Discovery Point Club responds to accusations

| 18/10/2018 | 31 Comments

Cayman News ServiceRebuttal to ‘Neighbour furious over vegetation destruction’: Mr Johnson, this is the Strata Executive Committee’s reply to your email and your grossly inaccurate article in CNS.

1) There was no “wanton destruction” of your vegetation. After confirmation of the boundary lines, it appears there was no trespass.

2) No vegetation “around his house” was destroyed. Only clean up of the fence line from our building to the sea. A gross overstatement for effect.

3) “Without any notice” — untrue! A phone call was made. Mrs Johnson was alerted to our need to repair/replace fencing, was invited to come to DPC to view and did with our general manager and myself. She said Mr Johnson said it was our fence and offered to pay half the cost (later rescinded).

4) The plant material and the grape tree are on our property. In fact, a current survey indicates that the lot line is approximately a foot north of the fence. So all vegetation on the beach was Discovery Point Club’s.

5) Our goal was to reclaim 6-8 feet of our beach from the overgrowth of our landscape plants, remove habitat for ants, iguanas, rodents. In the process it became obvious that to cut back the plants would result in naked sticks, that the landscape plant material had aged and new plants of a controllable type would be needed, and have already been planted. The removed hedge was, as you stated, planted years ago and was landscaping not native to SMB. Mr Johnson, you are welcome to plant whatever you wish on your property but to wish to control what we do on ours is unrealistic.

6) The grape tree was vastly overgrown, out of control and like the hedge, covering about 8 feet of natural beach, to cut it back enough would leave a bare trunk. Also, we discovered termites in the stump. We have video of them and have had our pest control verify this as well with an offer to put it in writing. Additionally, a subterranean nest was discovered. The portion remaining may actually also be on DPC property but has been retained with the hope the termites have been controlled.

7) To call managing our grounds “selfish” is ludicrous.

8) I have halted the intended trimming of any of the tall hedge protruding thru or under our fence, and apparently rooted on our property, on our north lot line to facilitate fence repair/replacement until I can be on site to evaluate possible remedies to their branches bending over our walk way. It would likely leave holes in the hedge for the same reasons we couldn’t trim the hedge on the beach enough without making it unsightly. I have also halted, temporarily, the repair/replacement of the fence for the same above reasons. I did reach out to you for your input on how to best remedy this situation but you have chosen not to reply.

9) On the subject of respecting “natural conditions”, is bringing in foreign fill on the sea side of the high water line respectful? Is a manicured lawn natural island vegetation? Was wanting to build a solid sea wall below the high water line preserving the natural state of SMB? Was wanting to place Gambian blocks in the Caribbean not selfish and disrespectful of natural flora and fauna? Is it “respecting the rights of others”? We think not. Something about living in a glass house comes to mind.

Mr Johnson, your reckless disregard for fact or truth has forced us to defend our good name.

H. Todd Cubbon, Chairman
Strata No. 81

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Category: Letter to Editor, Viewpoint

Comments (31)

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  1. MM says:

    Interesting…

    And for those who say “this is not relevant for a news/media outlet to publish” – of course it is. This is what makes a free press, a free press. Even CNN has an entertainment section – the commenters do appear to be well-entertained.

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  2. Ron Ebanks says:

    Mr. Johnson , a little bit of unprofessional legal advice , I think you could be saying too much publicly , but read paragraph 8 and 9 and see what you think .
    But without seeing everything with my eyes , it does sound like someone is not sure about somethings .
    I would let my Lawyer handle it from here on .

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      Ron what we have here are libelous comments from DP who claim they sent an email to me. They did not respond to the letter of the property owner dated September 26 as they state. Much of what they state is fabricated nonsense and I have expert testimony, emails and photographs to support my cause. Plain and simple they wantonly destroyed trees and fauna on property not owned by them. As you well know grape trees on the beach help beach erosion.

