Hotel re-zone sought near Seven Mile Public Beach

| 28/10/2020 | 69 Comments
Trafalgar Place on Google Maps

CNS): The owners of Trafalgar Place, a commercial development on the West Bay Road, have applied to the Central Planning Authority to have the block and parcels re-zoned as hotel-tourism, which could pave the way for another major hotel development close to the Seven Mile Public Beach. The CPA was due to consider the application on Wednesday, against the backdrop of over-utilization of the beach already.

Trafalgar Investments Ltd, which owns the commercial plaza that is currently home to a small two-storey office complex, a restaurant and several retail units, has submitted the re-zoning application in anticipation of a new hotel development on the site, according to planning documents.

If the re-zoning is granted, it could pave the way for a ten-storey building diagonally across from the Seven Mile Public Beach. However, the Department of Environment has raised concerns about the pressure this would put on that beach. The department warned that another hotel in close proximity to it must be thoroughly considered, given how many tourists, prior to COVID-19, were using that already limited area of beach.

“The increased tourism footfall should be taken into account at this stage in order to plan for the sustainable use of the area whilst ensuring it does not undermine the purpose of the public beach as an area for the enjoyment of members of the public,” the DoE stated in its submissions.

A precedent for this application was set in July with the re-zoning of Dart land in the area.

The parcels in question are currently surrounded by a combination of public, tourism and residential land uses in the form of Public Beach, Harbour Heights and the Watermark, another major tourism development currently under construction that will be ten storeys.

“Within a 2,000 foot radius there is the Kimpton Seafire Hotel to the north, other condominium complexes to the south, and on the eastern side of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway both the zoning and land uses are Low Density Residential,” the planning department noted in its report about the application.

Planning officials noted that the key issue for the re-zoning is that if the developers follow through with a hotel project, they would be free to build up to ten storeys.

But with no beachfront of its own, it is clear that guests would be using the only spot on public beach with facilities. Along the whole five and a half miles or so of Seven Mile Beach, public access is increasingly limited. With the exception of this area, Governors Beach slightly to the south and Cemetery Beach in West Bay, there are no other designated areas for public use.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (69)

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  1. John says:

    That will be nice for the owners at Harbor Heights.
    Short stay tourists who can’t afford a beach hotel crossing the street and using their pool, showers and beach furniture, which IS private property by the way. /s

  2. George Ebanks says:

    What Cayman needs to realize is that if we do not want a dock or port then we need to build more hotel rooms for incoming stay over tourists. It is either a port for short term tourists or increased room stock for longer term tourists! Cayman, you choose!

    • Anonymous says:

      George, sometimes I worry about you. Your thought process is just nonsensical.

      Biden-Harris

    • Trustiing Rewil says:

      George, you are entitled to your opinion , however you should engage brain before putting finger to the keyboard. Do you intend to have to tell your children that once upon a time we did have a good access to the 7 mile Beach ? and because You and others suggested that more hotel rooms in the area was a good thing, they can’t have free access, have to stand in line and perhaps even pay to get in on the beach. I don’t think so George, so be careful of what you put out there me son, more doesn’t mean better especially on or near a small stretch of beach.

      • George Ebanks says:

        You failed to mention the fact that the parcel is across from the beach. Not ruining the SMB corridor!

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s the silly season..All the deals will be made now with the politicians justin case they are not elected next year. They are frothing at the mouth for the $$$$..Pigs at the trough. ugh!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Getting this re-zoned as hotel-tourism is simply to increase the marketability for a potential sale of the land. The current building is of limited value as office space as no one is going to want to relocate an office to that exact spot.

    It will be eons before a hotel ever goes there. Most likely, Dart will just buy the land.

    • Anonymous says:

      Joe won’t sell..that is unless Dart has another sweet deal..

      • Anonymous says:

        Hes been holding back on giving up Galleria and Westshore Plazas too from what I heard amongst the R.E. agents….some very interesting negotations may happen amongst the development gods. One needs to own everything on SMB and the other needs marketable beach access to increase his rezoned land value.

      • Anonymous says:

        The rich do not want all this cement. Think about that before building.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What I don’t understand is that the Government had only some 2000 “Caymanian” requests from the Tourism industry. In my mind this represents the hotel and cruise industry. Can anyone say based on that number, how many tourism jobs are there in the Cayman Islands? What percentage of that number is 2000? I am sure that it is a very small amount…that being said, who are we building these hotels for?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wonder how much Joey giving Joe for the concessions before he leaves office? Another ‘state secret” that we will never know?

