CIG takes steps over derelict tourist properties

| 10/06/2015 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service

The old dive shop at Divi Tiara, Cayman Brac

(CNS): The government has been attempting to address the derelict Divi Tiara Beach Resort in Cayman Brac and the former Islander Hotel on the West Bay Road, officials have said. The former tourism sites have both been deserted for long periods and as well as being visually unattractive there have been concerns raised in the community about the environmental health and anti-social problems the deserted and rundown former hotels pose.

During Finance Committee on Friday, members of the Legislative Assembly heard that the tourism ministry was trying to deal with the Divi Tiara on the Brac (see video here), which has been closed since 2006, and had been told by the owners that they would not re-invest in the property until airlift was improved to the Sister Islands.

Department of Tourism Director Rosa Harris said that an abatement notice had been served to the owners of the now derelict resort, which sits on one of Cayman Brac’s most beautiful beaches, but there had been no response. The tourism boss explained that the government was going through the legal process to force the hand of the owners to deal with the site.

She said that the DoT had tried to talk to the owners, who have previously said they were still committed to the resort and were not selling the site, but they have retained the position since they closed the resort’s doors more than six years ago that the airlift issue prevents them from making any investment.

However, the planning law provides for government to take legal action and fine owners for abandoning property on a daily basis, forcing there hand to clean up the site.

Meanwhile, in the heart of Grand Cayman’s tourist district another long-abandoned property has also caused concerns. Responding to a complaint from the public about the former Islander Hotel site opposite the Marriott Resort, the planning director revealed that the state of the buildings would be raised again with the Central Planning Authority at this week’s meeting, with the aim of issuing a Section 29A Maintenance of Land Notice i to the property owners.

“Whilst this provision does not provide the CPA with the statutory authority to demolish the building, it does require the land owner to remedy the offending appearance of the buildings in question, so as to not adversely affect the amenity of the area or face financial penalties upon summary conviction,” Haroon Pandohie said.

The property is believed to be infested with rats, suffering from an abundance of mould and providing cover for drug abusers, who are said to squatting at the site.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    the ghettos of George town are a disgrace how can people sit in those offices all day and look down at those people without electricity or running water Cayman is nothing but a third world country Most of those ghettos are owned by your upper class citizens making good money off the backs of your slave labor I cant wait for God to wipe your crummy little rock out I will sit back with a big smile and watch it on my TV and I wont give a dime to your rebuilding scam efforts.
    That said after Ivan Thousands of red cross kits were sent to the landfill and hundreds of tarps also just so that your big retailers could make as much money as they could Some of your leaders still have cases and cases of toiletries sitting in their garages

  2. MISS Cayman Brac says:

    Dear 11:07
    It is a moral obligation because of “love your neighbor as yourself” concept. Some of us believe in a moral compass of how to live our lives and our relationships to how we treat people around us. That is just my ideal for my life and maybe you are the owner of a derelict property and feel you can keep it the way you like. Fine, but you keep your property value down by not keeping around you looking nice. Doing the right thing is doing what is right around you when no one is looking. You know, old fashioned values of thoughtfulness, caring, etc. I don’t apologize for being preachy. Others are always watching so let the good, the true and the beautiful begin with me.
    Zoning and enforcement should be followed up now that the Cadastral Survey has happened. Do you also like everyone parking in your front yard, coming in and out of your property at will, playing loud stereos at 3 a.m.? No, because you want order and others have a right to expect rules and order too. The three islands are lovely, understated places but it is up to each owner, tenant to care for his property if it is going to remain that way.

  3. MISS Cayman Brac says:

    Dear 4:28
    No one in this forum is talking about imposing restrictions on foreigners specifically. Junk properties are an equal opportunity happening. If you read all of the blogs in here you will see a crying need of many people citing many different locations. Locations of commercial property, mixed use and residential for both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. Maybe a Little Caymanian will weigh in?
    This issue needs to be addressed for ourselves, visitors and our potential tourist dollar.
    We islanders that own property and foreigners alike owe it to ourselves as a moral obligation to keep our places free of debris, junk in that it is common sense that these enable disease and blight.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is there an obligation? If I own multiple properties and one to leave one to rot that is my right.

  4. MISS Cayman Brac says:

    This subject of asthetics is one that should be uppermost in the minds of everyone on all three islands.
    While we are blest as Caymanians with no property taxes, a down side of this is that the incentive to fix up and sell is many times not followed through. I am not endorsing the idea of a property tax but properties that sit there for years and years with us driving by and being embarrassed calls for answers.
    I get a deep feeling that Mr. Kurt Tibbetts, the Minister that this responsibility will fall under, has a commitment to the betterment of real estate and to the wiping out of eye sores of derelict properties.
    Some type of zoning needs to be in place for improvements to happen.
    This is 2015 and it is high noon. We see the lovely restorations that have been done to the waterfront in George Town just to welcome cruise ship tourists, easy on the eye landscaping along Seven Mile Beach that appeals to us, Caymana Bay’s loud speaking lush landscapes. We love it because it calls to us and quietly evokes a feeling of peace and calm.
    All of us working together to stamp out blighted properties as a whole is a tremendous goal for every property owner, renter.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So Brackers are happy to impose restrictions on the use of real estate provided the targets are foreign?

  6. Just Askin' says:

    Can these fines extend to the NRA for their illegal dumping of derelict heavy equipment (with their logo conveniently painted over) across from PPM headquarters on Crewe Road?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Its been over 10 years since Ivan yet there are still a half dozen carcasses of private homes along south sound road. The wealthy owners collected their insurance and purchased elsewhere rather than rebuild. These owners should be ashamed. They are impacting the beauty of the island while they wait for their empty scarred lots to appreciate.

  8. People For An Ezzard Free L.A. says:

    We not hear anything from motormouth about the derelict hotel in North Side. Why might that be?

  9. Anonymous says:

    action should be taken against all derlict properties….. but succesive spineless governments turn a blind eye to the law (just like the recent compass editorial)….just another day in wonderland…..

  10. Anonymous says:

    Old Hyatt?!?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t the DoE tear it down and build another scum pond?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why does the government not take action against the family in the watering place district of Cayman Brac who own the gas station there and have derelict property across the street and a rotting 20ft. Container. This too is an eye sore, rat infested junk yard property and has been like that since hurricane Paloma. What is good for the Divi property owners should also be good for the Brackas who too are in violation of our laws.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Please add the Spanish Bay site in West Bay to the list. Its a disaster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Planning is only good for stressing out and causing grief to the locals when they are building or try to carry out upgrades to their proprieties. The changes and other deliberate actions that they take cause property owners additional expenses. They are only good to slow down progress for all of us.

    • Anonymous says:

      and probably around 50% of properties in george town….

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