Briland Residences and Marina’s principal received a green light to continue development of the Harbour Island property on Friday, after a court battle that cost the developer millions in delays.
The Harbour Island Town Council made its decision after a rowdy and sometimes caustic town hall meeting that seemed to pit Harbour island residents—local and second-home owners—against one another.
After the courts found that 4M Harbour Island Limited received its site plan approvals from the wrong entity, the Town Planning Committee, it was ordered to apply to the correct entity for those approvals, the Harbour Island District Council.
Now Briland Residences and Marina can move forward unabated, unless it is once again opposed by BIRD (Br-Island Responsible Development Ltd.) and Harbour Island hotelier Benjamin Simmons.
Michael Wiener, the developer of Briland Residences and Marina, said in a statement released yesterday that he is elated the development—that he contends will bring employment and opportunities to the people of Harbour Island—will begin once again.
“My family and I are thrilled that the Harbour Island Council has approved our site plan for the Briland Residences and Marina,” said Wiener.
“This decision was supported by scores of Brilanders, who came out at the town hall meeting last week to voice their support for the development and from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank each and every one of them. We look forward to restarting our development as quickly as possible, so that we can fulfill our mandate to provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the local residents of Harbour Island.”
While several Harbour Island residents grilled Weiner and other 4M staff over particulars of the development, just as many second-home owners who attended the town hall meeting aired their concerns about the project.
One hotel owner on the island voiced concerns about the roads on Harbour Island—which are in obvious need of repair—explaining that more construction on the island will worsen the state of the thoroughfares. Another resident contended that Weiner and his development should commit to more investment in the community.
Weiner said in his statement that 4M will commit to a $500,000 investment in the community, paid in $100,000 installments over a five-year period to various local institutions, if BIRD and Benjamin Simmons would commit to supporting this commitment with a dollar-for-dollar matching grant.
“It is our hope that this combined community funding will go a long way to improving and enhancing this wonderful island that we all love, whether it is through scholarships, community programs or small-business capital funding,” Weiner said.