Starfish Point public loos get OK from CPA

| 10/01/2019 | 63 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The Central Planning Authority has approved an application by government to install public restrooms and a parking area at the small public beach at Starfish Point in Cayman Kai, despite objections from wealthy landowners in the area. The objectors had called in some of Cayman’s leading and pricey lawyers to help them in the fight to block the proposed toilets and other facilities, largely under claims about restrictive covenants and objections over nuisance, trespassing and environmental degradation.

But the claims were unfounded, as the area is owned by the crown, which means that covenants don’t apply and government has a right to designate a public beach and provide the necessary facilities.

But it was Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller, the district MLA, who attended the CPA hearing to defend the tourism ministry’s application. He explained to the board that the goal to designate Starfish Point as a public beach and install the basic facilities had originated with his own district council.

The proposal had been consulted on over several years, he explained, leading to the development of the policy to enhance the facilities and secure the beach for future public use by the government. Miller said that property owners in the neighborhood were actually objecting to a government policy rather than to a particular development issue, and as such the CPA should not be considering those objections.

“If these owners were objecting to non-policy matters, such as the architectural features of the facility, this would become the purview of the CPA and I would be happy to entertain their suggestions for improvements,” the opposition leader told the board.

He raised concerns that the “wealthy guests, whom the Cayman Islands has afforded the opportunity and the privilege of living and developing property in North Side, have taken a stance that propels the construction of a much-needed public facility into a them-against-us situation”.

Miller added that the situation went beyond the objections to the rest rooms that were before the CPA. He suggested that some owners might be attempting to keep the local population out of the Cayman Kai area, given that, as well as objecting to enhancing the public beach facilities, landowners have been proposing to erect an electronically controlled gate in the area.

“The strategy is to restrict access by subjecting persons not resident in the area to the indignity of searches, while landowners enjoy free electronic access. This is the third time around for this electronic gate proposal and I assure you that this will not happen on my watch,” the opposition leader stated in his presentation.

“That would be particularly unfortunate and hurtful, as the people of North Side have welcomed the development of Cayman Kai and have worked hard over the years in playing their part in the success that this development enjoys today,” he said, as he addressed the planning authority members.

Miller said that in the past developers had always made sure there was proper and adequate access to the beaches for North Siders to maintain their traditional fishing, picnicking and sea bathing.

“The beaches have also traditionally been used by the general public, especially during public and other holidays. Sadly, a new crop of owners over the past decade, in particular, have been moving to erode and eliminate the use and access by North Siders and the wider community to the Cayman Kai area,” he said.

The major landowner in the area, Kaimera Ltd, had retained attorneys from Walkers for the hearing but there were letters from other owners in the area as well which implied that public use of the beach was attracting drunks, drug users and general anti-social behavior.

Other objectors who have already developed in the area described it as “a fragile and overly taxed ecosystem”. Another letter of objection said, “Allowing boatloads of tourists to descend upon Ivory Point is wrong is absolutely wrong on so many levels.”

But despite the extensive submissions from the lawyers and property owners, the objections failed to prevent the approval.

As Miller noted, the area is crown land and government has adopted a policy of securing the beach for the people, and as such is entitled by law to erect the necessary supporting facilities.

See extract of minutes of CPA meeting and Miller’s presentation in the CNS Library

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Category: Local News

Comments (63)

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  1. Soldier Crab says:

    The way sea levels are rising this issue will soon solve itself as most of the houses in the area will have water right through them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Im a tourist reading all this, It doesnt sound like anything like the tour operators image they are trying to sell me. I thought starfish point was a beautiful natural haven for wildlife. Are the beaches public or private over there or what ? Im going off the idea of visiting fast reading all this.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Almost all beaches are private but the general public (including visitors) have the right to use and enjoy them. Starfish point was created in the early 1980’s by dredging up a natural pristine marine environment to create new beachfront land. It is a sad reflection to call it one of the few natural habits left.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Starfish Point is a privately owned piece of property that has been exploited over the past few years as a tourism destination and drunken party hangout for locals, residents and visitors alike. Whilst it is true that the immediate beachfront is Crown property, the land is not and should not be considered as a public area.
      The exploitation of the starfish is well known and shamefully documented on social media, it is the total failure of government to offer protection to these beautiful creatures. The Department of Environment have catastrophically failed to enforce the very prescriptive laws that SHOULD stop the handling and general abuse of these creatures, as they have with the stingrays on the Sandbar, which are also subjected to enormous exploitation and harm.

      As a visitor you may be surprised to learn that whilst the laws do exist to stop this vile abuse of a natural resource and asset, the government will constantly turn a blind eye to protect the greedy commercial sector, who will eventually destroy the very creatures and environment that keep them in business.

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  3. OneVoice says:

    Why the negative attitudes . Its a Public beach people need a place to relieve themselves. Other than just pissing and crapping all over the place. It should be a welcomed. Now they only thing that worries me is the upkeep of these facilities . All public beaches need to be better managed. This should never be an Us and Them .