      As Mark Twain said ‘ What let the truth get in the way of a good story’ .

      The matter has ballooned totally out of proportion with a vast number of silly remarks from readers.

      Arising from this and for legal reasons I am not prepared to respond further to the assenine lette of DP.

      For those who are interested walk the beach to witness what remains and if anyone wants a photograph of what it previously looked like, they can phone me in my office.
      Meanwhile I really hope DP will remove the rusting fence on their property as it is a serious eyesore. Incidentally I never promised to pay half of any fence. Why would I , it is their fence.

      As I say the matter is now concluded.

      If you want to meet and have a coffee give me a buzz. I suspect we may have a few things in common.

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      • Ron Ebanks says:

        Chris , thanks for the reply and the invite , next time I am down I will get in touch with you . I know that we do have something in common , and that is not to let anyone walk over us and be quiet about it .

        I had a similar situation as your . I had this rich and arrogant neighbor that his employees cut my sea grape tree and damaged my fence wall , I just told him that he had to repair my wall and pay for damages , he replied to me get lost , I just turned around and went in and called the Code Enforcement and they came out and made him pay what I asked for . After that he respected me and we were friends after that .
        I know that you can’t handle things that way in Cayman because of the atmosphere , but Lawyers can as long as you know you have the right one .
        Good luck , I think that you have a good case from what I read and see .

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  3. Anonymous says:

    What is the benefit of publishing a dispute between two land owners? Seriously?
    Mr Johnson I respect you sir but really between you and your neighbor this should stay out of the press. DPC responded now resolve it between yourselves and attorneys if you like but do it in private. I started reading the article as I thought there was something the public needed to know about this issue but there wasn’t.
    We have child abuse in this country, prostitution, families working hard 5-5 trying to make ends meet, mortgages going up left and right, banks being sold to Trinidad and this is the stuff we have to see published here? C’mon guys be realistic. This was not the place! End of story!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Personally I’m sick and tired of listening to over entitled residents and guests stamping their authority on our country.
    I don’t give a damn whose right or wrong, that is a matter for litigation. But I do care that these rich ingrates believe that because they bought a piece of land 30 years ago, they have rights over everyone else.
    It’s our beach, get over it, or get out and shut up whining.

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  5. Robert Johnson says:

    Sure, but much of this Rebuttal is factually wrong.

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    • Robert Johnson says:

      Points 1 and 2, the crux of this rebuttal, are wrong and I’m surprised CNS has published this. Now that survey markers are onsite, you can see that Todd / Discovery Point Club did trespass in about 8 feet and chop down a lot of vegetation. This cannot be argued otherwise. Probably a good idea to get survey points all along the property boundary and probably a good idea for CNS to visit the site because the author of this letter is wrong.

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  6. Rodney A. Barnett says:

    Overall, I find CNS to be the best place for insight into what’s happening on Grand Cayman, and a great resource for opinion and an understanding of viewpoints across the multiple cultures living mostly in harmony on the island.

    However, in this instance, I believe the Editors misstepped when they published the original letter to the editor by Chris Johnson. Clearly this matter is one of neighbor disagreement, and the original letter should have been published, in my opinion. Mr. Johnson was able to set out his arguments, but only after some time was the accused able to respond.

    CNS did give Discovery Point Club equal coverage, and the same stage as Mr. Johnson received originally, but their defense was disconnected from the original letter, simply because it was published at a later date.

    The Editors and Publishers should stay out of these disputes until they become a matter of public record through the court system, I believe, and I hope this happens in the future.

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    • Anonymous says:

      When the island is on its way to become a concrete jungle, cutting trees and bushes is not a trivial matter anymore. It takes years for trees to grow to start with. Every tree provides shade on this sun scorched island, therefore IS important.
      So it is everyone’s business! Thank you CNS!

