Lacovia revamp rubber stamped

| 23/01/2020 | 79 Comments
Cayman News Service
Artist’s rendition of the proposed new condo development at Lacovia

(CNS): Plans to redevelop the Seven Mile Beach condo complex Lacovia from its current 3-storey units to three new 10-storey buildings has received the green light from the Central Planning Authority. Most of the objections to the project were either withdrawn or had fallen away when the application went before the CPA Wednesday, leaving those argued by the strata at Watercolours, the 10-storey tower next door, which held no water for the CPA.

While objectors had originally complained that the redevelopment plan was way too big for the footprint, it was established during the hearing that the site coverage fell well within the law. With no requests for any variances to the law and after the developer, Bronte, agreed to follow the Department of Environment’s recommendations, there were no legal impediments to the application.

Concerns in the wider community that the law allowing 10-storey buildings on Grand Cayman’s world famous beach is going to change it forever are unlikely to stop the runaway development that people are expecting along the stretch of beach, as wealthy owners seek to maximize their investments at many more condo complexes.

Bronte has argued that the three tower blocks will be a very attractive development, with a “playful” terraced designed that will make the building much less imposing that straight towers. The designers confirmed that while the complex does include 13 swimming pools, twelve of them are small private plunge pools, with just one main pool.

The developers used the objectors’ own building as a way to promote and contrast what they say is their far more aesthetically pleasing design.

“In contrast to the WaterColours property, the staggered design of the Lacovia project reduces the overall visual massing and the space between buildings allows for lush landscaping and amenities areas, as opposed to one large continuous structure,” Bronte stated in its planning application. “The three-building design also allows for greater visual transparency from West Bay Road through to the beach.”

The development has the backing of the tourism department, and Bronte believes that the redevelopment will enhance the tourism product, as it offers additional short-term rentals for tourist accommodation.

Summing up their application, the developers said it complied with the law and regulations, and no variance requests or legitimate planning objections had been raised by the remaining objectors.

“The project density is lower than permitted by the Regulations whilst the massing and scale of the project is consistent with the immediate adjacent property to the north,” Bronte stated. “The project provides much needed modern apartment inventory for both the local market and tourism market.”

Many of the owners of the existing condos at Lacovia were at the CPA meeting. They all support the project, which will see some of the oldest condos on the beach, built in the early 1980’s, demolished and replaced with the modern apartments. The strata had voted in January to redevelop and each of the more than 50 owners will get one of the new 96 units, a preferred option over trying to fund a costly refurbishment of the current buildings.

The former planning minister, Kurt Tibbetts, was also at the meeting because after his retirement from politics he moved into a role as a planning consultant.

See the full details and design on the planning agenda for 22 January


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Category: Business, Construction, development, Local News

Comments (79)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We wanted to build a port but you all made up lies about the reefs were going to die and never showed any videos of anywhere else on the western hemisphere. You then lied again saying the beach was going to go.
    Now you say that buildings on the seven mile beach are going to destroy seven mile beach. But at the same time cruise ship tourists were bad for the country but stay overs we’re spending more money. You all want to dictate on every part but you don’t have any solutions for swampland or sandy beach.
    May I offer a solution have Gov’t buy one mile of beach on the South side for the public. Make sure there is a large swimming pool and bars and restaurants in it. Then leave 7 mile beach alone for private investors. Good?
    Now at the same time change the port to the South side of Grand Cayman. Everybody happy?

    • Anonymous says:

      Didn’t you read the story about the boy that just drowned in South Sound?

      The beach in South Sound is shallow, there are reefs, turtle grass and strong currents.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Its now called kurtlogic.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If the artist’s rendition is this bad I’d hate to see the final product!
    Soviet bloc apartments anyone?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
    But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

    We will soon see. Let me paraphrase, business as usual until the shit hits the fan really suddenly. Keep pressing your sin and see what happens.

    Rejoicing will be turned to mourning real quick. I speak with genuine concern for my fellow humans.

  5. Anonymous says:

    People will start going to Miami Beach instead of here, crowded, but cheaper. I can’t stress this enough, when we reach a point where tourists realize Cayman is nothing but a mountain trash, terrible traffic, and a noisy beach, they’ll go elsewhere, plenty of quieter places in the region.

    Independence is another scenario, I have a strong feeling if we go independent (which is bound to happen), many of these investors will leave, because Cayman will go down a stale path like Jamaica, then all these developments will be abandoned and a site for sore eyes.

