DCI investigates pop-up beach rental

| 09/01/2019 | 101 Comments
Cayman News Service

Beach equipment on Boggy Sand Beach

(CNS): Following a report on CNS Tuesday that a new sun lounge and umbrella beach rental had popped up on Boggy Sand Beach this week, the Department of Commerce and Investment has confirmed that it is investigating whether or not the business is legal. In addition to questions sent by CNS to various officials about the sudden appearance of the rental business, local beach access activists also contacted the authorities yesterday to alert them to what people believe is the illegal beach vending.

The DCI said Tuesday that they were unable to confirm the legality at that point but the department was dispatching enforcement officers to find out. Once their officers have made contact with those involved with renting the beach equipment, if they do not possess the correct licence a warning will be issued to them by the DCI, as required by law before they are ticketed.

If the location is public land, the matter will also be referred to the Public Lands Commission for investigation, especially if permission to use such property has not been obtained, the DCI said.

Cayman News Service

New wooden staircase on Boggy Sand Beach

CNS has learned more details since the original post, including the fact that a small wooden staircase has been erected against the sea wall at the location, presumably by those involved in the rental business. It is understood that a number of requests had been made to government officials about installing a stairway or some form of access to Boggy Sand Beach in this area by the West Bay community, as it there is no easy way up or down to this popular West Bay beach spot for residents who are less able bodied. But those request through official channels had fallen on deaf ears.

The rental business appears to be in front of private property and not on a public beach area, but complicating the issue, the chairs being used by visitors are being positioned below the high-water mark. So in addition to concerns about licensing for this type of beach vending, it raises questions about how it impacts public access to the actual beach there, which, as with all beaches in Cayman, is not private, despite many landowners’ unwillingness to accept this.

Yesterday, CNS readers largely responded to the news report with concern. More than 75 comments were posted on the story, most of which were about the continued undermining of access to local beaches and the threat to the quality of the Cayman Islands tourism product, as more and more of Grand Cayman’s beaches become commercialised.

Over the last year, beach vending, which began largely on Seven Mile Public Beach, has spread towards West Bay. The Cayman Islands Turtle Centre has offered a pop-up beach lounger and umbrella service to cruise visitors at the West Bay public beach for those who take a trip to the facility, while a local restaurant in the area has also begun renting chairs and equipment in front of its small beach front deck.

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Comments (101)

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  1. Rosebudforglory says:

    I would like to say…get rid of the steps and have a ramp put in so handicapped or those with mild physical challenges can get down to the water. Most resorts, beach front homes, etc put in these ugly steep steps – a really pretty ramp would nestle down better in the landscape and be better for everyone. I hope someone with clout sees this and does some research for ramp options.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is probably the only “private” beach in the world with a huge sea wall paid for with money from the government coffers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Government should have never allowed any beach vendors to set up any businesses on the beach. Many of us knew that this would open the floodgates. As usual, no regulations around here.

  4. Anonymous says:

    According to the Lands and survey Department web site (LIS) The land they are using is private property, and involves two different parcels. 5B166 and 5B228.

    • Anonymous says:

      Once again, the false assertion that public sand can be privately owned.

      • Anonymous says:

        It can and is often privately owned – down to the high water mark. The issue is that the public have a right of access provided its not destructive. Ownership and access different things. So in the same way a hotel can put chairs on their part of the beach for their guests and the public can’t use them but can walk on the beach, nothing to stop these people who own that piece of the beach from doing the same. And unlike the rascals at public beach they have apparently obtained a TBL and gotten DCI approval.

      • Anonymous says:

        Public use and public ownership are not the same thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      ha! its mine i tell ya…the beach is mine…i can prove it…by ignoring the laws before the ones i like….its mine i tell ya!

    • Realtech says:

      This property is owned by Jimmy Powell and it is leased to someone with a legitimate business and business license. It’s the same person that owns Heritage Kitchen. He has legitimately licensed his business. So what is the crime. Mostly tourists use that strip of beach anyway. Not people that live here on island.

      So what are they complaining about ? This man’s business has been in the same location for years. All of a sudden. Because he’s expanded onto the beach it’s now a crime ? It’s a service being offered.

      Really ?!?!?

      • Anonymous says:

        If he owns the land or has a lease, then provided it is licensed I have no problem. Just don’t try to stop me from walking on it or sitting on the sand.

      • Say it like it is says:

        4.24pm a typical blinkered Caymanian response, I suppose those ridiculous inflatable toys at Eden Rock (which have never been used) are also a “service offered”.

      • Anonymous says:

        not owned by Jimmy Powell according to land registry..