    We may get all of these jokers out of office next May but they will all be fat and rich.

    So tired see our islands destroyed and sold to the highest bidder.

    I Know AL’T and gang have already shined up the “rubber stamp” for this one too.. Got to keep the CPa members in business at any cost..makes me sick to my stomach to see the XXXXXX endorsed and supported by this so called “unity” government.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Because we have no national development plan, there’s no such thing as ‘precedent’ with local planning – CPA evaluates every project in a vacuum. They aren’t able to consider projects holistically, it’s not in their remit. Or interests if you consider who is on the CPA…

  8. Anonymous says:

    LOL. Dart’s new one in the vicinity will be open long before this even breaks ground.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes let’s build a hotel for a non-existent tourism industry. Who knows how long we’ll be in this predicament?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Riddle me this: how are these theoretical tourists supposed to jay-walk cross the blind high-speed corner to get to the beach, since DART and NRA were earlier this year granted hindsight PLA approval/discretion to build the grand eyesore, and paradoxically “pedestrian-discouraging” parking lot wall?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hope the ground opens up and swallows the whole project along with the idiots who support it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    its private development and assuming it meets planning requirements there is no issue here.
    bigger issue is…is commercial realestate on smb dead… and when do they think tourists will come back in numbers to fill our hotels?

  13. Anonymous says:

    no news here. it’s going through normal statutory procedures…people can object if they want.
    it will be either approved or denied and people can still appeal if they want.

  14. Anonymous says:

    cns: who said smb was over-utilized…?
    maybe stick to factual reporting rather than blind anti-development bias.

    CNS: The DoE. Maybe read the whole article before spouting.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I heard the Premier say that the lockdown had made it evident that caymanians were not benefiting that much from tourism so why in the world would the Government allow more hotels. WE need a moratorium on construction on seven mile beach. Please

    • Anonymous says:

      But the govt needs the revenue from planning and permit fees to keep paying civil servants. I would have mentioned the millions of dollars theyre also supposed to get from IFF (infrastructure) and Low Cost Housing fees (10K per hotel room on that one, last time I checked) but those are the first concessions our govt gives away.

      • Kleptocrats in our Kakistocracy says:

        CIG is looking for $ in all the wrong places. While ordinary citizens face paying more taxes (Duty) government is pissing away guaranteed $ from large developments just to fill a few already overflowing pockets. This is not to mention the destruction of natural environment which is priceless.

        • Anonymous says:

          …the perennial master line items are hemorrhaging hundreds of millions in costs on lost cause payrolls for departments that can’t or won’t do anything, let alone collaborate with other departments on joint civil administration priorities – while fully subsidizing ridiculous “nationalized” money-pits, and all without passable accounting transparency!

    • Anon says:

      Exactly, Alden wants a tourism reset, that he created, and is continuing. How did he pass law school with this kind of thinking.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to be a ‘wet-blanket,’ but this will have a few glitches but be a slam-dunk to go forward. Oversight will be ignored and ministers are completely bought out. Dart will be just fine, and yes, the skyline will come closer to the unforgiveable 10 story (and higher soon).

    Want to place blame? Ourselves; who elected these fools. Elect stupid officials, expect stupid decisions.

    Want to stop this calamity in the future? We better vote in those who want a balance between tourism revenue dollars and destruction of our precious island.

    Sadly, I have little faith in our ministers. Poorly educated, poor ethics and no morals. They will change their opinion for $20 and vote according to their pocketbook.

    Please prove me wrong. I’ll give you 5 years. If no meaningful progress, it’s a done deal. Cay-Miami!

  17. Anonymous says:

    They should have just built it and applied for an ‘after the fact’ approval. That seems to be the way to go.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Outrageous! Continuing to build more and more hotels… For who and for what?
    Look at what’s going on right now! Empty hotels, loss of businesses, loss of employment.
    This government has completely lost their minds!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Someone should do an investigation into every building on the SMB waterfront that’s been built before Ivan. The use of beach sand was prevalent. Chances are the rebar and other key structural elements are rusting way behind the facades and buildings are crumbling. I wonder if the insurance companies have ever taken a look at this? Knock them all down. Government should seize them as being unfit for purpose. Give us back some beach.

