Objectors argue hotel offers no benefits

| 24/09/2020 | 94 Comments
Cayman News Service
Beach Bay development, artist’s rendition

(CNS): Residents in Beach Bay who are fighting the development of a ten-storey hotel in their quiet residential community have argued that the project should not have been approved, not only because it breaches planning legislation but because there will be no benefit to Cayman. Having secured some $25 million in duty waivers, the resort will add little to public coffers but instead the taxpayer could be footing the infrastructure bill.

During a Plannings Appeals Tribunal meeting last week objectors listed a catalogue of reasons why the project falls foul of the law and said that the Central Planning Authority erred when it granted permission. Arguing on behalf of the main objector and supporting residents, local attorney Sammy Jackson told the tribunal that the CPA has an obligation to consider the technical aspects of a project as well as its wider community implications.

Jackson listed the errors he said the CPA made, including over the issue of a lack of beach access, not seeking a fire report, making decisions based on future assumptions about a new road, and the impact on the scenic coastline. He also said the CPA had claimed that the ten-storey resort was in keeping with the area.

“Clearly it is not,” Jackson said, pointing out that the entire community is made up of residential, detached family homes. He said the CPA could not rationalise how this project was in character with the surrounding area and to have said so was “obviously and patently wrong”.

He accepted that the government had re-zoned the hotel site, but said it was a spot re-zone and the CPA was obligated to still consider what was around it. He said the CPA’s remit was to examine a lot more than the bricks and mortar of a development.

The main challenge to the CPA decision in this appeal is the waiver of the full beach access requirement, which Jackson said the authority does not have the power to do. But he raised a number of other legal challenges, including the fact that approval was granted on a high-rise and complex development without any kind of fire report.

He noted that the CPA had based its approval on the assumption that a road would be built, even though there are no plans for it and government has made no attempt to compulsorily purchase the land it would need to do this. He also accused the CPA of not considering the natural environment of the area, which is not only a turtle nesting beach but also part of an important natural scenic coastline.

Jackson spoke about the wider implications of the project, which is an ambitious plan for the site. He said that government had granted the developers a $25 million waiver on the fees for this project, which means there will be no benefit for the public purse. He accused the CPA of just seeing development as good but he said this was not a typical project, especially given this rebate the developers were getting when taxpayers will be footing the bill for the roads it will need.

“The CPA failed to perform its primary function,” Jackson said, because it did not establish whether or not “this development is good for Cayman” and made no inquiry as to its potentially negative economic impact.

The hotel’s approval was defended by both the CPA, which was represented by the Attorney General’s Chambers, and the developers, Beach Bay Land Ltd, who were represented by attorney and former justice, Alex Henderson.

The lawyers argued that the CPA followed the law and used its legal discretion to deal with the beach access, which would be divided and would tie to the road once completed. The defence teams stated that the road was not just an assumption but one the NRA has gazetted, and described it as inevitable whether the project goes ahead or not.

Local residents have lobbied hard against the project, largely because of the scale of the proposal and the loss of the scenic coastline in the area for residents and their beach access. But after various do-overs, the project was finally given the green light in November last year, and last month the hotel was given a building permit.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (94)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Because simply you are not good at it reality hurt, I havent found a local head chef yet? Is that a coincidence?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this project can offer jobs to locals…house keeping…landscaping…bartending…pool service etc…please stop following individuals with their own agendas.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Take heed greedy people. Man can plan!!!!!, but God has a plan for us all.

    Hotels, condos are pretty much empty…. ???? Are we really crazy.

