BVI News

Premier looking to revive zoning strategy interrupted by hurricanes

A section of Tortola. (BVI News photo)

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has said he plans to have discussions to revisit a physical zoning strategy that had been created for businesses before events such as the 2017 hurricanes interrupted its implementation.

Zoning refers to a policy that organises how land may be used. Speaking at a press conference last Friday, Dr Wheatley noted that he would like to have Chief Planner Gregory Adams host public discussions on the subject.

“Before I was in this position, I remember there was this kind of physical planning plan—not just the Act (legislation), but they had a plan that they were developing for the physical environment and that is something I think we must return to,” the Premier said. 

He noted that businesses setting up shop in locations deemed inappropriate for that business or in locations detrimental to the environment was all part of the plan. 

Among other things, he said the plan proposed having the government liaison with businesses to advise them where best to operate. 

“Those types of matters would have been included in that plan. It may have been a plan or a strategy. But all those factors are included. It included public consultation. Actually, they were having meetings, they were on the radio, and I think it is something we have to return to,” Dr Wheatley said. 

During a sitting of the House of Assembly last week, Territorial At-Large Representative Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith expressed concerns regarding what he described as poor zoning laws in the Virgin Islands. 

Smith noted that many businesses were being set up in the wrong place and this was an issue with optics. He suggested that the Town and Country Planning Department may have to become associated with the now-passed Business Licensing Act in order to effect proper change. 

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19 Comments

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  1. Farmer says:

    Better late than never ??….It would definitely be a wise move for the Government to open discussions with the owners of valuable flat land that is viable for agricultural use. Sooner rather than later we will need to drastically increase the food productivity of our lands. Whilst the price of fuel is still relatively low ( ha ha !) it would make a lot of sense to engage our huge fleet of heavy equipment to clear the few remaining flat lands of abandoned cars and building debris to prepare them for planting. Like wise a strategic plan needs to be put in place for the clearing and enhancing of all Springs and Wells in the BVI.

    Act now – Eat later….

    Like 12
  2. Woman with the bag says:

    God in heaven do something to help those people who live in or near fish bay. There is no way a quarry should be only a few feet away from residential homes and commercial businesses.

    Like 11
    • Rock Steady says:

      Huh! The quarry is over 50 years old. And it is one of two areas legally zoned as an Industrial Zone on the island of Tortola. So deal with that. Everyone who built homes in the area knew they were in an Industrial Zone, and there would be consequences. And FYI Pockwood Pond is the second area that is an Industrial Zone.

      So I would like to see you try and shut down the quarry. The family who owns it will shut it down when they are good and ready.

      Like 1
      Dislike 5
      • @ steady rock says:

        If there is no zoning in the bvi how can fish bay be legally zoned an industrial area? You rich people just make up whatever facts that suit you. There are people older than 50 years who can say that you are lying. I personally can’t shut anything down but it seems that you think you are better than everyone else and untouchable? But everybody time does come eventually. Not a threat just a statement.

        Like 5
        Dislike 2
      • Wow says:

        Why so aggressive?

  3. Killer Bee says:

    Who was there first!

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
    • @ killed bee says:

      It Depends who you ask and the quarry wasnt there first there were already people living in the surrounding area long before the quarry started.

  4. Reality Check says:

    I hope that Planning grows a backbone to be able to stand-up to the elected officials. Planning decisions need to be reviewed by an independent board or, better, publicized, so we don’t have permission granted for things like a bar within fifty feet of a National Park, like at Mt. Healthy sugar-mill. I recall that when the issue of zoning was raised in LEGCO in the mid 90’s the membership collectively stated there was no way they were going to tell a voter what they could or couldn’t do with their land. Hope times change!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  5. ?? says:

    @ Woman with the bag. Then where should the quarry move to? Don’t you realise that this stone and gravel quarry is very important to the BVI economy? Please re-evaluate your thinking. We need this quarry to exist! The solution is and unfortunate. You, the homeowners need to sell your properties and use the funds to relocate elsewhere to live in the BVI.

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
    • @???? says:

      Why don’t you sell yours and relocate to somewhere else; you don’t have any more rights than no one else. I can’t tell you what you should do with your land I don’t think you should tell me what to do with mine. Your the one who should change the way you think.

  6. Deh Watcha says:

    I would like to see serious changes made to coastal landfill requests for developments.

    Stop granting such for persons to turn into dump sites with dirt, old cars, old trucks, old boats, old concrete, trailers, etc. Waterfront properties are prime properties and should look like it.

    These developments should have at least design schematics drawn up when applying and a timeline for completion of the development.

    Like 11
    • @Deh Watcha says:

      I totally agree. Recent “developments” were granted to recent officials friends & family for boat storage & junk should be given back to government & used for parks & recreation.

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  7. Well says:

    Who is Government Official #1? When can we expect an arrest. Who are the police on Kadeem’s payroll? Who are the bought off folks in the ports, all of them. Why are we hearing nothing at all? Because nothing at all is happening. The BVI Unity Government is just wandering here and there with rubbish issues, while we have not heard about the lady in the Premier’s office that sent out the fake documents to Drew’s lawyers?

    Governor Rankin is also a waste of time. We are just seeing this Unity Government acting just as badly as Drews Government. The party is gong on and on as the people of the BVI, watch in wonderment.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  8. Wellsah says:

    Build a proper food , vegetable and meat market in Road Town so vendors would not be selling their good from nooks and cranny at the road side
    2. Build a fish market at Red Bay Dock
    3. A proper meat stall for vendors at the abraitour at Pariquita Bay so the public can buy their meat there

    Too much talk and little actions

  9. WICKED ASS VICTIMIZERS says:

    If all you crooks were focused on doing what is right and just and fair BVI would not be in the state its in today. The answer lies in taking stock of yourself. You deserve everything that is happening and more much more is on the way. This is what happens when you play with fire.

  10. Oh Great! Get involved NOW says:

    The BVI government has not business being in this space…leave us alone!

  11. Zoning says:

    is a dead issue in the BVI. Covenants are the main legal mechanism to control BVI land development. Adjacent land owners(neighbors) are the persons responsible to enforce the covenants in court. This system is a gold mine for land lawyers as the cases go on for decades with ever increasing legal fees for all the parties involved. T&C PLanning is only a toothless side show.

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