  20. Call my lawyer! says:

    Cue the strata corps of The Avalon and The Great House kicking up a fuss in 3…2…1…

  21. Anonymous says:

    CNS. By way of prescriptive right the entire length and width of SMB (from sea to natural vegetation line) is available for public use and recreation. May I ask that that fact is kept in mind in your reporting as it keeps being forgotten by so many, including hoteliers and some condo owners, and even some at the RCIP.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just stay out of my vegetation.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Caymanians need to understand that life goes on and we the investors cannot continue to buy and invest in your island and not be able to enjoy our private beach at our condos without having some local or tourist setting up and plopping down in front of our multi-million dollar investment.

      I have investments all over the world and this is the only place where I am encroached on in this manner. Your government needs to look into this and make changes otherwise many investors, like myself will no longer invest in your islands and that is to your detriment.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your private beach is a figment of your imagination. Try to move me in my peaceable enjoyment of it at your risk. I might decide invite thousands of friends for daily recreation. Cayman is not like the rest of the world, which is why you found it such an attractive place to invest.

        • Anonymous says:

          That is the main reason your politicians have to work extra hard to get people like me to invest in your island.

          Do you actually believe that the idea of public beaches behind multi-million dollar condos will last? Like many things you need to bring your island into this century. We are not going to continue to come here to be harrassed on our beach by people like you. Your Government will have no choice and in short order to give up this ridiculous law. The Pandemic will see to that and you will be begging people like myself to bail you out.

          • Anonymous says:

            So you admit it is the law and then come here and openly ridicule it at the cost of the entire community that welcomed you? Show yourself, and your welcome will be withdrawn.

          • Anon says:

            OUR BEACH !!!!!????????

      • Anonymous says:

        So Mr/Mrs investor, care to tell us who you are, where does/did your money originate from? You know, just in the name of transparency and KYC.

  22. Anonymous says:

    They are dreaming if they think planning is going to allow them to compete with Kimpton and Dart’s other planned hotel in area.

    • Hubert says:

      Get ready 12;50. You are going to be in for a big surprise.

      Money talks on this island and you don’t know who is behind this project.

    • Anonymous says:

      They want it rezoned so they can sell it to the Darts.
      Rezoning to Hotel tourism means a higher density is permitted for condos. Not necessarily for hotel.

  23. "Anonymousir" says:

    like how many hotels does Grand Cayman need? Jesus! Did you forget how small this island is? In 10 years we will look like NYC … who would want to be here then? OH YEAH! the rich, my mistake. we are building an island for the rich. Sorry I forgot! Well done Dart & CIG. Poor ppl are s#!+, we understand …

    • Anonymous says:

      And the sad part is that the ‘rich’ prefer exclusivity of which this island used to be. It is not so exclusive anymore.
      We are screwing ourselves (and the rich) out of what used to be an idyllic paradise. Our oldest generation must be crying in shame. Unless of course they are on the gravy train that is profiting from it.

    • Bertie : B says:

      They need you all as servants in the hotels . Every caymanian dressed in maids outfits for the pleasure of the wealthy masters . The men can cut the grass and unload the trucks . The children can do local dances for coins .And the masters will put everything on tic tok , to advertise how well trained you all are .

      • John says:

        Goodness you are angry and bitter.

        As you would realize if you walked into any hotel or restaurant there are very few Caymanians working there.

        This is one of the few countries in the world where local people DON’T work in restaurants in hotels.

        Go to Italy and your waiter will be Italian, go to France and they’ll be French.

        But I guess you’re too good for honest work.

  24. Anonymous says:

    At least it would be on the correct side of the road, for a change…

    Allowing construction on the beach side of SMB was a crazy idea in the first place.

    Continuing to allow this is nothing short of insanity😩

  25. Anonymous says:

    Watermark is not a “tourism development”. No short-term tourists are permitted, with any lease at least 6 months.

    • Anonymous says:

      watermark is condos only, not a hotel.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s what Watermark wants you to think. There are ways of doing short terms there.

        Basically a very high end luxury hotel for those with mega bucks.

    • Philip says:

      Depends on whom you are, just like the Water Colours, fame and money can get you a few days stay there

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