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Tree Limin Extreme, LLC zipline does not belong in location zoned R-1

 

Alana33
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August 10, 2012 11:14 pm  

While not against a zipline enterprise, I am not happy with it being allowed in an R-1 Zone, Residential - low density.

I sure wouldn't want to be forced to listen to the constant excited screaming from flocks of tourists ziplining downhill in my quiet neighborhood all day long and on weekends nor deal with interuptions in traffic flow.

The very low key (sneaky?) way this spot zoning was approached and allowed WITHOUT requiring a zoning change and the attendant public hearings is troubling to me and should be for you.

This is exactly why we need our Senators and our Government to have already set stricter zoning codes and comply with with the ones already in place.

How long has it been needed, now? Going on decades!

People who purchase property in our R-1 zoned locations do so with certain expectations and to avoid noise pollution and population density other zoning allows but it seems our Government is willing to give away our rights with regard to our property zoning and do whatever they wish, if the price is right.

No-one seems willing to enforce the present zoning laws we do have in place as it is. That is also very troubling.

Time to stop allowing commercial enterprises in R-1 zoned areas as well as the whole approach to spot zoning. This sets a very bad precedent.

While it may be good for our tourism product, if run properly and no accidents occur, the homeowners in that area shall suffer and it shall devalue their property as well as their quality of life.

This should never have been allowed.

I hope that the lawsuit that the homeowners in this location have brought forth prevails as it sets a terrible precedent for all Residential property owners who value their peace and quiet, their property values, and quality of life.

Think about it, this operation would have been better located in Havensight.
No homeowner is going to be able to rent or sell their property in this location while this operation persists.


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Exit Zero
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August 11, 2012 5:58 am  

it was obviously approved by whatever Govt agencies needed to approve it - envelopes$?? - but the neighborhood is really disturbed - soundwise it is disruptive all day - and this is low cruise ship season! - the same company built a banquet hall, then a restaurant now a zipline all in a residential community - added jobs and a lot of unexpected traffic , noise and commercial activity - ex-Senator Stidiron has property adjacent to the Great House - North Star Village is negatively impacted - St Peter Mt Rd. is congested, on a blind corner no less - just another case of Money talks?? Is it Mid East Company? - Is it locally owned?? Is it an EDC company?? Are the principals named somewhere?
And as locals it is easy to boycott, advise against recommending it, discourage the advertising cards they are speading around, or just do whatever your conscience will allow that lessens the impact and contributes to the failure of the business, if you want.


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islandlovin
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August 11, 2012 10:49 pm  

Seems like everyone should take out there unhappiness on the government. I would be upset too if I lived that close.dont worry I wouldn't be supporting them because it was $70 for locals as an introduction rate that was gonna go up. Seriously that's a little too expensive for me to swing around in the trees! And I did love there ad in Craigslist looking for in shape employees. Isn't take discrimination???


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VIsnorkeler
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August 11, 2012 11:57 pm  

I was under the impression that the owners are the same as Mountain Top. The Greathouse's gardens are just gorgeous. And I love the Blue Orchid. I cannot stop patronizing either of them. However, I had heard the same ridiculous local rate for the zipline. Also, that it took forever and there was no water available for what must be a hot wait between zipping!


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Alana33
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August 12, 2012 12:04 am  

Here is the Source article from May 28, 2012.

"The territory’s first zipline attraction is about to open on St. Thomas’s northside after years of controversy regarding ziplines in residential zoning. There have been proposals for ziplines leading down towards Magens Bay in the past, but this venture has managed to keep a relatively low profile.

Tree Limin Extreme, LLC's office and reception building across the road from the entrance to St. Peter Greathouse.
The zipline park is situated on just over 8 acres of land above St. Peter Mountain Road. The office/reception building is across the road from the entrance to St. Peter Greathouse.

“We’re five weeks away from opening up now, and everyone’s busy,” manager Andrew Bower said last week to explain why no one was available to talk about the project. The Source has made numerous fruitless requests for an interview over the past five months through Bower, who says he is not authorized to speak on the behalf of the company. Attempts to reach company officials directly have been unsuccessful.
"The company is Tree Limin Extreme, LLC, which was registered to do business in the territory in September 2011. It is owned by Marc Bryan and Julie Eaton-Bryan, and was apparently created for the zipline project.

Tree Limin got its permit for the project a month after registering in October 2011, and some area residents have privately questioned how a commercial venture could be allowed in an R-1 (residential, low density) zoning, but say they were told it falls under the category of “Parks and Recreation” which is among the allowable uses for R-1. Attempts to verify that reasoning with Planning before press time were unsuccessful.

What is clear is that the project would have received considerably more attention if it had required a zoning change and the attendant public hearings.

The permit, issued October 24, 2011, allows for the construction of an office/reception building, cutting a road through to the top of the property, somewhere below the Mountain Top shops, and construction of several platform towers with guy wires leading from one to the next over which thrill-seekers are to ride down the mountain side. From the road, most of the work appears to have been completed.

The land in question is owned by GHP, LLC, owners of St. Peter Greathouse. The Bryans have a three-year lease-option-to-buy that indicates the clock starts running “as soon as construction permits are approved for proposed zip line park.” The letter of intent for the lease makes it clear that GHP has no problem with the zipline, even pledging the “seller” to allow Tree Limin to use the Greathouse premises as taxi drop off point if necessary initially.

GHP purchased the land in 2007 from prominent V.I. businessman Randy Knight for $1 million. If the Bryans follow through with the purchase, the price will be that plus approximately another $278,000 to cover taxes and other expenses that GHP has incurred. If they fail to purchase the property, the lease terms call for them to forfeit any improvements they have made on the property.