        • Anonymous says:

          5B166 is owned by a Manderson and 2 Powells one of which it Jimmy.
          5B228 is owned by a Jackson

          Info as per their land registries.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sadly now at Governors beach there are vendors set up and harassing folks soliciting for food and rental items. Along with the drones flying about (within 3 mile limit) there is no enforcement to be seen. Soon come all inclusive resorts and the end of what Cayman once was.

    • Anonymous says:

      Modern times bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those for sure need to go!

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry 9:18 all of Seven Mile Beach is going to the private vendors. Once the precedent was set there was no going back. Jamaica here we come.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is the issue? Tourists want to be able to rent chairs, umbrellas and get food –
      And they should be able to do so as long as they cleanup behind themselves. Since we are visiting and in a resort, we don’t have the possibility of flying in with beach equipment, picnic baskets, or toys for the kids. As long as the vendors are licensed so we know they have been checked out, aren’t allowed to gouge people, don’t harass people (they shouldn’t approach tourists unsolicited), have unsightly equipment/set-up, nor be rude and vulgar. If all compliance requirements are met, then I can’t see what the issue is from the locals. I do understand wanting to keep it as natural and serene as possible – that is why we go there but everyone needs to look at all sides of the issue. Apparrently, there must be enough regulations for this area to be so safe – it sure isn’t like that in other island resorts – the presiding government must be doing something right to keep it safe, clean and so beautiful.

  6. Anonymous says:

    For a country that has been so scared of becoming another Caribbean SH, we are slipping and sliding into that category.

  7. Anonymous says:

    CI Government created this problem ( let the “Janie out of the bottle”) when they allowed (and encouraged) vendors at SMB Public Beach. Now vendors are pushing the envelope by expanding to other beach areas.

    In a selfish way, I’m happy they now have this crap on their hands. Good luck Joey Hew and crew, with putting Janie back in the bottle.

    • Anonymous says:

      *genie is out of the bottle

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is Janie?

      • Anonymous says:

        Beware of her. She got a gun.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since his Janie starts with capital J, it is probably a name.

        by Urban dictionary: Janie

        In Hebrew: Gift from God. She is a very creative and expressive girl, and is also very nice and friendly. People are glad to have her as a friend.

        Interpretation: A very creative girl is pushing the envelope..because a precedent was set…with CI Government permission.

      • Anonymous says:

        You know Janie, “Janie’s got a gun”. Aerosmith’s Janie. But I think he/she is getting “Janie” and “Genie” confused.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yep, I don’t dream of Janie, but I do dream of Genie. Esp. in that little Persian slave girl outfit o.O

      • Anonymous says:

        did Janie have a gun?

    • Anonymous says:

      I meant ‘genie’ but enjoyed the very funny comments below Lol.

  8. Anonymous says:

    These people are young born Caymanians, with very good reputations throughout their community and have been in the tourism industry for over 10 years. The facts are they have met ALL the LEGAL requirements to conduct their business!!! And thank you to all the fellow Caymanians who support their ambitious,striving young men and women just trying to make a honest living in our Beloved Cayman in these hard times for US the REAL CAYMANIANS who are suffering much more than anyone else each passing year. #GodBlessCayman #CaymaniansUniteNa #100% Native

    • Anonymous says:

      Ohhhhhhhh they are Caymanian!!!! Well then! That changes everything!!

      And with good reputations in their community? Well I say, let them do as they see fit.

      Oh and they’re in tourism? Even better. A destination trip to Mexico or Jamaica to see how others have honed their craft is in order! Fire up the jets.


      Wow. You all have no idea what you HAD. Smdh

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, we gave it all up for the privilege of being lectured by the beneficiaries. In return we got the gleaming capital of George Town, Mount Trashmore, severe inequality, fracturing of our society, loss of culture, identity and history, should I go on?

    • Anonymous says:

      Except for having permission to conduct a business on public property it seems!

      • Jotnar says:

        Yawn. Except it’s not public property it’s private. But don’t let facts get in the way of your rant.

    • Anonymous says:

      “have met ALL the LEGAL requirements to conduct their business” – Oh, they have the permits & permissions needed to put the chairs on the beach? Which permits and permissions were those, exactly?

    • Anonymous says:

      Being Caymanian does not mean you can be above the law..They are running a business on a public space..This crap has to stop!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Check out who the real owner of The green bldg in your story is

    • Anonymous says:

      That thing falling into the sea? Why don’t you tell us? Odds are on dart.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now DCI needs check out the PRIVATE beach where beach chairs tables and now adjoins a hamburger van. It is so demeaning. I remind the owner that there are no private beaches and he should not be charging anybody ten dollars. Whole thing in tacky.