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard at his pompous, preening nationalistic best. However, he only ever goes to Cayman Kai to launch his boat and still hasn’t addressed the appalling state of Water Cay Road, the epidemic of burglaries and home invasions, drug dealing and use at Rum Point, unsociable behaviour at Starfish Point, the land grab at Kaibo and the shrinking parking lot that has resulted in grid lock on the public road. He refuses to address the drugs being dealt and used opposite Over the Edge and The Cave, the lunatics who speed through school zones and residential areas, the lack of opportunity for local workers and the monstrous carbuncle they call the Rum Point Club Condos.
    Ezzard likes the simple targets, the ones that appeal to his dead head followers. He cares nothing for the locals and property owners in his constituency, only his own political agenda.
    Here on NS we are grateful that his retirement is pending and we can have someone who really cares about the entire community, not just a couple of hundred misinformed voters who take but refuse to give in return.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The next thing that needs to be sorted is those pesty tour operators who are blasting their music at starfish point and are offloading garbage from the boat and leaving it on the property for someone else to dispose of it.

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  6. Caymanian Sigh says:

    Way to Go, Ezzard 👍🏻

    I hope government seize more beach front, and secure it for future generations against these well-off hogs! They could care less about us!

    And what ever happened to these huge cutting trees, golf courses in the plan? I understand one is zoned for South Sound and the other for North Side. Another waste of land and destruction of habitat for a rich gentlemen’s stupid pleasure!

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  7. Sam Small says:

    There is already a public beach there so the fact the government wants to enhance the area with public restrooms should be seen as a benefit. Any why does anyone think that having restrooms are going suddenly attract a different class of visitors are totally insane. The beach at Cayman kai has restrooms already and I have never seen the issues that people complain about there.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Hope they build 3 Loos… Male-Female-Trans’.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    The parking lot and immediate beach area is government land. The actual point is owned by Dart, not the Caymanian public or anyone else.
    Sadly Ezzard failed to stop Kaibo from pushing their beach and parking lot into public accessible land. Why?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Where did Kaibo supposedly push their beach and parking lot into public land? – Or do you mean private land that hadn’t been developed yet so the public thought they owned it?

      One of the most useful things any Government-of-the-day could do for Cayman is a definitive statement on the public ownership/access/rights/whatever of land between the vegetation-highwater-lowwater-seabed lines. So we can all stop arguing about things we don’t have the right information on.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh that seems to have touched a nerve. Well perhaps you could get the sewerage that is seeping into the shrinking parking lot sorted out if you are so damned concerned about public access and safety.
        Note to all visitors, don’t walk in puddles after heavy rain at Kaibo, that odour isn’t healthy.
        And FYI, no one mentioned public land, they said accessible land, you know, the land that allows for access to a beach or is left aside as a buffer between developments.
        I agree, the law should be clearer, but that doesn’t give the right for landowners or anyone else to go ahead without the legal permissions in place. Please supply planning application number so we can all see the original proposal and plans.
        Oh that’s right, there isn’t one.
        Also, please explain where that pile of wet sand came from that was used to extend the beach. Were dredging permits applied for? Because I never saw them posted.
        Is this yet another example of the rich taking away our Caymanian rights and ignoring the laws of our country?

        I apologise to other posters, this is a little off field, but very relevant when our MLA argues for one thing, yet ignores others because they may be contentious, or difficult.

        North Side Caymanian.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ummmm, the law is very clear on the issue. It is called the Prescription Law. Read it. It does not just apply to beaches.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Too bad about the starfish that are mostly gone. RIP. Trees are next so we can have another parking lot.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I never need a loo when I go there. The brush is dense enough.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m still going in the water. The added warmth at this time of year is a bonus

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, those rich people come here and they think they own the whole island.

    Keep standing up for the rights of Caymanians Ezzard. Wish there were a lot more Caymanians like you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yea, robbing the houses and frightening guests to the island. Shame Ezzard isn’t vociferous in his condemnation of the Caymanians who regularly break into properties, play obnoxious and crude music at ear splitting levels, discard their garbage along the beaches and roadsides, speed through 30 mph zones at suicidal levels, (often high on drugs or booze) use and deal in drugs at both Starfish Point and Rum Point at the weekends etc, etc…..
      Oh, and the Starfish Point land area west of the gates is owned by Dart, what will he do when it comes to redeveloping his land for those rich furreners Ezzard hates so much?
      Anybody that knows this area well will tell you the starfish are disappearing, because they too are sick of the obnoxious behaviour demonstrated by locals, residents and tourists alike. This little island secret has been ruined by greedy commercial and irresponsible private boat operators demonstrating that they can’t be trusted with looking out for our environment or the creatures in it. The cruelty meted out to starfish is disgusting and Dart should be ashamed of allowing this abuse to carry on from his land, as should the government who are responsible for safeguarding the marine environment.
      And now we have some clown selling unregulated food and running a water based climbing frame on and from private land, just perfect. Food poisoning just waiting to happen.
      You must be so proud.

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      • Anon says:

        Well sir or madam … there is no place perfect. If you don’t like this heaven, you can always relocate somewhere else. But I’m not going to sit down and watch people like you, gate out innocent Caymanians from enjoying their own beaches!!! They may be frightening and annoying to you, but I’m sure there are those who are well behaved.

        If its more police presence you need, then thats fair for everyone! But to block people out, is a no no! Ezzard is making the right decision on this one.

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        • Anonymous says:

          No where in the comment above does it approve of gated communities, so learn to read and understand before making sanctimonious comments yourself.
          Oh yes, and try to understand the concept of with rights come responsibilities.
          Something that is sorely lacking in Caymanian culture.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You are obnoxious

      • Anonymous says:

        This is pure generalization and not true…There are things that can be done to curb the things you say happen and this is one of them..Telling anyone that they cannot enjoy the beach is wrong and if you want a gated community to keep the locals out you need to move to a country where that is the norm…In Cayman we welcome everyone and if someone circumvents the law then they should be dealt with but to paint the entire country with one paintbrush is wrong..

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea like your ancestors did when they landed from Honduras, Jamaica or any one of the number of third world countries that have exploited Cayman over the years.
      Shame you don’t show the same respect for the REAL Caymanians, the flora and fauna that was here long before immigration allowed you to populate this rock.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Marl road says dart owns all these lands anyhow….stay tuned for his development there…toilets step 1

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Thats great now lets get the garbage collected.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Message received. It’s really sad that every property with a peaceful sunset view – even 100% artificial privately owned and gated land spits – are condemned to have to share that whoever shows up, in whatever state, and must accept all the waste they leave behind, abiding the ritual trespassing; in furtherance of the unofficial Cayman rights to public drunkenness, non-permitted bonfires/bbq pits, wildlife abuse, styrofoam, glass, and diaper littering, and endless unprosecuted drunk boating. Glad that’s clear now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are on the wrong island if you are looking for a private beach.. The beach belongs to everyone in Cayman…seems to me it is not the garbage, drunkenness and camp fires you are worried about you just don’t want anyone using the beach around your property…and by the way not everyone does this and by putting bathrooms and garbage containers, will help with some of the issues that you are complaining about.

      You came to Cayman and found us here and we welcomed you but trying to drive us off our beaches and putting up fences and gates to keep us from what is rightfully ours is not going to happen..Sorry!

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    • Anonymous says:

      You appear to like generalising/painting with a broad brush, so here’s a generalisation in turn: The problem with people like you, is you want to walk through the gate and lock it behind you, whether you own it or not.

      How many times have you reported said littering, wildlife abuse and drunkenness. As we ALL know, private land owners never get drunk in public, especially on boats. Right? Right??

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    • Anonymous says:

      Good on you Mr. Miller, so glad to know that we have someone with a back bone to stand against these tyrants who comes to our island and believe they can change laws and traditions because of their wealth, wish we had more people like you in the L.A and maybe Cayman would still be for Caymanians and not for every Jill and Joe with an oversize bank account.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ritual trespassing, by peacefully exercising a prescriptive right?

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it a good thing to have sanitary toilet facilities on public areas wherever persons congregate? If the public is not disturbing the homeowners/developers why do they have a problem with it. They live there but they do not own everything up there. If someone needs to use a toilet would they be willing to open their bathrooms to them; if not then they need to shut up. Government now needs to build some in George Town so that cruise ship visitors need someplace to go when nature calls while about Town. On numerous occasions I allowed visitors to use our office toilets much to the chargin if others but when you need to go you need to go.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    I do hope they will be as appealing as the ones at Smith Cove.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    What’s the point? They’ll be stinky, disgusting and covered in graffiti after a couple of months and no one will be brave or desperate enough to use them.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Whatever, just keep the toilets clean damn it and no sh*t on the walls.

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  21. Mike says:

    Well done Mr. Ezzard.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    I always knew it as water cay, when did it change to Starfish point? There were far more starfish when it wasn’t called starfish point.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    A shitty situation all around.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    MLA Ezzard Miller: Good on you. Please keep on keeping on. I am so proud of you upon reading this and hearing your stance on the matter. Please keep your foot down.

    XXXXX

    I am so sorry that this has become an issue. It hurts my heart to read.

    I hope generations upon generations of Caymanians, new and old, residents, and visitors can feel free to wander, unobstructed, where ever it is public to do so in the Cayman Islands.

    If the CIG feels to erect washroom facilities and a nice parking lot free of pot holes, everyone should be thankful and appreciative.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    The area was formed by dredging and filling. It is totally fake! The objections which say that it should not have public toilets because it should remain natural miss the point that the area is not natural to start with! We need to spend our time caring about our natural environment, not the engineered ones.

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