The project – or at least the concept - appears to have the blessing of the deJongh administration. It was featured last fall on the Tourism website as an upcoming new tourist attraction, and in several recent public forums, Gov. John deJongh has referenced a zipline as a positive addition to the territory’s tourism product. Despite such references, many residents in the area expressed surprise to learn the project was so far along and was going in so close to their homes."


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Exit Zero
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August 12, 2012 6:07 am  

This may well fall into the old oft repeated quotation -- "If you want to leave the VI with a Million $ Dollars -- come with 2 $ Million."
However I am pretty sure I wouldn't want to go up against the esteemed filer of the lawsuit - with a judges parental legacy and a born here lawyer my ancestry would very much pale.


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Alana33
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August 12, 2012 11:57 am  

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the lawsuit and I am rooting for the homeowners. I sure as heck would not want any commercial enterprise to be able to come into my R-1 or R-2 neighborhood and destroy my quality of life, have all the unwanted noise and conditions imposed on me if I purchased property in a location to specifically avoid those conditions because of its zoning. Parks and Recreation does not go hand in hand with low density R-1 zoning or at least, it should not. The fact that this was so far under the radar that homeowners in the area were not aware on what was going on until it was almost to completion smacks of deception.

How on earth are people living in and around that area supposed to continue to live under the conditions imposed by this business?
This will impact the income of any homeowner that has a rental in the area that shall not be able to rent their home or apt. as well as negatively impact their property values, if they decide to sell or even continue to live in their own homes. This is a terrible situation and one I hope none of us ever find ourselves involved in or have to endure.

It is happening to these home and property owners in this area. Your property could be the next one the VI Government may decide to allow to be negatively impacted if this business is allowed to continue its operation and our property and homeowner rights continue to be violated in the name of making a buck.

If any home or property owners out there wish to make their feelings known about having an enterprise such as this adjacent to their property, then contact Maria Tankenson Hodge at Hodge & Francios, Attys. at Law and submit your comments as they are preparing their written submission to the Board of land Use Appeals this coming week - so do it, NOW!


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Linda J
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August 12, 2012 12:37 pm  

With the prices quoted, unless they have significant capital to get them through the looong off season, I'd say they won't be around long enough to worry about them.


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Jamison
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August 12, 2012 1:03 pm  

Cool. I wish there were zip lines on STX.


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Alana33
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August 12, 2012 1:11 pm  

Cool. I wish there were zip lines on STX.

Probably not next door to your home, tho!


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Jamison
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August 12, 2012 1:19 pm  

Cool. I wish there were zip lines on STX.

Probably not next door to your home, tho!

It would help the island and it's got to go somewhere, right?

I try not to be guilty of NIMBY.


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Alana33
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August 12, 2012 1:26 pm  

I'll see if I can find a rental for you next door to it.


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Jamison
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August 12, 2012 1:33 pm  

I know I'm being a little stubborn about it and I apologize, however I think I do have a point.

Could I take it to work, instead of drive? 😀


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Alana33
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August 12, 2012 2:08 pm  

Yes, you are being a bit stubborn and disingenious as I'm sure there are many things you would not wish to see or hear (or smell, for that matter) in your own back yard. At $70 bucks a pop,(local pricing) I'm sure you could figure out a better way to get to work daily.
I apologize too, but I do believe home and property owners have the right to certain expectations when they plop down a whole lot of money to purchase property in Residential neighborhoods and to not have those rights and expectations trampled by those finding ways to circumvent the laws.


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VIsnorkeler
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August 12, 2012 2:10 pm  

At $70 a pop, Jamison, you MAY find it cost prohibitive. :$)


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Linda J
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August 12, 2012 3:19 pm  

And, any way you slice this, it isn't a park.


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islandlovin
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August 13, 2012 1:04 am  

Dont forget $70 is just the "introductory" rate....its going up. At that price what local would really do it? but do it more then once?? No way
For $33 i can take a 3 hour snorkel trip and have an open bar ....i have actually been on that boat twice in a month because its such a good deal


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VIsnorkeler
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August 13, 2012 3:02 am  

Which boat? Where do you go? Can I bring my own gear?


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Alana33
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August 13, 2012 3:15 am  

Dont forget $70 is just the "introductory" rate....its going up. At that price what local would really do it? but do it more then once?? No way
For $33 i can take a 3 hour snorkel trip and have an open bar ....i have actually been on that boat twice in a month because its such a good deal

This isn't about their rates. I could care less about their rates because I cannot support this business in its present location and the owners of this business should have known better than to place it in this location or in any other residential location.

It's about having such a business enterprise located in a residential zone and our home and property owners rights not to be inflicted with noise, depreciation of property values and our rights to live in and enjoy our own homes without having those expectations violated,
The homeowners in the surrounding area were not even given any notice by any Government Dept. that such an enterprise was being considered for permits. The manner in which this whole fiasco was allowed, was in a sly, sneaky and back-door manner.
Until our government officials and administrators learn that we will not tolerate such underhanded behavior and that we will stand up for our rights, we shall all end up suffering the consequences.


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ms411
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August 13, 2012 10:22 am  

The boat is Heavenly Days out of Bolongo. I've done it twice, too. Excellent!


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islandlovin
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August 13, 2012 10:15 pm  

Oops sorry alana33 I guess I saw you writing about it being $70 and thought we were nagging on the price of it too. Someone posted about the new congestion of traffic from this place too....I live on the NorthSide I have never seen a traffic congestion???


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