Beach Bay community in the dark over new hotel

| 24/05/2019 | 63 Comments
Cayman News Service

Beach Bay development, artist’s rendition

(CNS): A long-proposed hotel development in the Beach Bay area of Bodden Town is causing serious concerns among residents, not least because many of them have been kept in the dark about what appears to be a significant project. The developer of this potential beachfront resort has made a planning application to begin work on some of what will eventually be a massive development, which could be steered through planning piecemeal, making it hard to discern the overall impact on the quiet residential seafront community.

At a public meeting on Wednesday evening, dozens of residents raised a catalog of questions and concerns about what is happening, as it appears that only a handful of residents have received notice of the first part of the planning application.

Questions about the end of the beach access for residents and the impact of traffic, as well as whether or not an environmental impact assessment is being required, were just some of the concerns residents had about the project.

Many residents were surprised to hear that government already re-zoned the area from residential to hotel and tourism some time ago to pave way for the project. They were also baffled over why they had not been notified by the developer of his overall plans for a project, which, if it ever goes ahead, would have a significant impact on the neighbourhood.

While government has been pushing to support this particular development for over a decade, as it is seen as a way of pushing the benefits of Cayman’s tourism product to the under-served communities in the Eastern Districts, the residents of Beach Bay are not yet convinced. One of the major fears raised by the residents was that their community could go the way of Seven Mile Beach.

While the planing application has not yet made it to the Central Planning Authority’s agenda, the people gathered at the meeting hosted by the local MLA, Chris Saunders, who had invited the planning director, clearly felt they had not been properly notified and they were running out of time to object.

With plans for two ten-storey hotel buildings, residences, a 20,000 sq.ft. conference centre and various support buildings, and even a sewerage treatment plant, the size of the development has people fearful that the area will be changed beyond recognition.

The developers appear to have purchased more land in recent years, creating a much bigger footprint for the project than originally proposed. As a result, the community is beginning to realise that this is a very large development.

Beach Bay Lands Ltd, which is the development company making the application, has said for several years that it plans to build a resort in the area, and last June stated that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group would manage the property.

The project had previously ruffled feathers of homeowners in the immediate area after the NRA agreed to redirect the road to accommodate the project, raising concerns that nearby homeowners wold lose access to the beach. Since then, however, there may be even more changes to the layout, including a new roundabout and even a road bridge.

In September 2015, the government signed a deal with the developers giving away some $25 million in concessions on duty and other fees. The man behind the development company, who was in Cayman to sign the deal, JD Layton, said at the time that his firm had a track record of achieving local employment objectives and goals in other jurisdictions and would do the same in Cayman.

“I believe we will have similar success here,” he said. “These things don’t happen by accident; they take work, they take focus, they take commitment on the part of the developer and the government.”

However, its been more than three years since the deal was signed and the project appears to have grown and residents are now pressing for answers to their questions about the current proposal.  Saunders told residents that the next step would be to have the developer meet with the community to outline the plans for the project.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well I got my property here and I can’t wait till they start. My grandkids going to need jobs. Most of the people complaining are no where near this project. You all don’t go swimming here neither. Go live in Cayman Brac nothing has changed there. I have never seen any of you under a coconut tree. Stop complaining about development. You all complaining are from other countries and have pensions and wealth. The Bodden Town people need development.

    • Anonymous says:

      To better understand you, could you please reveal your age?
      Nobody is against development, but development doesn’t come before infrastructure is upgraded to accommodate increase in waste, traffic, pollution etc. that come with each development.
      If your leaders throughout your history had vision and sense of direction there would have been no buildings built on the beach side of WB road. All roads would have had enough room for future expansion. There would have been no open air Dump and recycling would have been implemented.

      You still have a chance to do things right on the East side of the island before you start development. A grand plan for the East side that includes provision further for growth must come first. So you need to decide first how you are going to move increased # of people, how you are going to dispose the increase in waste, etc. etc. etc.

      So please don’t send people to Brac, but demand from your government to have strategy before proceeding with further developments on East side or elsewhere.

      • DF says:

        What does the writer’s age have to do with anything? “To better understand you???” What does THAT mean?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Cayman is getting more like Miami every day (including the crime). When I lived there it was so lovely to go up to Rum Point on a Sunday. So beautiful and tranquil……..look at it now! Full of drunken party goers. Totally spoilt the place. All catered for tourists alone and no consideration for residents and even for people that have paid millions of $ for beautiful homes to have the peace and quiet of these islands only to be ruined by the greed of certain people. Such a shame. Yes, it’s a lovely hotel i’m Sure with all the luxuries and pampering only the rich can afford but these islands are too small for such a development. The traffic is a living nightmare to travel up that way as it is so heaven knows what it’s going to be like when this is added. You have sold your soul Cayman for sure.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go to Rum Point on a Saturday or Sunday morning before the partiers wake up and you’ll have a nice and quiet time. There’s room for everyone.

  3. Nina Noddings says:

    I used to live around the corner from this beach in Beach Bay and loved the unspoilt natural feel of it. My family, friends and I spent many a wonderfully happy afternoon and evening in this beautiful part of the world. We no longer live in Cayman but please, please do not spoil it – the untamed beauty of its natural habitat must be allowed to remain.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry Nina this ain’t gonna happen. It’s just a silly concept design by some draftsman to boost property prices for land bought cheap in company names to be sold on at a great profit .
      Cost of this development will never be justified versus potential “off the beach” hotel rates income.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The second pillar of economic growth is physical infrastructure-transport networks, sewage systems, power grids, waste management, communication systems.
    Unless infrastructure is built to accommodates future growth it would stall economic development.

    You can still go a little longer with the Dump as it is, traffic bottlenecks, dilapidated sewer system, non-existent public transportation, but it would catch up with you sooner than you think. Don’t forget about global warming and rising seas, I bet it would add a really bad headache to the existing problems unless infrastructure upgrade would take it into consideration.
    The first “fecal matter in beach water” report that hits international media would be the beginning of the end for Cayman miracle. Reputation, once lost, is never recovered.

    P.S. I don’t wish people of this country to experience a doomsday scenario, but unfortunately you are marching eagerly toward it with your eyes wide shut. You lack the vision, direction and genuine leadership (the third pillar of economic growth)
    I suggest you read about Lee Kuan Yew, who led Singapore into prosperity over 30-year rule. His extraordinary plan to develop Singapore from a swampy outpost to a leading economic hub will remain as one of modern history’s greatest strategic accomplishments.

    • Anonymous says:

      That surplus money could fix a few things. Oh but what am I even thinking build a port no one wants.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The hotel could benefit the eastern districts but please ” do it right” this time. Follow planning rules and regulations and no bending to suit anyone. I know that will be a novel idea but not impossible to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think the government will not give concession. You are smoking something.

    • Anonymous says:

      how would it benefit the eastern districts?

      • Anonymous says:

        Hopefully some jobs! When Tortuga started up in East End they hired persons from all the eastern districts! We are expecting no less from this one, if it ever gets off the ground.

      • Anonymous says:

        Think of all the single family homes that could be converted into little flats to house all the low wage workers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lots more #Cheap Labor coming in soon to drive down the average blue collar wages!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Notices and approvals are very few with this back-dooring regime and its politically loaded and unregulated authorities.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m just waiting for the day when the unrestricted development overwhelms the infrastructure that supports it. Basics like water, power, sewerage and garbage disposal aren’t exactly state of the art on this island and sooner or later the whole thing is going to collapse. When that happens we’ll really be in the ****!

    • Anonymous says:

      So true! With o

    • Anonymous says:

      With our small size and the amount of duties being collected or should be collected, we should have state of the art classy infrastructure to match the underwater beauty which they now plan to destroy. This little island should be the best planned, cleanest and safer than any other place. Developers have been allowed to run amok with the only forethought being the dollar bills. Once we got out of the mosquito era we were hoping for paradise. So disappointed! They have spoiled it for us, themselves and pretty soon for everyone in the future.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 2:53 pm I am with you. Can’t wait for it to happen (to teach this country a lesson). And it will happen.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You can thank McKeeva for the reduced notice area for Planning Notices, it used to be 1000Ft.

  9. Agreeably, with a corrupt government such as we have here in the Cayman Islands, there is no surprise other than the residents are clueless as to what is happening the their neighoods.

    Perhaps it is a time for a referandum for a fully open government such as in Florida. I notice that the government there does fight open records as much as possible, but still few businesses run from government in the sunshine.

    Perhaps we should give it a try. Especially in the real estate sector. It would cost the government nothing to open those books (the property register) and provide the information residents desperately need.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Moratorium on all developments until 1. The Dump is fixed and a new location that is in agreement with 21 century requirements is open. 2. Major road bottlenecks overpasses(underpasses) are built 3. Public bus transit system is implemented and running 4. Sewer system throughout the island is upgraded to 21st century standards 5. Beach water quality is monitored regularly and verifiable results are publicly posted.
    You can’t continue with development and visitors # increase until all 5 are accomplished. It could be done in 3 (max) years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Private sector developers can’t seem to get anything right. Don’t worry CIG to tye rescue again. Remember Barcus beach Remember smith cove. Thankfully we have CIG

      • Anonymous says:

        Only too conscious of Barkers Beach, where CIG has done exactly what to stop the developers wanting to tear up 300 acres of turtle grass in a protected zone so their favourite developer can shift a troublesome tenant off SMB and at the same time create a dump zone for all the additional cruise passengers they want to accommodate ( after they have bought a watch or jewelry at the Ministers family store). Or Smith Cove where the actions of a single MLA – not the government- stopped a rogue vendor, contrasted with the public beach nightmare where vendors continue to harass our tourists, prevent ordinary people from having access to their birthright, and all the while fail to have the necessary business licenses or permission to operate on public land. Any more great examples of CIG protection of the public?

    • Sand Whitey says:

      @10:28am Why move the dump and contaminate another spot on island?? Are you gonna build a house on the old dump site and raise your kids there?? Like really think about it now.. We already have you contaminated/dead zone why create another one willingly?? Take the time and $ that would be spent foolishly by moving it and actually fix it just where it is now and keep it there!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        A landfill is better than an incinerator (aka WtE). The open air Dump and properly lined and managed landfill are NOT the same.
        Switching in thinking about waste as something that is sent to landfills or burned, to waste as an asset that is sold and repurposed or reused is the goal. Striving for near zero waste as a national strategy would leave very little waste which would be properly buried in a landfill (the key word is buried, not dumped).

    • Johnny Rotten says:

      Yes it could be done in 3 years or less but considering the Authorities and CIG departments involved I’d hazard a guess you might need to add a zero onto that 3. Coincidentally it’s 30 years since the first dump study report was done and what have we got to show for it, a bigger dump!

    • Anonymous says:

      Truth is with how development is going on on the island and no infrastructure in place to accommodate the growth. The residents should allow for the development to occur, then sell their properties at the higher market value and go somewhere with your profits that would last you longer. Trust me, with the path we are on, overcrowded beaches, the lack of natural resources and a dying envorinment, the lack of garbage collection, traffic, high costs of living, increase of violent crimes and the non existence of our culture and traditions, cayman will be just another Caribbean island that no one will wish to visit or live.

    • Anonymous says:

      Would the commenters supporting this post demonstrate on the steps of the Govt.. Admin. Bldg like the children did on Friday?

      Our childrren put us adults to shame how they stand up to call out the corrupt governance.

      • Anonymous says:

        6.33am I think what you mean is that children are easier to manipulate.And the majority of them leading this protest wete non Caymanians attending private schools.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Periodic updating of applications is a time-tested method for land-banking and stalling out commencement of construction until someone else can swoop in with their money and rescue/assume risk for the project. Exhibits: Half Moon Bay Hotel, Locale stripmall, Meridien Northside, former-Hyatt SMB corridor, Ritz Carlton pre-McKeeva bailout…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Given the overall lack of transparency in which this Cayman Islands government operates of course Bodden town residents are kept in the dark. The government hasn’t even made a final draft of the Cruise ship pier plan available to the public. If CIG held such capacity they would feel shame.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The beginning of the end..

  14. Anonymous says:

    Anyone wonder what the death rate will go to when this “beach” has little kids and elderly swimming there? It is NOT a safe place to swim. Same with the “Beach” at South Sound Cemetery. Irresponsible choices that will cost people their lives!

  15. Anonymous says:

    cant wait to see oh quickly Alden and Kirk get on there knees for the developers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Already built them a road with OUR MONEY!

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t it amazing how the more things change the more they remain the same. During Mac’s time the criticism was about corruptions and concessions and why we needed to change him. Now we have Alden and crew and the cry is the same. The same projects and concessions that was complained about then have been continued DART, Hyatt, Beach Bay and Health City. Beach Bay was given a total of US$25 million in concessions or 12.5% of the proposed development cost now the residents are complaining about the development, Government actually incentivized the developers to develop this project in this location.

  16. Anonymous says:

    here is what will happen…
    roads and infrastructures will be put in at cig expense…and then the developer will sell the land at a huge profit

  17. Anonymous says:

    this will happen around the same time as ironwood…or the ice rink ..or the enterprise city…..zzzzz
    cig has been scammed again by handing away concessions without a shovel ever been put in the ground…

    • Anonymous says:

      more of the same bulls#2t. these characters fly in and have a big talk but no action.
      lets see what really happens now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Duty concessions only matter when there is actual development. If they don’t build it then there is nothing to conceed. See?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not CIG – it was us the stupid Caymanian people who accept their Christmas hams and turkeys.

      Because we Caymanians are Corrupt we have corrupt government.

      • Anonymous says:

        To post 6.48 not only some corrupt Caymanians here. Many non Caymanians also corrupt. Just take a look at who is really profitting and controlling things in Cayman. The majority are not Caymanian.Bet there are some corrupt ones there too

  18. Anonymous says:

    They should be glad to get some economic activity in that area. The entire area is unattractive and in need of an economic boost.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Are the residents of Beach Bay actually surprised that they would have no idea of what’s going on in their neighborhood when it comes to things like this? Pockets have been lined, that’s all that matters here in the Corruptman Islands.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Lol. Fake beach.

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