  4. Courtney Platt says:

    Wait! Did CPA simply decide to screw the turtles here? I thought that DOE and the Conservation Council had done a good job of pointing out the serious conflict between where the turtles nest and where this footprint will overlap. What happened? Am I missing an important change in the plan that would remove the overlap of the pool and decking, or have they sacrificed the turtles to these developers’ design whimsy. Turtle repopulation for the future benefit of all Caymanians is far from secured and does not need a permanent setback like this!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup! CPA screwed the turtles… (must be a full moon) :(-

    • David Powery says:

      Planning has a pattern of appeasing developers . There is no clear intentions of them listening to the residents or respecting their objections or wildlife. This will be another project for them to make a poor decision

  5. Anonymous says:

    I believe that this CPA that we have here has caused more headaches, heartaches, problems, sleepless nights for residents and damage to the environment than anything else going on here including Covid19 and the dump. They couldn’t have found a more destructive group if they had canvassed directly for them. Oops!! They were appointed!! . CPA need some diversity training, re humans, birds, turtles, flora, etc. why can’t they think about persons who already have their homes nearby, that perhaps they scraped and saved all their adult lives to provide for their families.

    • Jonathan Adam says:

      The board of the CPA should be appointed by the electorate ourselves, from a list of candidates who put themselves forward. Let them be tried. Let them be tested. Let them be removed when their performance is found to be wanting. The recognized fallibility of human nature and/or it’s collective condition as being susceptible to a self serving greed and lack of objective and wise decision making practices demands as such.

      This is but one example of many where the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy and the inequitable equation which it has furthered here in Cayman has proven itself not fit for purpose.

      The power of the electorate themselves, and to the exclusion of all others, to install, supervise and remove those who are given the privilege of positions of power and influence and consequence has to be realized.

      The negative and debilitating consequences of disallowing real participatory democracy beyond the woefully inadequate semblance of and/or fallacy of democracy as it pertains to the constructs of today,and which facilitates the rife institutionalized corruption therein, has to be acknowledged, addressed and rectified.

      These are the steps which have to be pursued out of a dire necessity with neither fear nor favour. Let the chips fall where they may.

      Those who would and will continue to stand in the way of these progressive, proactive, valid, viable, justified and equitable steps towards a future where Cayman, Caymanians and the collective future of all who call these three green rocks in the blue Caribbean Sea as their home can not only survive, but also thrive, are not a part of the solution. They are a part of the problem.

      It is only then that a genuine collective responsibility, a genuine stakeholdership of one’s own government and it’s administration and a workable and equitable equation can be formulated for the good of one and all and not the interests of a crooked and undeserving few. It is only then that crooked charlatan politrickians will find it less easy to prostitute democratic process and/or decision making processes out to the highest bidder, and that members of the electorate would sell their vote for a trinket and hollow promises born of deception.

      • Anonymous says:

        Jonathon, you are EXACTLY right! Probably the best comment in many years.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, lets get rid of the Westminster model and bring in the American one which is working so brilliantly right now…..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is an incredibly beautiful, safe place, with an educated(-ish), friendly people and a wide range of things to do and enjoy.

    We do not need to INCENTIVISE any developers. They need to incentivise US!!! WE have what’s desired. Those investors are desperate to find a way to invest their money for safe returns.

    They don’t need $25,000,000 of public money to build here. They should give us $25,000,000 of incentives (building a school, building a park, scholarships, infrastructure, public beach set aside, etc.).

    People act like if we don’t dish out incentives to condo developers and hotel developers, then they won’t get built. Hello! Look around at the rate of development here! People are DESPERATE to buy and build in Cayman and we should make them work for it. Not the other way around.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with your comment wholeheartedly. Time to have a some restraint when granting these development licenses. The Cayman Islands collectively consist of a minute number of acres so I believe going forward these llicences should only be granted after every feasibility study is carried out, after all persons applying is well vetted, after it is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is necessary and in the best interest of not only the developer but primarily in the best interest of ” we the people” and the islands on a whole. This first come first serve business needs to stop before it is all sold to the highest bidder. The islands are not growing wider or longer and not every design, designer, applicant can be accommodated. This wanton race to develop every square inch of ” our Beloved Isle Cayman” needs to be halted immediately. We need a reset ASAP.

  7. Jonathan Adam says:

    The ‘architect’ of this brain fart of a rendering is a board member of the National Trust. What does that tell you?

    • Anonymous says:

      No he’s not

      • Jonathan Adam says:

        25/09/WTAF2020/9:18 am

        Ah, so what? He is a member but not on the board now? CNS’s own archives speak to this matter do they not?. Look it up for yourself.

