Town hall meetings to be organized for the drafting of development plans with land use regulations

The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI) will be embarking upon a public consultation process with respect to the drafting of "development plans" for country Sint Maarten.

The input of the community is considered paramount in this process and in order for the right choices to be made, the community has to have a say by giving their views with respect to the spatial national development of the country.

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The drafting of the development plans will take approximately 24 months and the aforementioned plans will guide the future spatial development of the country where it relates to government and private land.

The first two draft plans in preparation are Simpson Bay (includes Beacon Hill, Simpson Bay Lagoon) and Conservation areas (hilltops, Emilio Wilson Estate, Bishop Hill Plantation, Geneve Bay).

The first town hall meeting will be held in Simpson Bay on Thursday, March 8 in the Allen Halley Sports & Recreation Center starting at 7.00pm. Residents of Simpson Bay and Beacon Hill and surrounding areas are invited to come to the meeting.

The second town hall meeting is related to Conservation Areas and this one will be held on Thursday, March 14 in the Belair Community Center in Cay Hill starting at 7.00pm.

The Zoning Ordinance (EROP) prescribes that development plans are established regulating the development possibilities and land usage on the Dutch side of the island.

The planning process consists of the following steps for public participation and support for each of the plans:

· an inventory of wishes in town hall meetings that will result in a memorandum of principles for the development plan;

· a consultation concerning the choices that have to be made for the preparation of the preliminary draft development plan;

· finally your opinion with regards to the proposals in the preliminary draft development plan, which will be presented in a public hearing.

The Government believes that the public and stakeholders must have a say in the preparation of the plans, and must also have the opportunity to (public) review and give comments on the draft plans before they are sent to Parliament for approval.