Case Caption: Virgin Islands Conservation Society, Inc. v. Golden Resorts, LLLPCase Number: S.Ct.Civ.No.: 2009-0026Date: 07/26/2011Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In a complex dispute involving a coastal zone permit related to development of a resort hotel, casino and convention center on parcels of wetlands, since the Coastal Zone Management Act does not vest an administrative agency with jurisdiction to review Virgin Islands Board of Land Use Appeals decisions, the Superior Court erred when it held that the plaintiff conservation group could not proceed under 12 V.I.C. § 913(b)(1) because it failed to exhaust administrative remedies. The conservation group is not-through this action-challenging the validity of the developer's initial permit by default, but only seeking injunctive relief on the grounds that (1) it let that permit lapse by failing to timely obtain an extension, and (2) the Board of Land Use Appeals lacked jurisdiction to extend the permit. Thus, the plaintiff is not bringing its § 913(b)(1) action as a substitute for a petition for writ of review, and requiring the Superior Court to consider its request for injunctive relief on the merits would not undermine the regulatory framework set forth in the Coastal Zone Management Act or violate the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. Consequently, the order appealed from is reversed and the case is remanded for consideration of the plaintiff's application for injunctive relief on the merits.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion