7MB earmarked as first planned area

| 29/01/2019 | 61 Comments
Cayman News Service

Seven Mile Beach (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): If the framework supporting the Central Planning Authority’s current project to review the Cayman Islands National Development Plan is adopted, Seven Mile Beach would become the first planned area in the country. According to the National Planning Framework (NPF), which is now under public consultation for an additional month, there will be area plans across Grand Cayman and the aim is to start in this famous tourism zone. Given the growth in the area, with the Cayman Islands’ tallest buildings and increasing traffic, officials said future land-use must be planned to ensure it remains an attractive place for both visitors and residents.

While some believe that the significant over-development on the beach side of this tourism corridor undermined the attractiveness a long time ago, the proposed plan calls for a comprehensive inventory of Seven Mile Beach, including the occupancy rates of buildings, design standards and new planning applications.

The preparation of the area plan will require a public outreach programme with property and business owners, tourism representatives, government departments and the public to identify improvements for the area.

The framework indicates that a capacity modelling exercise will be carried out to determine the potential growth within Seven Mile Beach, based on current and alternative land-use zoning. Once an area plan is drafted and approved, it will supersede all other related policies and regulations related to land use for this area.

The framework suggests that, as the first planned area on Grand Cayman, the Seven Mile Beach plan will become the model for all of the other area plans across the island. These plans will focus on long-range, area-related policies for future development and “be consistent with the overall approach of PlanCayman, but may offer area-specific variations to meet the needs of that particular planning area,” the document states.

“Area plans will be prepared one after another, over the 5-year plan period, and public engagement will be a key part of the preparation process. Area plans will also be subject to review to ensure that PlanCayman remains relevant and up to date,” the framework indicates.

Area plans are one of many ways that this proposed new national plan will direct future development in Grand Cayman, which is now open for public consultation. However, concerns have already been raised by a number of activist groups that this framework has been handed to the public as the blueprint before any consultation.

During the recent Cayman 2020 meeting earlier this month, the issue of a more radical approach to development was raised. But is not clear how much room there is within government policy to rethink the exercise to allow greener and ecologically-based  approaches.

However, there is a growing movement towards the concept of redevelopment rather than continuing to encourage more new development, paving the way for new sustainable initiatives when re-building the country, in contrast to this plan. The framework opens the door for much more environmental consideration in future development compared to the current situation but is still fundamentally about coming up with new ways to allow more development.

How the public feels about the existing proposals remains to be seen but government is giving people more time to take the survey or submit comments based on this proposed National Planning Framework.

The deadline has been extended to Thursday, 28 February 2019.

See the framework in the CNS Library or visit the PlanCayman website, where you can also give feedback.

Printed copies of the document can be viewed at the PlanCayman Information Counter, located in the lobby of the Government Administration Building.

See related story on CNS: New plan proposes CPA decide coastal works

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (61)

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  1. What a frightful thought: “the Seven Mile Beach plan will become the model for all of the other area plans across the island.”

    I am saddened everyday at the continuing destruction of our little slice of paradise. My children will never know of the traditional beach picnics on SMB. There is simply no room left for locals to enjoy it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was appalled to see the state of the Public Beach with all of the beach chairs and umbrellas for rent, when you’re in the cabanas you cannot even see the beach its just pathetic. I never would imagine such a scene on our beloved public beach. I think something needs to be done ASAP!!

  3. Rick says:

    This will be an excuse to overdevelop and rob the public of its privileges and nothing more. At the end of this ‘consultation’ you will have less access to the beach, less rights to use public areas which include all beaches, some beaches will be made private thus reducing the rights of the public, the maximum height of buildings will be increased substantially resulting in more over-development and reduced public access. This is the modus operandi of the shadowy cabal which makes and steals millions for its membership at the expense of tax-paying public. Behind much of this will be the backroom deals to benefit the super-rich with access payments to the super-greedy we elect and employ to govern. I hope I am wrong, even a little.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The only people who get rich in politics are criminals. Just ask the career politician, Nancy Pelosi. We have plenty of them over here too and all supported by the corrupt system and press.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:14, Don’t you mean Donald J Trump?

    • Anonymous says:

      Of all the corrupt politicians in the US especially DONALD TRUMP you focus on Pelosi. I suggest you focus on the poor state of your union before you venture to comment on ours.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:14 AM – drunk and commenting your hate towards a grandma that’s not even in this country. Its agent orange who is the corrupt one you blow hard.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Text translations ‘best guess’, witness admits.

    No comments allowed by CNS. Wonder why? You people have a shockingly obvious liberal agenda. XXXX
    Truth cannot be suppressed. It has an inconvenient knack of rising from the dead. But keep on trying.
    Good luck with that.

    CNS: We always do and always have blocked the comments on ongoing court cases from the time someone is arrested. It has nothing to do with any “liberal agenda”; it’s because of local sub judice laws. When there is a verdict, guilty plea or the case is dismissed, comments are then allowed. If we posted any comments that might prejudice active legal proceedings (such as the part of your comment that I XX’d out), we could find ourselves in legal jeopardy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    so the cpa is going to come up with a development plan for what is already the most developed part of the island?????
    classic caymankind wonderland stuff….

  7. Anonymous says:

    “the proposed plan calls for a comprehensive inventory of Seven Mile Beach, including the occupancy rates of buildings, design standards and new planning applications.”

    “The framework indicates that a capacity modelling exercise will be carried out to determine the potential growth within Seven Mile Beach, based on current and alternative land-use zoning. Once an area plan is drafted and approved, it will supersede all other related policies and regulations related to land use for this area.”

