Building and Renovating Property in the US Virgin Islands: Restrictions and Requirements

Are you looking to build or renovate property in the US Virgin Islands? It is essential to be aware of the restrictions and requirements that come with it. The Virgin Islands Planning Office has the authority to review applications for building or land use, and no construction can be done without their approval. However, many improvements and repairs within an existing space do not require permits, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and floors. The Construction Surcharges Act of the United States Virgin Islands outlines the provisions for filing mechanical levies and levies for men of materials.

A mechanical tax from the USVI takes precedence over any tax recorded after the date the tax was attached. Since building areas in the Virgin Islands are limited due to topography and the availability of central sewerage and water facilities, higher densities are allowed than those found in single-family and two-family residential districts. A mechanical tax in the USVI requires a description of the real estate subject to the tax sufficient for identification. An action must be initiated to enforce a mechanical tax within 90 days of its registration.

Most of the Virgin Islands' limited industry is “light”, consisting of warehousing, contracting, light assembly, and textile manufacturing. Much of the so-called residential properties in the Virgin Islands are currently in the R-10 zone, which requires a minimum lot area of 10,000 square feet. Generally, an action to enforce a mechanical embargo in the USVI must be initiated within 90 days of its registration. Much of the land in the Virgin Islands is mountainous or hilly, with steep slopes and a minimum amount of soil above a rocky subsoil.

No lien of retention shall be applied to real property on behalf of any claimant other than the main contractor if the owner or main contractor, before commencing the improvement under the contract between the owner and the main contractor, purchases from a security company authorized to operate in the Virgin Islands a payment bond that meets the requirements of this section. Notwithstanding section 253 of this title, a person who makes an improvement pursuant to a real estate improvement contract with the Government of the United States Virgin Islands is not entitled to a lien of retention under this chapter. Until now, development patterns in the Virgin Islands have allowed individual commercial establishments to be established in residential districts. The USVI does not have statutory tax exemption forms; therefore, any tax exemption form can be used.

USVI law requires a lien claimant to release their lien rights after it has been fully or partially satisfied.

Darrin Kleekamp
Darrin Kleekamp

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