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    • Rodney A. Barnett says:

      Correcting the above: In the second paragraph, the sentence should read: “Clearly this matter is one of neighbor disagreement, and the original letter NEVER should have been published, in my opinion.” I apologize for the confusion.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Rich people’s petty problems are not really of public interest. This should have been handled privately like any other minor dispute. Chris, I wish I had your kind of money because if this was the worst problem I had to deal with I’d be in heaven.

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  8. Chris Johnson says:

    Mr Anonymous thank you for your kind comments. As you should know I have been living on the beach for in excess of thirty years so I know a bit about the area. Having chaired a strata board where there were 96 owners I also know a thing or two about strats. I have also studied the law on property and boundaries, have you?
    You may wish to study the support that I was given in the original article. Many people walk that area and know what they are talking about . They live here permanently not just annual snowbirds.
    By the way the DC seawall which does not meet the setbacks will be an obstacle once the Northwesters arrive.

    Have a nice day. We must meet for coffee sometime.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    True or false, Mr Johnson?

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      Largely false and a lot of irrelevant stuff. They also omitted some of theit own shortcoming and have no clues on termites. Jerk reaction to chopping down trees some og which were LEGALLY on my land. A full response will be forthcoming one I have the time. There are more pressing matters than to deal with junk.
      Thank you for asking and have a nice day.

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      • Anonymous says:

        They say they consulted you. True?

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      • Gumpy SMB says:

        Hi Chris i hope you are doing well
        . I do not know you but you same to be a little stressed out? This the second dispute you have played out in public with your surrounding neighbours. I do not know how many others you have had with other people but you need to learn to get along with people. Why not try it for a change. Best of luck.

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        • Beachwalker says:

          Grumpy unfortunately you know nothing meaningful. I will advise you that about two years ago whilst Chris and his family were in Florida he came back to find the Palms without notice had ripped down the Ficus boundary hedge that he planted and maintained after the Palms was built. He was very upset and complained to no avail to the neighbour.
          So by now I would be stressed out as well. Do condos have god given rights to wipe of a boundary hedge.
          As a beach walker I can tell you the letter from DC is totally inaccurate.
          By the way did you see the Bobcat on the DC property a few days ago moving the sand around both above and below the highwater mark. Do you know that DC a nesting area for turtles had no permission to do that.
          It is good to witness the events as they unroll.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Well written Todd. Chris Johnson likes to always portray himself as a victim. He criticizes almost everyone that wants to do some form of development, modification etc, yet no one can critique his giant mansion on the beach.

    Neighbor disputes are a fact of life everywhere. In this case, it looks like the Discovery Club was trying to work together and be respectful and accommodating with some necessary maintenance/betterment. in Chris’ stubbornness, because he didn’t get 100% his way (and had minor impacts to his property), he goes crying to the national press that there was some gross injustice that took place.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 10:22 am, How old are you? Have you not gained maturity through your life other than to write such a bitter reply such as this?
      No, I am not Chris Johnson. He signs this name to his comments… You could learn a thing or two from Chris Johnson.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Rather than deal directly with Discovery Club, Chris chooses to go to the press and slander and defame another party with a one-sided story, and imply that the owners and strata at Discovery Club are somehow unethical and selfish, with no care about the environment.

        I applaud Todd for providing a counter viewpoint, to provide balance to Chris’ one-sided rant

        (Can you imagine if every neighbor dispute goes to the press??)

        I look forward to Chris’ reply, and hopefully he addresses each one of the points made by Todd. He seems to have ignored attempts and direct communication before taking his private dispute public (such a poor, aggrieved victim….).

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        • Chris Johnson says:

          The company that owns the property made a complaint two weeks ago. No response has been received to date. Do you not think that odd.

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        • Chris Johnson says:

          The owner of the property wrote to the strata committee weeks ago. The company received no response at all. So who is to blame. Now a jerk reaction from DC.

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      • Anonymous says:

        An anonymous commenter admonishing another commenter for posting anonymously?? What a world

        Pot v. Kettle: Dawn of Irony

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