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Likelihood of CZM not approving build of single dwelling on W1 or R3

 
Alain Noel
(@alain-noel)
New Member

I am planning to buy a lot in St-Croix but I see land pending and returning on market often so I am starting to worry about the CZM not allowing to build near the ocean on a W1 or R3? Any experience out there? Reason why they would not allow new dwelling to be build?

I see a lot of permit under review but not sure if these go through and how long it takes for a permit to be granted and what would be a reason not to grant such permit if all the standard and condition are followed?

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Please share your experience

Thanks

 

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Topic starter Posted : December 19, 2020 5:44 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Always ALWAYS use local architects, contractors and/or engineers to guide your construction choices. This is most important in getting a project permitted.

You may also need to have an archeology review of a property in addition to CZM approval.  

 Look at topographical maps for assurance a property is not in or near a gut (run off) - sometimes that's not apparent but can become important during extreme weather. 

Septic siting can be an issue near the water.

If you're low you'll need flood insurance in addition to home owners.

We have pulled permits to reconstruct our home that is near the water without issue - the base of our house is at 40 feet.

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Posted : December 20, 2020 4:33 pm
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @alain-noel

I am planning to buy a lot in St-Croix but I see land pending and returning on market often so I am starting to worry about the CZM not allowing to build near the ocean on a W1 or R3? Any experience out there? Reason why they would not allow new dwelling to be build?

I see a lot of permit under review but not sure if these go through and how long it takes for a permit to be granted and what would be a reason not to grant such permit if all the standard and condition are followed?

removed link

Please share your experience

Thanks

 

Like Gators Mom, we also had no issues getting permits for our R3 property. If you are building a simple home, you will not have any problems providing you stay within the zoning regulations. Your architect should be able to guide you with the specifics. I believe it took us four months to get approval.

If I recall correctly, R3 is more favorable than R1 or R2 as it allows for commercial and residential. R3 also allows you to build right up to the property lines. W1 is more for commercial usage rather than residential. With R3, you are only dealing with DPNR; with W1, you are also dealing with CZM.

 

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Posted : December 20, 2020 8:05 pm
alainoel
(@alainoel)
New Member

Thanks for your feedback.. Looks like there is no history on the island denying someone to build a house on a W1 or R3 as long as this is done within the zoning regulation and delimitation.

Gator's mom... I was told we need to be 50 feet from the ocean were you able to justify to be at 40 feet?I guess you had that grandfather since you are reconstructing... Mine would be new so I guess I will have to be on the 50 feet setbacks.

Happy Holiday 2020... Looking forward to 2021 😉

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Posted : December 21, 2020 7:37 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Oh my house is 40 feet above mean sea level LOL. And that is right at the potential tsunami high wave mark set by CZM.

If you're building in the flood zone FEMA will weigh in as well since FEMA is the primary underwriter for flood insurance. The maximum FEMA flood coverage for a residential dwelling is $250K plus contents BTW.

Virtually all earth move projects in the VI are now reviewed by CZM and DPNR prior to permitting.

Another permit factor is requesting input/permission on your project from neighboring property owners just as in the States. A big question to ask a realtor is if neighbors are amenable to a structure being built - particularly if it's near sea level and environmentally sensitive. New projects do get halted in my neighborhood.

The beaches to the north of East End road from about Cheeseburgers east are fronting National Park waters - very hard to build there. 

 

 

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Posted : December 21, 2020 1:48 pm
Alana33 liked
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member

@gators_mom

The Op has stated he wishes to build a dwelling, not some major resort. If the plans are within zoning regulations on R3, they will certainly not need their neighbor's permission or feedback and should not have any issues getting permitted.

If the Op is building a dwelling on W1, then yes, this is more involved, but again, providing they are within regulations and not doing anything extravagant, I can't see any issues.

One thing to point out to the Op; If I recall correctly, and I may be wrong, you will have 12 months to start work on your dwelling once the permits are issued. This does not mean you must build it in 12 months. You could start the project on month 11, even if it is something minor. I say this because this is what our friends did.

@GatorsMom - Maybe you can confirm, would CZM get involved with an R3 lot? My understanding was not, but I could be wrong. 

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Posted : December 21, 2020 3:19 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @stxdreaming1

@gators_mom

The Op has stated he wishes to build a dwelling, not some major resort. If the plans are within zoning regulations on R3, they will certainly not need their neighbor's permission or feedback and should not have any issues getting permitted.

If the Op is building a dwelling on W1, then yes, this is more involved, but again, providing they are within regulations and not doing anything extravagant, I can't see any issues.

One thing to point out to the Op; If I recall correctly, and I may be wrong, you will have 12 months to start work on your dwelling once the permits are issued. This does not mean you must build it in 12 months. You could start the project on month 11, even if it is something minor. I say this because this is what our friends did.

@GatorsMom - Maybe you can confirm, would CZM get involved with an R3 lot? My understanding was not, but I could be wrong. 

I was referencing building in W1 - or on any lot - near the shoreline. Our immediate neighbors were notified we were moving earth on an R-3 lot with an existing dwelling but we're definitely in the Coastal Zone Management specified area near national park waters on STX.  

CZM does not look at the zoning - rather CZM evaluates run off and impact on the shoreline by construction and septic. There are CZM maps available for all of the islands. When we pulled our permit in 2018 CZM and DPNR were reviewing most if not all construction plans and permits post 2017 storms whether or not in the CZM specified area.

With that said, we physically presented our stamped plans (drawn and signed by a local architect) and now renew our permit annually at the DPNR office in Frederiksted - not a big deal and an early 20th century kind of experience for sure.  Construction in the VI takes a very long time. 

CZM is a national program managed in the VI by DPNR.

What is coastal zone management? (noaa.gov)

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Posted : December 21, 2020 4:54 pm
alainoel
(@alainoel)
New Member

Thanks for everyone's contribution.

Looks like I got the ok from DPNR and CZM saying building 2 dwillings on W-1/R3 is perfectly ok and for sure I will be respecting standard zoning and have local architect and professional to guide me. I was  just scared for a moment about minor vs. major permit since major require public hearing and all that jazz (I don't want to have Joe the neighbor saying "I don't want any building in front of my property even if I never wanted to buy that lot!!!"... I am low key and I am just trying to build a house on a W1 or R3 that is within the CZM Tier 1 jurisdiction.

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Posted : December 22, 2020 10:02 pm
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