CPA urged to deny land clearing to help sale

| 22/10/2019 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service
Aerial imagery showing the application site outlined in blue

(CNS): The Department of Environment is urging the Central Planning Authority not to allow a landowner to clear 7.5 acres of primary habitat in East End just to help sell the land. The DoE said there were various alternatives to assist the owner’s marketing plans but it “strongly objects” to the reasons put forward for this destruction of mangrove wetlands, forests and woodlands, which are some of the most productive terrestrial eco-systems in Cayman.

Speaking on behalf of the National Conservation Council, the DoE technical experts said that mangrove wetlands also support “an immense variety of species” and function as catchment and drainage collecting surface water.

“The vegetation also reduces the speed and distribution of stormwater and assists with mitigating against rain inundation of the surrounding area including the roads,” the DoE stated in submissions ahead of Wednesday’s CPA meeting. “Dry shrubland habitat also represents an important natural habitat due to its rich terrestrial biodiversity, including supporting several endemic plant species.”

It warned that speculative land clearing had been identified as a factor negatively affecting dry shrubland. “Given the great ecological importance of primary habitat, the DoE strongly does not support the clearing of the parcel,” the department said, pointing to the unnecessary loss and habitat fragmentation, especially in the absence of any plans for actual development.

The DoE submissions regarding this plot on Seaview Road is among a number of concerns it is raising on several planning applications on a long list going before the CPA this week.

The DoE is urging the CPA to deal with the problem of after-the-fact applications for land clearance and to make developers replace ripped up mangrove buffers. It also urges the authority to refuse an application for a home in Rum Point where the land owner is requesting a high water mark setback variation, bringing the structure far too close to the sea.

Not for the first time, the Department of Environment said it was “extremely concerned” about waiving coastal setbacks in cases like this where there are no other mitigating measures to prevent sea inundation, as it recommended the CPA refuse the application.

“It is imperative that minimum coastal setbacks are met, particularly given climate change predictions for the region and the increasing prevalence of coastal erosion associated with inappropriately sited development,” the DoE said in the submission.

See the CPA Agenda for 23 October here

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Honestly I don’t know why there’s not a law that states you can only fill in clear land if it’s sold and will be developed within the next three months. Why isn’t that a thing? Hurricane comes in all these empty lots that have been cleared are going to screw over all the houses that exist around them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What was the DOE’s stance on the new Cruise Port again?

    • Anonymous says:

      5:58 what do you think it is? Baring in mind all of the coral destruction that will take place if its built. The reason you probably haven’t heard much from them is because Gina was removed from the committee board and was not allowed to present at any of the discussion meetings regarding the port. Fishy me thinks (pun intended).

      • Anonymous says:

        Believe me, that was a facetious comment by me. I know exactly what is going on and truly the people of Cayman should be FURIOUS and letting the entire world know what is going on in the Cayman Islands.

        Another New York Times article would be fitting. To note, that article is everywhere on social media.

        • Anonymous says:

          Apologies I’m not the best at picking up sarcasm… but agreed! International attention would certainly do no harm at this point!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure Imparato will do the same as he did in Rum Point.

  4. Rachel McField says:

    They should have been more proactive from LONG ago!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know who the landowner is?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The land belongs to the owners. They paid for it.
    If they clear it, it is up to them. Mind your own business and go harass Dart, bloody hypocrites.

  7. Shizen to chōwa suru says:

    CPA seems to be playing up to developers big and small these days. Let’s hope DoE’s pitch manages to knock the earmuffs off CPA’s sellout mentality before more precious natural habitat is laid waste.
    There are innovative ways to minimise destruction of natural land space and incorporate building designs that strike a balance between the two, but that might be hard work and more costly for the developers. Things have to change for the better not just for the money.
    CPA needs to take a lesson from wise people much further east who have been doing this for over a millennium.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh but Climate is going to effect the residents who live near to this particular lot of land in East End if the owner is allowed to rip up the mangroves.

  9. Anonymous says:

    And when its sold it will be cleared any way LOL!!!

  10. Say it like it is says:

    11.31amAn awful lot of Caymanians acquired large tracts of swamp and woodland for free during the Cadastral Survey and this may be one of them. Try minding your disgusting language.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Years ago this parcel was subject of owners wanting to develop and acquire needed fill by blasting a lake in middle and use the fill.
    Mr. Dick Christian (God Bless him) alerted several on the plan and affects the blasts would have on places in the area and it never happened.
    Land clearing for Speculation and sales should be handled with caution. Thank you.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Surely it is best to leave the land as is? A purchaser may wish to develop amongst the natural vegetation rather than have to BUY vegetation after development. The natural vegetation could make it more valuable.

  13. Anonymous says:

    There is between 4,200,000,000 cubic kilometers and 17,000,000,000 cubic (including the Exoshpere) of Atmosphere. (That’s Trillions of)

    DoE: But “It is imperative that minimum coastal setbacks are met, particularly given CLIMATE CHANGE PREDICTIONS IN THE REGION and the increasing prevalence of coastal erosion associated with inappropriately sited development,” the DoE said in the submission.
    321,003,271 (Billion) cubic MILES of water is in the ocean.

    That means if you said: “Make sure you dog doesn’t pee in the ocean, so not to raise the ammonia levels too high globally, that comment would be more accurate by a factor of 50 times.

    But we have to make sure we stop this guy from filling his swamp….. Jokers,

  14. Anonymous says:

    whats the difference between swamp land and wetlands??

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why not use the environmental fund and buy the land and keep it pristine. Otherwise its going to get developed, one way or the other, and complaining about pres sale clearance is just kicking the can. Fairer on the existing landowner too – he cant develop his land as a sacrifice for the wider community. Isn’t that what the fund is for, rather than a dip in fund that CIG can raid whenever its short a few bob?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the land of all-sensitive, all-caring, (more than you) ecowackjobs tyrants dictating what others can and cannot do with THEIR ASSETS, that THEY PAID FOR, with THEIR MONEY.

    “……., particularly given climate change predictions for the region and the increasing prevalence of coastal erosion associated with inappropriately sited development,”

    What a load of absolute BULLSHIT!! climate change is going to affected by the mangroves in East End???????? GTFOOH! These people are freaking CLOWNS.

    • Anonymous says:

      A very well written and articulated viewpoint there. You are clearly a person of culture and superior intellect.

      Where did you get your degree in climatology?

    • Anonymous says:

      11:31 There’s an old English word for people like you – it rhymes with banker!

    • Anonymous says:

      11:31, this “environmental concern” is only temporary. As soon as the current owners are forced to sell their properties at pennies on the dollar, the usual greedy suspects will move in to purchase. Then, and only then, will there be a scaling back of these “environmental concerns”. Paving the way for development.

    • Anonymous says:

      And is the earth flat? Sounds like you have the IQ of a dung beetle.

    • Anonymous says:

      That biased, fear mongering view with no regard to the greater environment/world is exactly what the “all-sensitive, all-caring, ecowackjobs tyrants” use to make their case against people like you. You’ve essentially walked into their “trap” lol. Read up on climate change and how this could affect the cayman islands before placing profits before environmental protection.


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