St Barts Carte d’Urbanism, Zoning Map, updated January 1, 2021

St Barts Carte d’Urbanism, Zoning Map, updated January 1, 2021

The island of St Barthelemy, aka St Barts, manages all issues relating to development and preservation of natural spaces through its Carte d’Urbanism, or zoning map. The first Carte d’Urbanism was published in 2007, and every 2-3 years it is amended and updated. The current Carte d’Urbanism was published in 2017, and was officially updated on January 1, 2021.

Interactive map of the St Barts Carte d’Urbanism

What’s new with the 2021 edition of the St Barths Carte d’Urbanism?

  • Confirming the desire to preserve the architectural history and character of the island, which includes designating structures and shrines to be protected
  • Clarifying the boundaries of the urban area of the villages of Saint-Jean, Lorient, Flamands, Colombier, Corossol, Anse des Cayes and Anse des Lézards, and defining density and height guidelines for those urban areas, separate and distinct from the rural areas that surround them
  • Defining areas for development of single-family residences specifically for local residents
  • Revising set-back rules for buildings to be developed along the coast to both protect open spaces, and protect the buildings themselves from natural forces
  • Tightening restrictions on the expansion of existing hotels, limiting the addition of new rooms
  • Integrating plans for infrastructure improvements – detailed plans for the expansion of water, electrical, and digital services to each area of the island
  • A special addendum was added containing detailed guidelines for the restoration of the buildings and open spaces on the Rockefeller land on Colombier bay

History of the St Barts Carte d’Urbanism

The government of St Barts contracted with George Carrere to conduct a study in 1996 on the economic, social and cultural situation of the Island of Saint-Barthélemy, The conclusion of the report was that “self-control, or the lack thereof,  is the weakness of St Barts in the sense that Saint-Barths cannot exercise a management of its own lands even if they do manage many areas of their spatial and economic organization ”.

As a result, the local authorities embarked on a process of gaining some measure of autonomy and control over the management and development of the island. The referendum of December 7, 2003 saw the voters of Saint-Barthélemy adopt, with a majority of 95.51%, the statute of Overseas Collectivity (COM), defined by article 74 of the Constitution.

The organic law of February 21, 2007, conferred on the new Overseas Collectivity of Saint Barthélemy, as of July 15, 2007, broad specific powers, in particular in the fields of town planning, housing, construction, taxation, and the environment.

In October 2007, the Collectivite adopted its own town planning code, the first step in codifying existing standards for development, and defining its zoning plan for the island.

In February 2017, the Collectivite approved updates to the Carte d’Urbanism, the main objective of which was, by delimiting building zones and non-building natural zones, to put an end to the legal uncertainty about what was and was not buildable land. This edition of the zoning map also took steps to define an urban planning approach for development in Gustavia, the island’s capital city.

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