        Those who wish to have foxes administering and/or lobbying for the interests of hen houses deserve what the duck got, metaphorically speaking of course.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tell us who built the dysfunctional monstrosity fronting as a multistory car park in the middle of scenic George Town.

      • Jonathan Adam says:

        You have a problem with a building designed in a genuine, proactive and forward thinking attempt to help alleviate the parking woes in George Town?

        Scenic George Town? Did you trip and bump your disingenuous noggin there Confukkus?

        You one of those who have a problem with exposing the fallacy of conceited and self interested overtly hypocritical asshats which the National Bust is most unfortunately indicative of? Yes. Yes you are.

        Who built it? You and I both know who did. It was my father. Are you so stupid as to try to draw a parallel between that structure and this blight upon the Southern coastline? Yes. Yes you are.

        My father endeavoured, as a Caymanian entrepreneur via legitimate means, to build that building. He did so without attempting to employ the tactics of highway robbery and dishonest thought process which the systemically corrupt construct of concessions is based on.

        Are you so asinine that like a lilly livered anonymous coward think that pointing that out is of any consequence whatsoever? Yes. Yes you are.

        Do you have a valid, viable and productive point to make, or are you just a silly agitator? No and Yes correspondingly.

        Carry on you insipid twat, carry on. Time is longer than rope as they say. We would not want you to be late for your date with the rest of the institutionally corrupt, corrupted and corrupter cocktail circuit of nekkid emperor nimrods.

        Neither truth nor fact is your friend. Would you like to try again?

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow. Take a pill dude. You are strung way too tight.

        • Anonymous says:

          So, pray tell, what is the generational line where it is acceptable in your deluded world to be a property developer?

        • Anonymous says:

          Jonathan I realise that you are an intelligent person who does your own research and I must commend you. However, as a much older person, May i respectfully remind you not to let the detractors get in your head. Remember common sense is not so common. Do not use up your energy trying to teach anyone who cannot learn, it is futile. Another thing Jonathan, you are very articulate and do not need the inflammatory language, leave that for those who cannot string a sentence together . Please do not take this as a criticism, I do understand the frustration, there won’t be overnight change. It will take time.

        • The Cheerleader says:

          Go, Jonathan! Sock it to ’em, sock it to ’em, sock it to ’em!

  8. Anonymous says:

    One day, someone will have to explain to me why the govt needs to give all these concessions…whether its duty or the infrastructure and low cost housing fees associated with building permits…to these million dollar developers.

    They already have money to develop from all their tax evading “investors”. They know the costs and profits going in and CHOOSE to develop in Cayman because of all the benefits. So why does the pot need to be sweetened? Theyre going to build here with or without discounts, trust me.

    And how does the govt justify or make up for losing all these much needed fees? They simply increase indirect taxes on the rest of us, increasing the cost of living just to give millionaires a discount? This is crazy, unacceptable and irresponsible.

    • Jonathan Adam says:

      You are 100% correct in your assessment of the situation at hand. There are those who are at once hypocritical rat bastards who use subterfuge to achieve their own diabolical agendas, yet still pontificate and hold themselves up as champions of not only the environment but also all those who live in it but are in reality the worst of the worst.

      Once you start to get at the root of the matter, the charlatans and the transgressors get all in a tizzy like cockroaches whose holes have been exposed to the sanitizing qualities of broad daylight.

  9. Anonymous says:

    pie in the sky project and always has been….end of.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It does offer no benefits. In fact, hotel tourism in general has stopped offering benefits. Caymanians have not benefitted in any meaningful way since the old Holiday Inn was knocked down. The employment of locals is minimal, the opportunities for career growth nearly non-existent, and the salaries derisory.