    • Sam says:

      The owner of the green building in the back ground has NOTHING to do with the stair case or the business on the beach.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is it a foreigner who is doing business?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is it the DCI that issues the licenses, if so how they don’t know for sure?

  12. Gobsmacked says:

    Can the DCI inform us who is behind those garish inflated monstrosities off Eden Rock and if proper licences were issued, and if so, by whom?, and when they propose to have them permanently deflated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too late, they applied and received a CWL for that monstrosity. As long as Cabinet gets final say, these types of projects will get approved. Same as the aqua slide thing that sits off Starfish Point. Cancun here we come.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What is Joey Who and Moses going to do about this mess they helped to create? The buck stops with them

  14. Anonymous says:

    DCI need to enforce all the laws on all public beach areas throughout the islands.
    This government has allowed the Public Beach to become a circus by not enforcing the rules.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What else can be expected when you all elect limited mentality people to run the bounty. Your own Lilly white representative was the game player to make the change from the vegetstion to the high water mark. Vote smart next time and keep the lunatics out.

    • Anonymous says:

      The prescriptive right exists at common law on SMB.

    • Chief Superintendent - Royal Cayman Islands Grammar Police says:

      What is a limited mentality person? I hear other Caymanians talking about mentalities and ‘limited mentality’ people, always wrongly. A mentality is an attitude or way of thinking. You might have a big or small or effective or ineffective attitude or way of thinking, but you will not have a limited attitude or way of thinking. Attitudes and ways of thinking don’t come in degrees; they just are what they are for each person.

      Now if you meant to say ‘people with limited mental capability’ then I would understand you perfectly, but don’t misuse the word ‘mentality’ which has a clear, useful, different meaning, in place of that.

      Words have their functions and must be kept with their meanings and separate from other words and their meanings. Be precise.

  16. Anonymous says:

    64 rental chairs on a friggin’ public beach – building stairs and selling tickets! Confiscate the furniture, fine them, and make a strong example!

  17. Anonymous says:

    The Locals would like to go to a beach and enjoy themselves where there are no vendors.

    Seven mile public beach is loaded with vendors. Can’t even go there and relax.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are going the way of beaches in Jamaica.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s the Jamaicans coming here to do what they did to their own country.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, but the Caymanian people evolved out of the Jamaican people.

          • Anonymous says:

            Evolved! Wow – trifle harsh.

          • Anonymous says:

            BULL CRAP!!!!!! We were here before the Jamaicans came and screwed it all up!! A lot of Caymanians came here from England, Scotland, Ireland and other countries. Remember our history of shipwrecked sailors etc.? Evolved, my backside.

  18. Anonymous says:

    don’t worry!..the civil service are on the case…..zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      1:52 who else is going to clean up the private sector and its incompetence?. Just read about the 2m overspend at the solar farm. Soon the civil service will have to manager all major capital projects.

      Going to sit on one of those lovely beach chairs tomorrow. I support Cayman small businesses

  19. Anonymous says:

    No Beach vendors in Cayman! Make a change and make Cayman unique….AGAIN!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Clearly the owner of this enterprise does not live in the area otherwise they would know that erecting anything or relying on the beach remaining in its current condition to run a business is a foolish mistake. Any inclement weather and the sand rearranges with the waves regularly reaching the sea wall.

    Hopefully the DCI puts a stop to this disruption of a peaceful beach but if it doesn’t then mother nature will soon make them learn.

    Also CNS…there is access to the beach next to Alfresco which is literally one step from the road to the beach.

    One more thing, there used to be at least one garbage bin up on the road (Mary Mollie Hydes Rd) between the gas station and alfresco but it disappeared a while back and never returned. It would be appreciated if another was placed there again to mitigate littering in the area.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      These kind of things just shows how poorly attention the elect representative pay to their District and constituent . She has spent more time in the UK than in Boggy sand area . And that’s the kind of Representatives we vote for

  21. Anonymous says:

    As dear old ‘Martha Saunders would say….’.dis is is we country’

  22. Anonymous says:

    Make Boggy Sand Beach Great Again! West Bay Loves the newly revitalized beach!

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      I think the DCI knows what’s going on, that’s why the chairs were mentioned at being at high water mark . How sad and pathetic and disgraceful , and you all can’t see that Politicians are controlling every Sq inche of the Island . Too much damn power for them .

