 2015 4:24 am  

I heard about it on a radio talk show. It's ridiculous to have to pay to get in to just to have lunch, especially when their prices are so high for mediocre food and slow service. Guess, they had to do something after losing their EDC benefits.

Bottom line was no pay, no access and the amount mentioned was $100 per person.


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ms411
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July 29, 2015 8:51 am  

Per a thread on CruiseCritic .com, Dreams Sugar Bay is offering a day pass that includes beach access, loungers, use of pool, etc. Day Pass may also include unlimited food and drink for the day. These resort day passes are very popular on other islands based on CruiseCritic posts.

All Inclusives are so popular throughout the Caribbean that it seems like some properties are hoping to finally make AI work in VI. Margaritaville may also be AI or members only with restricted access.

I think the properties are hoping to discourage cruise passengers from taking over their small beaches. The VI needs more beaches to accommodate the growing number of cruisers looking for more beaches with amenities, so businesses like Abi and Dreams are trying to appeal to that market.

I say let the cruisers pay to access beaches at Sugar Bay, et al. The taxi drivers will continue to recommend Magens and Coki, and locals can enjoy all other beaches.

Sapphire, Smith Bay Park, Magens are already on cruise itineraries for a fee with amenities. IMO Dreams is just trying to get their share.


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OldTart
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July 29, 2015 10:49 am  

Well said, ms411 - exactly the point I was making. Visitors are NOT being charged to access or use the beach, they are being offered a day pass to use the hotel's facilities and restaurants which is NOT unusual. If you follow travel forums, visitors to the USVI (particularly those on cruise stops) constantly ask if any of the hotels/resorts offer such all inclusive day passes - again, NOT for access to the beach but for access to beach chairs, toys, pools, restaurants, etc.


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Alana33
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July 29, 2015 10:53 am  

Another reason to get zoning codes up to date as well as laws regarding public access to the resort beaches which to my recollection is supposed to be provided such as it is at Ritz Carlton, Sapphire, Secret Harbor, Morningstar and others.

Not that I have any burning desire to go to Sugar Bay or their beach but they may be in violation.

If not, will other resorts follow suit?

Interestingly, they built Sugar Bay resort atop the original STT dump.

I may be wrong but the way I heard it was that one had to pay for access whether you were walking thru to beach or stopping for lunch.


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OldTart
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July 29, 2015 11:10 am  

Another reason to get zoning codes up to date as well as laws regarding public access to the resort beaches which to my recollection is supposed to be provided such as it is at Ritz Carlton, Sapphire, Secret Harbor, Morningstar and others.

Name ONE beachfront resort property which denies public access to the beach unless an entry fee is paid. You are wrong about Dreams Sugar Bay. Nor can you include Magens Bay and Smith Bay Park where the entry fees are collected by the Magens Bay Authority who use the entry fees to maintain the properties under the their agreement with the VI Government.


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East Ender
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July 29, 2015 11:32 am  

And there is public access to all the beaches mentioned. They do NOT have to give unlimited parking.


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Alana33
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July 29, 2015 11:51 am  

As I said, OT, I may be mistaken about DSB but was just going on what I heard. Nor did I mention Magens or Smith Bay beaches.
You got stock in that company or what?:D


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OldTart
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July 29, 2015 12:19 pm  

Horse's mouth update after telephoning the resort directly.

Full day pass 7AM-11PM 150
Partial day pass 7AM-5PM 100
Evening pass 5PM-11PM 125

Price includes access to all resort facilities and includes meals, beach chairs (I forgot to ask about kayaks, etc.)

There is no charge for members of the public wanting to use the beach alone. If anyone needs more information then of course they can call the resort directly at 340-777-7100.


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watruw8ing4
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July 29, 2015 1:08 pm  

On STX, Buccaneer charges a small fee for beach access. Even if you don't use any of the amenities.


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OldTart
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July 29, 2015 2:14 pm  

From GoToStCroix website:

"There are 3 beaches located within The Buccaneer Hotel property. Unless you are a guest of the hotel, you must pay a small fee to pass through the guard gate to get to these beaches since there are amenities and facilities available for your use. The beaches at The Buccaneer generally offer plenty of parking nearby, restrooms, and freshwater rinse stations."

If you came in from the water there would of course be no entrance fee but it seems in this case the "small entrance fee" is legal since there are "amenities and facilities" for public use.


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Bassman
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July 29, 2015 6:28 pm  

The few times I've gone to the beach at the Buccaneer I tell the guard that we're going for lunch or a drink which we DO follow through on. After a lunch at the Mermaid , we change in the rest rooms and go swimming, use the chairs etc.. Never asked for fees.


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watruw8ing4
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July 30, 2015 3:21 am  

From GoToStCroix website:

"There are 3 beaches located within The Buccaneer Hotel property. Unless you are a guest of the hotel, you must pay a small fee to pass through the guard gate to get to these beaches since there are amenities and facilities available for your use. The beaches at The Buccaneer generally offer plenty of parking nearby, restrooms, and freshwater rinse stations."

If you came in from the water there would of course be no entrance fee but it seems in this case the "small entrance fee" is legal since there are "amenities and facilities" for public use.

Just pointing out that on STX, we do have a resort that charges for public access. And yet, there are amenities at Chenay Bay, Tamarind Reef, Divi, Palms, and more, and these resorts don't charge for beach access.

Bassman, we have done the same thing. But the service is, more often than not, poor at the Mermaid, so we go elsewhere.


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OldTart
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July 30, 2015 10:51 am  

The legal question is, can an entity who conveys a duly executed public access easement either independently or through domain, charge a fee for that access?

The CZM act says, "The CZM Program, through its permitting process, does not allow commercial building on the Territory’s shorelines without first securing an easement for public access to the shorelines. Beaches cannot be fenced off. The public has the right to be on the beach, enjoy them and use them for recreational purposes."

It seems there is nothing in the Act which actually prohibits an entity from charging an entry fee for access so this would fall back on the legal definition of an easement and any relevant conditions attached to it - which as a layman I can't find.


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