    The hoteliers try to chase us from the beach, and try to keep the guests on their properties. Caymanians face traffic, pollution, and a diminishment of their environment. No further hotels should be allowed until the existing hotels have at least 70% occupancy and employ at least 50% Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Employment of Caymanian will only happen when the Caymanians are as good a worker as an expat. No education, no skill. No skill, no reason to hire. When your third world leadership which is in charge of your third world education system is finally changed by you third world voters then you can actually do the work needed. Good luck with that happening any time soon.Until then all you can seem to do is complain that expats are smarter and better workers than you can ever be.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sigh. People who say things like this miss a fundamental fact. If you move somewhere else for the purpose of work, you’re going to work your ass off. If you’re on a work permit – if your permission to reside, if your basic sense of safety in a foreign land depends on your job performance – of course you will work differently to a native. A native doesn’t need their job to continue to live here and access their wide and deep family and community connections. Expats work harder because they took a big step and moved somewhere else with that intention. Then when they get there they start calling the natives/locals ‘lazy’ without noticing that one has its heels constantly nipped at and the other doesn’t. Which one is going to move faster? There’s nothing special about this dynamic but a lot of expats think its their own personal theory about Caymanians or something. It’s really not. It’s obvious, basic human nature.

        • Foxfire says:

          Basic human nature, Anonymous 10:13? Yes, a big part of it is basic human nature……… but in addition to that, there are other causes of “natives” not being interested in a job or unable to qualify for the job. Not very much is said about the main reasons, which are poor parenting and poor schooling! Poor parenting is the number one cause of children failing to
          do well in school, or not “fitting in” with others. It is not easy to break the chain, It is the way the parents were raised and is something that stays with the child and is there when he or she become parents. Poor schooling is almost the same as poor parenting. If the children are not taught how to get along with others or not taught about real life problem solving, they will not do well. Do you wonder why the government hasn’t taken a larger part in making things better for our children?

        • Anonymous says:

          So your saying the way to get the unemployable Caymanians to work their ass off is to make them go elsewhere where they will be expats? Too funny.
          Maybe they could pretend to be somewhere else and still live here? Maybe you could pretend to have a better education than you do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Total bullshit. Various industries including elements of tourism work hard to intentionally exclude highly qualified and competent Caymanians.

    • Hubert says:

      8:48, The employment of Caymanians is minimal because Caymanians generally do not want to work in the hotel industry. Raise the minimum wage and Caymanians will work there.

      $10 an hour. A livable wage for Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      On the other side of the island another developer said they are looking at three more hotels.

      Ministry of Planning and Commerce refuse to share a summary of the concessions and incentives given by Govt. to developers.

      Things that make you go hhmmmmm

  11. Just saying 🤔 says:

    I know trafic will be interesting if that happens not to mention it’s ugliness and destruction. Was there supposed to be another bypass ? Asking for a friend.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Some of them are decent people but they will fall for anything. How can they wily nilly agree with any h

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am looking ahead say 20 years. Our young people can’t buy land now,therefore,just imagine then.

    Everything blooming thing is going up EXCEPT salaries.

    We MUST keep in mind it is our young people that will sustain this country when we older folks cross over.

    Everything we do these days is about greed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is it that “others”can buy land but Caymanians can not? It’s not about greed but about education and skill. “Others” can buy the land because they had a good education and used that to get skill which they put to use making a living. Caymanian education is being held back to third world standards by the third world educated leadership which you voted in. Your own fault and can only be fixed by you. “Others” buy land and make a good living because they deserve it. Many Caymanians don’t for the same damn reason.

      • Anonymous says:

        Shh! You can’t say that!

        Caymanians like to blame everyone else for their problems. Certainly not the self serving halfwits they voted in and those that sit on the governing boards making decisions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most Caymanians dont have a slew of foreign friends ready to hide their funds offshore in develooments like this. You think its one person with all their personal money in these projects? Really? Get a clue.