    Don’t know about you, but to me that wording is entirely consistent with approving the demolition of existing low to medium rise properties and the replacement with higher rise, higher density, maybe getting rid of the 10 story limit as well. The changes in the strata laws allowing compulsory purchase if a minority don’t want to sell got the legal obstacles on current ownership out of the way, this will get rid of the planning restrictions too. McKeeva’s 50 story tower here we come. Probably built on top of Dart’s tunnel.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are correct in your assumptions, this would be the end of the Cayman success . Who would want to live in a high density/ high rise buildings facing and smelling the ever growing Dump and overcrowded beach? They have lost their marbles. There is Miami Beach for that which doesn’t have the stench of the dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      Think I heard on the radio the other day that it is actually 12 not 10. SMSH – Last I heard it was 10 too – but not outside the norm for that tid bit to be slid under the radar of the public

  8. Anonymous says:

    What happened to Vision 2008?

  9. Anonymous says:

    A moratorium on all new hotels on SMB which have not already been approved. With the new Hyatt and Hilton opening next year we will have enough new hotels for the next 10 years.

    We do not want SMB to become South Miami Beach in the Cayman Islands. Quality of life is important for everyone living here.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully this allows higher building heights and increased premium development. We can’t continue on the same path of sticking our heads in the sand. We need to move forward and now!

  11. Anonymous says:

    From a development perspective, should the community be pushing for a “city-centre” towards the Eastern Districts? While Countryside offers a shopping plaza, the concept of developing a hub for business like George Town or CB could be beneficial. Providing opportunity for employment in those districts would “free up” traffic and create a mini-economy in those districts, while also offering opportunities for increased property values, but still less than other places making it attractive to businesses.

    Lets be honest, the 7mile corridor, will be dictated and controlled by one developer. The community can’t really believe they have any say in what he does with that whole stretch.

    This is obviously a considerable investment to create a hub between Savannah/Bodden Town, but from a long range view, there is a greater degree of potential, and thus far Caymanian families still control the bulk of the land in these districts.

    Just a thought…

    • Anonymous says:

      I have thought of this often. Perhaps because I live in BT and stuck in the ever worsening daily commute for years. I also think (subject to new roads bypassing Hurleys to the East, an additional airport could be made out East, with big runways to attract more overnight stayers on bigger planes like Virgin’s. Forget the dock and build this instead.

      • Anonymous says:

        Aren’t they over budget with the current upgrades and renovations to ORIA! How would this work?

        • Anonymous says:

          It could work, would create jobs and alongside new roads, could really help the Eastern districts. ORIA works within a small confined footprint. Options are limited and costly. ORIA could continue to host small and private planes and the bigger ones could fly in East. Both could help each other at busy times. Tour bus transits could run people to their hotel from the Eastern airport, just as they do elsewhere. You’d finally be able to get a taxi in the East. At least with stayovers we know we’re getting a ROI.

        • Anonymous says:

          like they said – forget the dock…

    • Anonymous says:

      Problem is instead of starting outside the box Planning began with preconceptions for this planning exercise. Notice they didn’t start with an open consultation and are moving straight into area planning before the so-called public consultation is even finished. I guess they didn’t expect any good ideas to come out of the first round of public pacification.

  12. Anonymous says:

    In what area are we planning to enact the Standards in Public Life Law?

  13. Anonymous says:

    horse. bolted.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t they start with a lesser significant part of the island, so they can learn where they can make improvements as they go along?

  15. Anonymous says:

    this is beyond the expertise of anybody within the cpa or the civil service generally.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If the same people do the planning it will be the same plan. More development. What we need is a moratorium on all hotels on SMB at least until the infrastructure catches up.

  17. Anonymous says:

    We seriously need to rename that department to the Central Lack of Planning Authority.

  18. Kman says:

    How about implementing a 10 year moratorium on no hotels and condos to be built on 7MB. After that period only Caymanian or Caribbean designed architecture and building limit to max 6 storeys.

    Beach access and residents rights of use needs to be addressed along with transport solutions such as a tram and proper 24 hour bus service with modern hybrid buses.

    Recycling depots (8-10), a business school and a Police station would be great additions. The main focus is to look at sustainable development and our stay over tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good Luck on the 6 stories. There are plans to raise it higher than the 10 it is at now.This will be made law before they break ground on the new property south of Public Beach. Look for it early this year. Government is caving to the developers once again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. Somewhere like the old Cayman Islander location would be great for a tourist centre on SMB with a small police station/first aid unit and some other beneficial amenities for the public. A pedestrianized area with some local shops, restaurants, and even educational features would provide a great alternative to Camana Bay for those not looking to overspend. Especially if the design style could be kept.

      Unfortunately this would require an investor that is willing to sacrifice profits by investing into the community, not just their own pockets, which is few and far between…

    • Anonymous says:

      Now look what you’ve gone a done. You’ve just blown their little minds!

    • alaw says:

      we can turn back the clock, but not the time!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Another Category 4-5 must come to dampen this madness.

  20. Anonymous says:

    LOL. Horse long gone bobo.

  21. Say it like it is says:

    Money always talks and as a result Govt always balks.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Planned Area, it’s already ruined. What a pile of……

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous at 10:32 I agree with you. Looks like this idea is years too late. However I sincerely hope thst it is possible to do any little bit to improve and not make it worse than it already is. Also I have read quite a few sensible suggestions and hopefully those suggestions are also sent to planning and not just posted on CNS. This might be the last opportunity, if any, to make a difference.

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