Dart in dock over junkyard dispute

| 13/07/2016 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service

Junkyard on Crewe Road, George Town

(CNS): The ongoing saga over an illegal car scrapyard at a site owned by Dart Reality (Cayman) Ltd saw the islands’ largest investor summoned to court Tuesday facing charges of failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice. However, the Summary Court heard that the case, which was brought by the Central Planning Authority, is under review by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as Dart claims it is trying to comply but cannot because the tenant on the property, who was running a junkyard, is the one breaking the rules and the firm is involved in a civil case with him to get off the site.

Linda DaCosta, who was representing Dart, said her client had spent a considerable amount of its “own dime” employing a specialist firm to remove the scrap cars from the site. She suggested that the case against Dart should be closed, as she bemoaned the cash the developer was shelling out in legal fees to deal with the issue.

The court heard that the DPP has now charged the scrapyard owner, Harold Spence, with the same offence, though CNS understands that the CPA issued the notice against Dart and not Spence.

The dispute with planning has been ongoing since 2014 and DaCosta said that “each step of the way” Dart had kept the planning department involved in what was happening regarding the civil proceedings. But the firm could not simply kick the tenant off the property and had to follow the process, she said, claiming that Dart should not have received an enforcement notice because the firm had done everything it could to deal with the matter. She said it was a waste of time and money to keep coming to court.

Magistrate Valdis Foldats explained that he could not dismiss the case because it was up to the DPP whether or not a case was pursued. He said that either she should enter a plea of not guilty and pursue the defence case or he could grant a further adjournment for the parties involved to discuss the case. DaCosta accepted the adjournment until 19 July.

Earlier this year Dart confirmed that the land was part of its growing property portfolio across Cayman, acquired when the group purchased a chain of local liquor stores.

The firm said at the time that Automotive Services, which was renting the site, had been asked multiple times to clean up the scrapyard there and comply with the terms of the lease but had not cooperated.

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Comments (24)

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  1. Mr. Clean says:

    When is the last time planning visited Mr Spence at his place of residence. Enforcement issue noticed?

  2. The Enforcer says:

    Meanwhile, a black SUV has been sitting on a blind corner, inches away from a main thoroughfare, where there has been a previous fatal accident, for about a week now. Not one shit has been given.

  3. whatever says:

    I mean, look, you have DART keeping Planning et al apprised of what is going on… I mean who really does that in the Cayman Islands…??? NOBODY! So DART goes by the book, does its due diligence, and you have the cretins taking them to court…Hmmmh??
    Cretin of the week: 1. Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions… Tied for first place is: Drunk lawyer who runs US couple over, leaves them for dead, lies about it up and down in court and uses his wife to plead mercy 2. Planning Department

  4. whatever says:

    Anyway to prosecute the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the Planning Department for incompetence?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Come on CIG…..keep up the waste of time and money why don’t you

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yep, my little 2×4. I guess I am stuck with it as it is too small for him to even bother with.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Site was cleared months ago. Any planning permission for the plywood eyesore fence on the property boundary? Who put that up?

  8. Slum Lord says:

    DRCL should have issued a cease and desist order to its tenant ages ago. Now the landlord should also be footing the bill for cleaning up the soil/groundwater on the site. Negligence on both sides it seems. Either way someone has to pay the piper, any guesses who that’s going to be?

    • Anonymous says:

      DRCL can’t issue a cease and desist order – only a Court of Law can do that. The Landlord can write to the Tenant to identify Tenant breaches and can then take action to recover possession of the Premises by way of legal proceeding. Do you know when the Tenant received its breach notice? Do you know when the claim of breach of lease was filed and the date it was heard? Do you know the date a court order in favour of Dart was made? Do you know the date the order for enforcement of the court order was made? Do you know who is “footing the bill”? I never quite understand how people get on and dictate what should happen without knowing the process or facts themselves.

  9. Anonymous says:

    More of our time and money being wasted by inept DPP and CIG bureaucracy.

  10. Exodus says:

    What a mess…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Come on! Are we seriously expected to believe that Dart cannot simply make the tenant an ‘offer he can’t refuse’ and solve this?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dart is not a “firm”. The term “firm” is used for practices such as lawyers or accountants. Which ever Dart-owned entity is the Landlord, is a company.

  13. Anonymous says:

    These scrap yards are springing up all over Cayman and are a menace to the environment. Govt. needs to shut half of these down and issue abatement notices to the dozens of private home owners creating unsightly collections of non-functioning deportee vehicles in their backyards.

    • Anonymous says:

      And make us all pay rip-off retail prices for car parts?

    • Anonymous says:

      Govt, are dumping old trucks/cars, washing machines/dryers and other junk on the Brac Bluff known as the Rock, why is the Government during something that is against the law. We know that the Brac does not have any good leaders anymore, is that the problem ?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Is there any place left in Cayman that Dart doesn’t own?

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