      • Anonymous says:

        No but they can certainly sell it as they have been doing to developers over the last 50 years. Caymanians like to cash the checks then complain that expats own all the land.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think you have to worry about costs being higher 20 years from now. Cayman has reached the peak and tourists and investors will begin moving to new destinations that are left in a more natural state with less traffic and lower costs. Cayman is on the way down. The government of Cayman and the planning dept. have allowed development every where you look with no regard for the environment, but infrastructure failed to keep up with the pace of development. Cayman is now destined to fail.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not everything, Mr. Anon 5:59. We still fish and swim and enjoy life in many ways. If everything was about greed we would live somewhere else.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Calm down. They’ve been talking this development up now for over 20 years. Pie in the sky BS that will never happen.

  15. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    NO more concessions! We should be finished with trying to attract investors to build these behemoths, where we already have existing hotels that are struggling to fill their rooms! Big developers trying to squeeze existing businesses out of their slender slice of the pie.

    Beach Bay/Bodden Bay aren’t scenic??? What?? Sea and ironshore aren’t pretty to look at?

    We are well crowded enough. We need sustainable development, if at all. If there isn’t sufficient work for Caymanian-owned, expat labour construction companies, maybe it is time for some of them to go home.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The Government is—–YOU

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes… Elect corrupt fools, expect corrupt foolish results.

      Don’t like the decisions, vote them out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wish i could vote them out… Alas this stupid one man one vote system means that i am limited to who i can vote for. I for one didn’t vote any of the current clowns in the first place. just praying for a better selection come 2021..

        • Jonathan Adam says:

          I get your point. OMOV was no panacea by any stretch, however, the present day situation points to the need for many changes to be made.

          We need to look at the necessity of implementing a national vote.

          Very important here; The position of Premier has to be made a position which is voted on and the decsion made solely by the electorate ourselves and to the exclusion of any others. This needed change does not coincide with the parameters set by the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. We should not accept a system of democracy which disallows real democracy. The proof of such is in the rancid pudding which resulted from the self interested politrickial chicanery, secretive back room dealing and horsetrading after the last election cycle and the makeup of the LA as we see it today.

        • Anonymous says:

          A national vote is needed. Only then will all of them be accountable to all of us.

    • Anonymous says:

      WRONG!

      The government is the lawless corrupt UK and their local minions, working yo get knighted next year.

      Wake up, we do not live in a democracy.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is the type of ignorance that keeps fools elected. Don’t blame UK corruption for our own mistakes – we elected these corrupt officials. Accept our massive failures on how to govern ourselves. Accept that we do not follow the laws. Caymanians need to grow up and mature as our decisions have allowed these decisions to be made.

        Don’t shift blame on others for our decisions.

        Vote wisely.

        • Jonathan Adam says:

          The colonial system which we are subjugated to is the rotten core of the issue and the charlatan blackguard politrickians which you refer to are merely the players within. Moreover, the constructs of an anonymous lack of accountability designed by the diabolical powers that be in and of ‘The City of London’, and which use Cayman as an expendable pawn in their webs of deceitful crimes against all of humanity, are the root cause of the institutionalized corruption of the Cayman Islands in it’s collective entirety. That is the reality, regardless of any hollow rhetoric, public relations stunts and propaganda machines which would seek to lie and say otherwise.

          • Anonymous says:

            Jonathan:

            You wax eloquently… Sadly the average Cayman educated individual has no idea of what you said.

            Thus the core issue – when the majority of the Cayman voters can understand what you were expressing, then possibly they will elect better officials. Until then – Lemmings on a cliff.

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone has their own opinion and the right to express themselves, but I think our (Cayman Islands) government doesn’t seem to be interested in anything………….. other than enriching themselves! Look back at the things they have done……. or tried to do. Look at what they’re trying to do now! Shame, shame. shame.

      • Anonymous says:

        Get them UK out then and get your independence, what’s in heavens sake stopping you from doing that, ohh I k ow you’re worried that the flag goes with it, means no dodgy deals, tax heaven huh?

    • Anonymous says:

      So they fooled into thinking we have democratic governance.

      We have a corrupt dictatorship.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have a right to your opinions and it is that sort of extreme labeling that has set the stage for real dictators to get elected elsewhere. Check history. Democracy is always imperfect – make sure when you call for extreme house cleaning you don’t lose democracy altogether, not to mention throwing out the proverbial baby with the bath water.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but we voted them in!

