On Wednesday, January 18 th 2023, Minister of Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment
and Infrastructure, the Honorable Egbert Doran, presented to Parliament the vision of the ministry as it
pertains to spatial planning and a policy for the island of Sint Maarten.
The Spatial Development Strategy, while not a binding policy, envisions our national spatial planning
until 2030 and provides guidelines on how to carry out this vision. It aims for sustainable spatial
development, meaning that spatial development should meet the needs of the present without
compromising future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, a balance should be sought the
between economic, social, and environmental domain when developing and preserving our scarce
space. The strategy also serves as a framework for the establishment of legislation and area specific
policies for the built and natural environment such as zoning plans, updated Sint Maarten building code,
Nature policy, Country Sewage master plan etc.
While pleased with the strategy, Minister Doran stressed the importance of finalizing this process for the
protection of Sint Maarten. “It is vital that now we put in place the policies that will be needed as we are
the ones responsible today and our actions, or inactions, play a pivotal role in what our country will look
like in years to come.”
Noteworthy points of the SDS included the promotion of the development of a niche market for (small)
scale boutique or lifestyle hotels, upgrades to the existing road network to improve traffic flow and
mobility for visitors, especially in congested and crowed areas by retrofitting infrastructure. Also
included was the promotion of harnessing energy through rooftop solar panels and other sustainable
means and the collection of housing data to establish a national housing policy that is aimed at the
improvement of the housing market/stock so that it caters to all groups of society including the elderly,
the differently-abled, first time home owners and those with lower incomes.
The spatial Development Strategy was compiled based on Spatial planning trend analyses of the past
decades, Other governmental policies/programs, and all policies at VROMI related to land use. It also
included the input from the public, as stakeholder via information obtained during the zoning plans
town hall meetings and included the immediate and future plans of other ministries that may have an
impact on the strategy. The strategy was compiled so that it aligns with National Development Vision of
the Government of Sint Maarten and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.