    Bye bye Cayman.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s not that Caymanians don’t like development, it’s good for our economy absolutely, and we want to be an advanced and wealthy nation, but it’s the fact that we know these developments are NOT meant for us, and NO Caymanians will be hired to work at these developments. We’re being phased out like this isn’t our home, that’s our problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Leveraged development without sensitivity to neighbouring landowners and/or the environment, is not good for property rights, price stability, or the larger more important parts of the economy. Real estate prices can go down just as well as up, as the 2008-2009 Global Recession should have taught everyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:05 When no one Builds no one Profits!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, but you are being phased out as a result of YOUR Caymanians in political power.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Explain what is wrong with Waterlcolors,you that don’t know that is the strongest built building in the whole Cayman!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Did really expected anything different? You have the poor Caymanians going to court to gain access to our beaches yet 10 storey buildings an issue. Until Caymanians wake up and smell the coffee, money and greed will always turn this country into a concrete jungle. Don’t worry God has a bigger plan and time longer than rope. The sad part of this whole charade will be the poor will always end up with the end of the stick!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This ” it was established during the hearing that the site coverage fell well within the law. With no requests for any variances to the law and after the developer, Bronte, agreed to follow the Department of Environment’s recommendations, there were no legal impediments to the application.”

    Don’t cuss the CPA … if the LAW allows for 10 storey … They allow 10 storey … CUSS THE LA unna dem meck de law say 10 storey !!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    The two key points in this story are in the 2nd & 3rd paragraphs. The proposal is within the rules and the real problem are our wider-community concerns over 10 story buildings. The problems with this project aren’t really CPA problems, this time, they’re LA problems. Change the Law and reduce the height of permitted buildings back down to something more reasonable.

  11. Cheese Face says:

    Wow, I guess the islands largest building supply store will make a fortune from thi….. wait a minute!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It can be appealed, and judging by the Watercolors objections, and the money no doubt available to that Strata, this will be appealed.
    in the meantime, i’m sure the dump fire will help sell some of these new high rise units off plan!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Has the CPA ever turned anything down? Clowns

  14. Anonymous says:

    And yet we complain about traffic!! Just wait. You not see nothing yet

  15. Anonymous says:

    Does nobody else see and hear the executive helicopters Dart charters (from Jamaica?) to ferry their investors over their future development domains? Under current regime, Cayman is absolutely for sale. 50 story Burj Al McKeeva, no problem. Rip up a golf course in the way, why not, it’s your land now. Build a port in a marine park, we’ll take care of the trouble makers. You want to drill a 20 pylon dock, or raze a protected mangrove forest – go ahead, just paper it over after the fact. Keep the cocaine and ganja boats flowing, we will reassign this coast guard to stingray city. Don’t worry about any of this getting on you, we won’t enact the Standards in Life Law that criminalizes how we prefer to govern. The standard of permissiveness is at an all-time low. Everybody knows it. We can all see and feel it. Hundreds or perhaps thousands know it firsthand. Nobody is investigating the overt corruption and specific individuals behind it. Unfortunately, that is the prevailing moral standard of the Cayman Islands and a reality that will likely come back in the next CFATF report. Reshuffling the LA doesn’t address the deliberate absence of transparency and responsibility.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:14 am – THIS. THIS RIGHT HERE.
      This is so sickening. And your ‘Honorable’ LMAO leaders are at the helm of it.

      When they all got up in arms about Legge (sp) calling this place corrupt I was embarrassed that he apologized. But Caymanians do not understand the word, so… Carry on! Nothing to see here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mister 9:14, you are currently in first place for the “Comment of the Year” award!

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on, but sadly after this article is relegated to page 2 your comment will be forgotten. CNS this person’s comment should be stuck to your front page for at least until after the 2021 election, just as a reminder of the toxic environment we claim to call paradise.

    • Demand Accountability! says:

      Frederick Douglass Said:

      “Power and those in control concede nothing … without a demand.

      They never have and they never will.

      Each and every one of us must keep demanding, must keep fighting, must keep thundering, must keep plowing, must keep on keeping things struggling, must speak out and must speak up until justice is served because where there is no justice there can be no peace.”

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’ve attended recorded meetings where XXXX. If that’s the case, and it seems to be, then we have very serious deep-seated corruption problems in the Cayman Islands. This is just another example for the pile.

    CNS: I would love to post the full comment but these are serious matters, and you are anonymous and we haven’t heard the recordings you referred to, so we have no way to verify. Do you have a copy of the recordings?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well done Sherlock. This place is rotten.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cyman has always had a deep seated corruption problem and it always will. Culture is not something that can be changed quickly. Besides you have a great number of third world locals who can not survive in anything but third world. Look at what passes for government leadership here. In any developed country they would all be in jail. Here they are large and in charge.

      • Anonymous says:

        The corruption now is the worst it has been since the 70’s. Every agency of government is now so deep in it, it cannot even see.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you glance northward, Trudeau directly meddled in judiciary and fired a top Cdn Federal judge to try to stop a corruption investigation…and then then Canadians forgot about it months later, and voted him back in. A quantum worse than anything Richard Nixon did.

        • Anonymous says:

          What are you talking about. Trudeau had a dispute with his Minister of Justice in how to deal with a Canadian company that had broken the law. He did NOT/ NOT fire a judge which cannot be done by a Prime Minister in Canada, however, he did dismiss from Cabinet his Justice Minister.

          Get your facts right.

    • Without a trace says:

      Careful, this is the stuff that makes people seemingly disappear in Cayman.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I like the new Lacovia and think Watercolors is ugly.