        • Truth says:

          When the candidates are running for an office in Cayman it is almost certain that he or she will be “same old, same old”……..
          and they will do all in their pawer to remain at the trough.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah, but when it’s like choosing between crap or poop, what can you do?

    • Anonymous says:

      Bullshit !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      No. I am not the government…. and never will be a part of the government. I am too damn honest

  17. Anonymous says:

    SHUT IT DOWN!!

  18. George Ebanks says:

    Is increased room stock not a real benefit??

  19. Anonymous says:

    Not much scenic views at beach bay, and not much area to swim there so that’s not a good argument. I for one wouldn’t mind it as I may be able to get a job there

    • Anonymous says:

      2:11 What a narrow-minded and selfish comment. Also what job will you be getting? Do you think this place will be filling up with tourists soon? If you are you must be stupid as your comment suggests.

      • George Ebanks says:

        2:42, you are narrow minded for suggesting that someone would be stupid to aspire to gainful empolyment!

        • Anonymous says:

          Try gaining employment at one of the hotels that have already been built maybe? Before suggesting we destroy a practically untouched turtle nesting beach and change the complete character of the area. I’m not against all new construction but there is no need for this project to be so big and so destructive. Why not try for a more eco-friendly hotel? As for you saying you can’t swim at the beach so it’s not a good argument. Just because you can’t swim at it doesn’t mean you should build a damn enormous hotel on it. please don’t reproduce.

        • Jonathan Adam says:

          George, tell me something; What in the holy hell actually allows you to believe that this blight on the only stretch of as of yet not completely marred stretch of Southern coast will benefit Cayman and/or Caymanians besides a select few of blackguard charlatan bad actors? Do you need someone to show you the very reality that you point to in regards to Caymanians being gainfully employed in the establishments which already exist? Honestly, WTAF are you thinking man? Is someone paying you to be a stool pigeon or a shill for these asshats?

          • Anonymous says:

            Tell me this, how can we be expected to afford extortionately priced duck eggs if we have no jobs?

          • Anonymous says:

            You think this is bad? Dart wants to build an oil transshipment terminal in Breakers – ludicrous, moronic idea that if implemented will virtually guarantee the permanent destruction of the tourist industry in grand cayman on the first, inevitable, oil spill.

        • Anonymous says:

          Slave wages??

          • Big Bobo says:

            Well it is Caymanians who set the minimum wage so low not foreigners or expats. Caymanians exploit their own.

      • Anonymous says:

        Speaking of stupid….Do you think it will be built by next week?

      • Anonymous says:

        You do realize how stupid you sound? As it isn’t yet even started I would suspect that it’s a few years before it will be filling up with guests. The more tourism related products we can offer the better because the EU can’t say that a physical hotel with actual human guests has no economic substance.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The government also assumed all liability for environmental damage, as well as giving duty concessions. You cant make this @$&% up.

    • Anonymous says:

      This government is a disaster!!! They all need to go in 2021

    • Anonymous says:

      Imagine paying these developers $25,000,000 to muck up the island more than it is. More traffic, more destruction of the shoreline and natural resources for what. Can’t this government leave one little part of the island untouched so the residents can enjoy their homes and surrounding areas without all of the noise and traffic this hotel would cause. For Goodness sake leave something alone in its natural state!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, as a former visitor (We’ll be back when feasible); you want to improve your tourism???? STOP building and ruining your view of the beaches, ironshore and ocean views. That is a strong incentive for us to vacation in Cayman.

        If I want to see high beachfront hotels I can go to Miami – but the last time I went there was in 1981. Rather see the Cayman shore.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anyone with a lick of common sense feels the same way as you do, anonymous at 6:51. I cannot understand why the members of the government bench and planning can go on Willy nilly with not a care of the island and the younger generation who are coming behind us and will need a house lot to build a family home. I believe some of them are decent people but they are not thinking of our children and grand children coming behind us and neither are they thinking of the environment and the sacredness of taking care of it. It is mind boggling.

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