St. Maarten Zoning plans now complete towards the end of 2013

POSTED: 11/21/12 12:59 PM

St. Maarten – The central committee meeting with Vromi-Minister William Marlin on Monday to a large extent was a repeat of an earlier presentation by the minister about zoning plans that was held behind closed doors.

Minister Marlin referred the members of the central committee to the government’s website where all information about the zoning plans is available.

Currently the country only has a zoning plan in place for Fort Amsterdam. Simpson Bay has gone through two public town hall meetings; the ministry will now draft a final plan that will then be presented to the district’s residents before it goes through the approval process. The parliament has the last word on it.

Other draft plans have been prepared for the hillsides, Cole Bay, Cul-de-Sac, Cay Bay/Billy Folly and Little Bay. Preparations are underway for zoning plans in Dutch Quarter, the east coast (Dawn Beach, Pointe Blanche and Guana Bay), Middle Region and the greater Philipsburg area.

According to the minister, all zoning plans will be ready to go to the Council of Ministers for approval towards the end of next year. When Marlin made his first presentation about the zoning plans in August, his consultants said that the plans would be completed by June of next year.

“The final discussion about these plans is not with the Council of Ministers or with the minister of Vromi, but with the parliament,” Marlin said.

Among the remarks coming from members of parliament during the 6-hour meeting, was one from UP-MP Jules James about the state of the parliament building. “We are paying $96,000 per month; toilets are constantly out of order and ceiling tiles are disgusting because of leakages. I wonder why we are paying that kind of money.”

James also referred to plans to fill in the bay at Cay Bay. “My understanding is that the plan is to construct wind farms there.”

James also quizzed the minister about the controversial filling in of the Great Salt Pond. He wants the government accountant bureau Soab to investigate this matter. “Who issued the instructions to fill in the pond? It is a monument; it is supposed to be protected. I am asking the Soab to take up the challenge and to provide this information. Minister Marlin stayed silent for too long on this issue. It is wrong, this should not have happened.”

James also asked the minister “to take corrective measures.”

The meeting was adjourned after six hours and will continue next week . Minister Marlin will then address questions posed by parliamentarians.

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