Planning & zoning regulations
St. Maarten adopted its own Planning and Zoning Ordinance in 1993 (Eilandsverordening Ruimtelijke Ontwikkelingsplanning St. Maarten, ”EROP”). However, St. Maarten is not in the process of adopting a development plan with zoning rules based on the EROP for the whole island at this stage. There is a development plan applicable for the area of Fort Amsterdam and the government is also preparing Planning and Zoning Regulations for the Lowlands area, the Simpson Bay area and some nature and scenery preservation areas. St. Maarten is therefore only partially exercising its power to adopt preparatory local plans as an instrument against undesirable building developments.
The mandatory Planning and Zoning Regulations can infringe on the rights of the owners of real estate property. However, under certain circumstances, interested parties who, as a result of local zoning plans, suffer plan-related damages, are entitled to compensation from the government.