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After nearly two years of debate and due diligence, studies, meetings, setbacks, and modifications,  the island’s new zoning plan, adopted by the island’s territorial council in November of 2010- less than six months ago-is now in the scrap heap.  By law, each territorial deliberation is subject to review by a representative of the federal government whose job it is to determine whether the deliberation meets with federal law. In the case of the new zoning plan,  the state representative determined that St. Barth’s shiny new zoning plan did not, at least not entirely, and called into question the plan’s legal validity, particularly as concerns the classification of certain zones.

To the island’s zoning commission, the new zoning plan seemed clear enough:  the island was divided into ‘build’ and ‘no-build’ zones. The ‘build’ zones were then assigned coefficients that define the percentage of terrain that could be developed

To avoid legal complications, island leaders opted to scrap the current plan on March 25.  Save for a few exceptions, the new zoning plan will take into consideration federal commentary, but the general economy of the document and the zoning classifications should remain largely the same. One of the initial steps in the approval process toward adoption includes a 30-day period of public review,  starting April 14th, that will invite three different island groups: the general public, the island’s architects and civil engineers, and its environmental groups, to give their opinions on St. Barth zoning policy.
Until the new zoning plan is operational- this  is estimated to be toward the end of 2011-the national zoning code will serve as the governing document for the island’s building and zoning policy.

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