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Sunsi Bay Access

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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

technically, no private beaches in the VI. Lots of beaches with prohibitted access. which is a shame.

Legally there are no private beaches in the VI. Here's a link to the CZM site which explains the Act which was passed in 1978.

http://coastal-zone-management.dpnr.gov.vi/pages/public-access-283

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Posted : September 26, 2012 11:17 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I find it acceptable that the public doesn't have access to a person's private property. On the other hand, there are public-right-of-way access points that do allow access to some wonderful beaches.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 12:37 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

OT, Thanks for link which(aside from the Ritz beaches) with heaivly restricted pubic access. Obviously the act is not uniformly enforcd. Property owners with big SS are exempt. The access points marked are the for the Ritz Carlton beaches.

I own water front property. From time to time people wander to "my" rocky beach--no big deal. I wouldn't want them hanging out in pool. but the shoreline should not be private.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 12:50 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

OT, Thanks for link which explains "Legally / Techinally" Publlic access. However, even the provided link shows two beaches with heaivly restricted pubic access. Obviously the act is not uniformly enforcd. Property owners with big SS are exempt. The access points marked are the for the Ritz Carlton beaches.

As long as public access is in place the commercial property owner is in conformance with the law. Caneel likewise has specifically designated public access and not "free for all" in order to maintain the privacy of their guests.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 12:55 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

That was the intent. Saddly,it is not applied evenly across the board..... Several locations come to mind.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 1:10 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

That was the intent. Saddly,it is not applied evenly across the board..... Several locations come to mind.

Such as? Just curious.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 1:30 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Access to the beaches at the STT Botany Bay Estate development is very strictly controlled - sign in - provide ID - 2 maybe 3 parking spaces inside the guarded gatehouse - and a long vigorous hike both ways down and UP - unless you are in excellent physical condition, and even then it is a strenuous climb back from the beaches, you cannot enjoy Mermaids Chair or the other beaches on the property. If the guardhouse is not staffed there is no entry. It is a very slim nod at 'public access' but likely at the cutting edge of the legal limit they were required to provide. If they ever do build a resort, as originally requested in their Senate zoning hearings, perhaps there will be parking provided closer to the beaches. Currently it is a gated luxury home community with no commercial development.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 3:22 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Access to the beaches at the STT Botany Bay Estate development is very strictly controlled - sign in - provide ID - 2 maybe 3 parking spaces inside the guarded gatehouse - and a long vigorous hike both ways down and UP - unless you are in excellent physical condition, and even then it is a strenuous climb back from the beaches, you cannot enjoy Mermaids Chair or the other beaches on the property. If the guardhouse is not staffed there is no entry. It is a very slim nod at 'public access' but likely at the cutting edge of the legal limit they were required to provide. If they ever do build a resort, as originally requested in their Senate zoning hearings, perhaps there will be parking provided closer to the beaches. Currently it is a gated luxury home community with no commercial development.

I used to love going to Botany Bay.....................no longer. It is way too far to hike to Sandy Beach, Mermaid's Chair, and the 3rd beach with the ruins and all the Arawak Indian artifacts and back (for me, anyway) While they provide access they make it as difficult as is possible.
So unless you have a couple million to fork over for a lovely home, you won't be driving to their beaches. Of course, if you are in excellent shape and don't mind a long, hot, uphill hike on the return, they have to let you have access as far as the guard gate parking lot.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 10:32 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

You don't mean to say that a private property owner should be required to offer access via a road?

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Posted : September 27, 2012 11:07 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

You don't mean to say that a private property owner should be required to offer access via a road?

Since there is a road that goes to the beach and proposed resort development area - making people walk from the guardhouse to the beach is really just a way to discourage the public access which was guaranteed and agreed to in their permitting process.

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Posted : September 27, 2012 11:44 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I used to love going to Botany Bay.....................no longer.

When I first moved here in 1984 I loved Morningstar. Wonderful memories of walking my dog there after work; swimming; easy access to the water from the beach; all sand, great snorkeling out by the point and right around the corner where Ira Smith's house reigned supreme; Sunday volleyball and so much more The first travesty was the building which now houses the Havana Blue restaurant. Built against all ordinances and way too close to the waterline, the tidal changes resulted in a rocky entry to the water. In later years the Morningstar villas were built and further degraded the shoreline. As Thomas Wolfe so aptly said, "You can't go home again".

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Posted : September 28, 2012 12:10 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

But I assume it is a private road? Unless use of the road for public access is a part of the development agreement. I understand your concerns, but I also understand the needs of the property owner.

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Posted : September 28, 2012 1:17 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

But since you are required to walk only on the road, thus allowing you to use the road - forcing everyone to park at the top and walk both ways is limiting the access to very physically fit people and in general discouraging access by the general public.
I do not have the CZM, DPNR and Legislature documents to be able to state the exact requirements for their public access and have no further interest in continuing on the speculation of what they might be.

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Posted : September 28, 2012 3:03 am
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