    But…. forcing objectors to both write in and then turn up in person before they can be heard is a way that the CPA likes to keep the little person down. Only the people who feel untouchable or can hire fancy lawyers get to have their opinion heard.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t have to attend the CPA in person. That’s just if you want to speak. Your letter of objection is still on file and reviewed by the CPA members.

  18. Anonymous says:

    More policy of the short term results that Aldart is focused on. Most damaging leader you have ever had.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Kurteously.

    • Anonymous says:

      Again and again, the CPA and it’s Chairman have led us down a path that nobody claims to want. Yet regardless of criticism, or how many damning independent reports are filed, they remain.

      My conclusion: we are either too chicken to do something about it, have abandoned 7 Mile to tourism, or we secretly want this to happen.

      God help us to find the courage of our convictions.

      • Anonymous says:

        You cry babies make me sick; those honorable men who sit on the CPA are doing it for the love of our county. Thank goodness they won’t be swayed by the likes of all you haters and will continue with keeping development going. We need more development, not less. Praise to Mr Thompson & Watler for there service to our great country!

        • Anonymous says:

          Would you have a legal board without lawyers a medical board without doctors etc.? Who on the CPA is a designer or other creative person that we can look at their work and say they are qualified to sit on the CPA?
          Just follow the regulations you say; problem with that is the regulations speak to making aesthetic judgments, harmony with surroundings etc. which the members are not capable of determining.

          • Anonymous says:

            Have you considered corruption?

          • Anonymous says:

            Why don’t you just pack up and leave our island. CPA keep up the good work and do not pay any attention to these trouble maker cry babies. You men know what Cayman needs!

        • Anonymous says:

          “We need more development, not less.”

          That statement betrays your true rotten agenda. Don’t pretend that you are objectively defending great men.

      • Anonymous says:

        The chairman & assistant chairman are true Cayman heroes to put the time & effort into making our island and our economy great, keep up the great work gentlemen!

    • Anonymous says:

      Kurteously, King of Cayman Planners. Hire this guy developers.

  20. Anonymous says:

    When they tear this down, will they take it all to the dump or will the move it off island. I can’t imagine that much crap going into the dump again..wonder if the CPA thought about that??

    • Anonymous says:

      so are you suggesting that nothing gets approved because we have no space to dump anything?

      Its ill-conceived suggestions like this that make me somehow end up supporting the CPA and losing my lunch.

      • Anonymous says:

        Handling waste of any kind costs money. It should be up to those creating the waste to pay for the handling of it. Not doing so leaves us with a giant burning pile of garbage that no one wants to deal with. We let people create garbage for free and charge the public at large (taxes) to pay for handling it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Good bye 7 mile

  22. Anonymous says:

    Rubber stamped with total disregard for the legal issues that were raised- would never hold up in court

    • Anonymous says:

      What are these legal issues you claim were ignored? Article says there were none. So be specific as to why The article is wrong – or are you just making it up.

  23. Anonymous says:

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣……….as if it was EVER in doubt….

  24. Anonymous says:

    WaterColours is 9 storeys, not 10, by the way.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Now lets get on with a couple of 50 storey buildings for the neighborhood. Developers rule on Grand Cayman.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Good news. We need the stamp duties to help compensate for the incredible waste and excesses of the government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stamp Duties?? I’m sure there will be millions in concessions given to this development just like the rest of them that went up. Cayman could have benefited from allot of these new developments but they only had to pay a fraction of what they should have to the public purse. That is what makes it even more frustrating for Caymanians that are seeing their island go down the drain.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are blaming the wrong people for what is happening. Government is importing hundreds of impoverished and uneducated persons, giving them residence and status, and then giving them benefits. That is what is diminishing the resources available for Caymanians and over-stretching the infrastructure. At least high end developers create jobs and investment. That same investment provides the money that government needs to give to the same impoverished masses it has imported. See how it works?

      • Anonymous says:

        No concessions. Get your facts straight

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’d say this is another eye sore being added to west bay road but it’s more like throwing sand in your eyes now.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Rubber stamped” is 100% accurate of what went down there!

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe stay on your side of the island then?

    • Anonymous says:

      From the artists rendering , it looks to be anything but an eyesore. Compared to the monolithic grandious architecture of Watercolors next door , this new development may set a trend for future designs on the beach. There is now no way one can halt such developments from taking over the 7 mile strip as the older properties sell out to developers. These newer designs will actually be an improvement over the old properties they are replacing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Looking forward to the design of Dart’s new 50 storey building. Burj Al Kurt McKeeva will be amazing.

        Let’s ram it through. The sky is the limit.

        South Miami Beach Caribbean, here we come.

      • Anonymous says:

        Couldn’t agree more! They are setting a new standard of design which will further enhance these islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe we can knock down Watercolours and put up something other than a concrete box with balconies.

        It isn’t winning any design awards.

      • Don't reach says:

        Just more eye sores. All it is. On

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree there Watercolors is a three story building design enlarged 3X.

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