Minister Lake seeks meeting with Simpson Bay Community Council

POSTED: 03/17/14 6:45 PM

St. Maarten – Minister of Spatial Planning Maurice Lake said in a press release that he will be seeking a meeting with the Simpson Bay Community Council board regarding the current zoning and development plan process.

Minister Lake wanted to reiterate that prior to the February 25, 2014 zoning public hearing in Simpson Bay, two town hall meetings were held in Simpson Bay related to possible development options for the Simpson Bay area.  The meetings were held in March 2012 and September 2012.

The draft preliminary development plans Simpson Bay of March 2012 and September 2012 are currently available on the government website since then for download.

“Urban planners draft plans for community discussion.  That is their role with respect to drafting preliminary plans on what is possible for the respective areas.  The proposed pier at the entrance to the Simpson Bay Bridge and the proposed boardwalk along the Simpson Bay Lagoon are possibilities that have been in the urban preliminary plans since March 2012 when they were presented for discussion in the town hall meeting.

“I fully and totally believe in transparency and openness, and community engagement. This is my back to basics approach, from the ground up.  The draft Simpson Bay development plans are what it is, a draft, and changes can still be made.

“I know it is an election year and different parties and personalities are vying for the public’s attention and to score points.  I listen to the people and work for the people. I did it with the Cape Bay Community Council and I will continue on the same approach with the Simpson Bay Community Council board.

“I like when community councils engage and are outspoken on matters and voice their opinion about the draft preliminary development plans.

“I became Minister of VROMI in June 2013, and the preliminary plans I met there, and were there more than a year before I came into the picture; however, I do welcome the discussion and the great interests shown by the residents of Simpson Bay and of the surrounding areas with respect to the plans.  This is what democracy is all about, having your voice heard, presenting your position on what you don’t want and what you want loud and clear.  I do hear you, I hear your cry, and I welcome your voice of how you feel about your community!

“I remind residents you have a period of time, 30-days, to present their written objections addressed to the Minister of VROMI once an official notification has been made with respect to this. I think that it’s very important to listen to the people’s concerns. Nothing is being forced down anybody’s throat and the people have the choice of saying yes or no.

“Therefore, I would like to meet with the Simpson Bay Community Council board to discuss the current state of affairs after the public hearing of February 25,” Minister Lake said over the weekend.


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