    • Anonymous says:

      In order for it to be great again we need to stop the influx of foreign developers in the area.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The continuing references to the high water mark are a misnomer. The public of the Cayman Islands are entitled to an unfettered right to peaceful enjoyment of the entire width of the beach back to the vegetation line (or in this case the sea wall). The right is prescriptive and dates back centuries to a time when the beach (the entire width of it) was used to travel back and forth between GT and WB, as well as for fishing, bathing and recreation. We should all protect and maintain this position. Sure, a hotel can stop you from sitting on their chair if you are not a customer, but they cannot stop anyone from quietly enjoying the beach, including by sitting between chairs.

    • Anonymous says:

      yep….but very few people know this….

      • Anonymous says:

        But it is the Law and it is the only thing that is relevant…

        • Anonymous says:

          If you think the law is relevant, you must be new here.

          • Sinical says:

            4.58pm Exactly!. Locals are always complaining they are disadvantaged by expatriates, they never admit they are far better off as they can bend the laws to suit themselves. It all depends on them using their good old Caymanian buddies in positions of authority to achieve their objectives.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you! I didn’t know this. Would you by any chance have link or reference to legislation or written law that supports this position? I would love to copy it several thousand times and pay to have it put in p.o. boxes as advertising.

      • Anonymous says:

        Old Common Law, time immemorial etc. first set out in statute of direct relevance to Cayman in the Jamaican Prescription Act of 25 February, 1882. Section 2. Confirms the effect of 20 years unfettered enjoyment of land generally and s. 4 relates specifically to beaches.

        Caymanians gained a right to peaceful enjoyment of the whole the beach (and access to it) after 20 years of unfettered use. It should not be surrendered.

        • Anonymous says:

          No we’re getting somewhere (the Prescription Law). Just need to prove 20 years of unfettered access to that family’s property (beach).

      • Anonymous says:

        Here is a little exert from the Department of Tourism, page 56 of the 2012-13 TOURIST ACCOMMODATION INSPECTION GUIDELINES & REGULATIONS manual. Of course it is from 2012-2013 but one would think it is still relevant today.

        Appendix D

        1. In order to dispel any confusion or misunderstanding which may have arisen in
        the past over the rights which members of the public enjoy over Cayman‟s
        beaches the following guidelines may be of assistance, especially to managers of beachfront hotels and other tourism related beachfront properties.

        2. The public access to Cayman‟s beaches is by the recognized public rights of way which are usually clearly marked on maps and physically on the ground.
        Landowners over whose land these public rights of way exist are under a legal
        duty to make sure that they are kept free and clear of any obstruction or debris.

        3. Once members of the public arrive on the beach the following rules apply.

        4. The seaward boundary of a landowner‟s or tenant‟s property is, in tidal waters, the mean high water mark. Between the mean high water mark and the low water mark, known as “foreshore”, the land belongs to the Crown as does
        anything below the sea up to the limit of territorial waters.

        5. Where, however, a landowner‟s property consists of “beach” above the mean
        high water mark, then the usual rule, that a landowner can eject anyone he
        chooses from his land, is displaced.

        6. Members of the public have the right to use any part of Cayman‟s beaches for
        recreation even though the part of the beach being used is on private property,
        i.e. is above the mean high water mark. Such a public right is one of a group of
        rights which members of the public enjoy, even over private land, in the
        Cayman Islands. It is a right which the law presumes to have existed for many
        years and which members of the public have acquired under the Prescription

        7. Whilst members of the public have no rights to use private property such as
        beach furniture which belongs to beachfront property owners, they may not be
        prevented from using the beach or passing to and fro along the beach even
        where the beach they use is on private land. Hotel managers should ensure that
        all staff working on the beach such a security personnel and food and beverage
        staff are aware of the law and that the public right to use any part of the beach
        is not restricted or limited in any way.

        • Anonymous says:

          As I am sure the above poster is aware, this is not a legal document and has no legal standing. There is no definition of “beach” here, or in the Prescription Law. A rather serious omission IMHO. If I scatter sand on my cliff-top ironshore to create a “beach experience” does that give rhe public the right to use it?

        • Anonymous says:

          Can u pls post on Facebook

    • Anonymous says:

      But also if the chairs are empty and taking up all available area, we should be able to ask them to move a few out of the way. They cant just block up the entire area with empty chairs.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the chairs are on a public beach and taking up available space you have the right to ask them to move it because it is a PUBLIC BEACH and they have no right to block your use of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        try telling that to the westin or especially the ritz

        • Anonymous says:

          If anyone interferes with your lawful quiet enjoyment, just organize a beach party there. Have a barbecue. Bring boats. Just do not cause any unlawful disturbance or break any laws. People would quickly get the message.

    • Anonymous says:


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