Gov’t scrambles to form NCC

| 17/02/2021 | 56 Comments
Cayman News Service
Hotel Indigo site

(CNS): After dragging its heels on appointing the private sector members of the National Conservation Council, public pressure appears to have led government to a last minute scramble. An application by Dart for a ten-storey hotel went before the Central Planning Authority on Tuesday with no input from the Department of Environment because there was no NCC to clear the screening opinion on the project. But government is now believed to be trying to appoint a council.

It is not clear why the NCC membership was allowed to lapse, given the important role it has in planning applications, which are heard every two weeks. CNS raised the issue this week after noting that the CPA agenda indicated that the planning application for this major project would be considered without input from government’s conservation experts.

While the proposed site of the Hotel Indigo is already man-modified and it is very unlikely that the DoE would have recommended an environmental impact assessment before the project moves forward, it would most certainly have had some comments.

Issues that the department would likely want to be considered include the impact of the project on Seven Mile Beach, turtle-friendly lighting, landscaping issues and how this project fits in with the more controversial proposal for a planned area development (PAD) that Dart recently submitted.

The decision to put the hotel application on the agenda goes against the requirement under the National Conservation Law that the DoE is consulted on all development projects. The question of wider public consultation also arises because the hotel falls within this proposed PAD footprint, which should be subject to public consultation before any individual development within it is actually approved.

After hearing the Dart application, CPA Chair Al Thompson said that the authority had decided to hear it without comments relating to the environment because it was unfair to the applicant to hold up the process just because government had not done its job.

However, Thompson said members would discuss holding back on their decision until the next meeting on 3 March to give the NCC an opportunity to clear any submissions from the DoE. If the CPA supports his proposal to defer for two weeks and government expedites the appointments, the DoE’s comments can still be considered.

During the hearing on the proposed hotel, the main concern for the CPA was the need for more parking spaces. While the applicant said it wanted to “avoid a blanket of unnecessary asphalt” to accommodate the occasional major event, the authority was urging Dart to increase the 238 parking spaces on the current plan to 300 in case it ever hosted a regional conference, since the plans include a large ballroom at what the application described as a boutique hotel.

This latest hotel project in the ever-growing Dart tourism accommodation empire is aimed at filling what the developer’s representative said was a gap in the market for cheaper accommodation in the Seven Mile Beach area.

The CPA questioned the developer about the pressure that guests at yet another hotel in the area would put on Seven Mile Public Beach. Thompson said he did not want to see the hotel guests using that beach as it should be retained for public use.

But Dart officials said they plan to direct guests towards the beachfront it now owns in the area of the former Calico Beach Bar. They said the landscaping would be designed in such a way that guests are steered north towards that beach where the hotel facilities would be provided rather than towards the south and the public park and beach area. They spoke of “dense vegetation” that would screen off the proposed hotel from that public area.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (56)

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  1. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    How refreshing it would be to see CIG “scramble” to aid/assist one of its citizens in need. I wonder what that would be like.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Dart is a Caymanian and clearly in need. It’s just that his needs are a little bigger scale than yours or mine – Iike the need to remodel the entire island the way he would like it. But don’t worry – the reformed NCC with one of his employees and one of Macs lapdogs will ensure his application gets given the due consideration that he thinks is appropriate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wait a minute, is the high vegetation border to keep the tourist off SMB Public beach OR to keep natives from “his” beach?

  3. Jacky Boatside From Oldbush says:

    Dart please get this ting going Mann! stop listening to these fools and they mumbo Jumbo like they got power to stop you ! you own Dey ras have a meeting to set they blood clot straight and pour cement on them and they activist ban Dem from Camana Bay if they don’t play ball and cut off the political $$$$ You know what time it is PPM Time McKeewa for God sake stop begging please!

  4. Anonymous says:

    “It is not clear why the NCC membership was allowed to lapse, given the important role it has in planning applications, which are heard every two weeks. CNS raised the issue this week after noting that the CPA agenda indicated that the planning application for this major project would be considered without input from government’s conservation experts.” – Easy to solve. AL T needs to make up for last year. That and because it’s CIG, Dart’s lap dog need to get last minute stuff through before they are likely voted out.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Looks like a good spot for a hotel. Set back from the shoreline like the crybabies want. Can’t see what the issue is here. Zzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      And of course we need yet another hotel ?

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s up to the economy to decide, not you

      • Anonymous says:

        This is what you call “living the dream” of the PFR activists and the anti-cruise-berthing lobbyists:
        Since the activists destroyed the opportunity for getting a proper cruise berthing facility built and funded (therefore, cruise tourism is expected to decline if not eventually be wiped out completely),
        since the activists said we should concentrate instead on building our stayover tourism industry,
        of course we need more hotel beds built so we can attract more stayover tourists.
        And so, Anonymous 19/02/2021 at 4:40 am,
        Yes, we DO need yet another hotel.
        “Living the dream”…

        • SSM345 says:

          You must be an absolute f**ktard to have missed this thing called COVID because that has had nothing to do with the cruise industry dying right? No it was the PFR activists; you know the concerned citizens with something between their ears unlike the puppets in LA.

          We would be F’d if that pier had started to be built as we would have been left with a giant bill and no beach….

          But wat, now lets build a hotel and remove all the bedrock which has been a plan for years so the tourists soft feet can wade into the most pristine water on planet earth….guess what will happen when they do that?

          The hotel will and all the others including condos and penthouse suites (accommodating blatant corruption and money laundering) will be useless then too at that point.

          Whats your plan then Brain of Cayman?

    • SSM345 says:

      Wait till they remove the bedrock and SMB disappears…..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians, the time is NOW when you need to step up and do what is right for the protection of your country and use your vote.

    This rampant development and destruction of the essence of Cayman needs to be stopped.

    It’s so obvious what is happening and they continue to do it with impunity. Act now before it’s too late.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like that’s ever going to happen. And number two; it was too late ten years ago. Caymanians are a helpless people who are not educated enough to matter to their own leadership. Their own leadership is not educated enough to lead in the modern world. Dart would make a great leader but he would not feed the many voters who can not take responsibility for themselves like CIG does. So what you have left is a dying economy that is being milked for everything it can give by the few because they are the only ones who can see the evidence of the end of the line coming. Plan accordingly.

  7. White Suga says:

    Unnah stop crying bout this Kurt & Bobby going to sort this out$$$$$$$!

  8. Goring Avenue Sand bandits says:

    MY Bets on D A R T he owns the resident Political Dingbat who has his business in Camana Bay the Development Syndicate member is the best friend of the politician talk about a stack deck its just like the MAFIA!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Beach Front land borders the average high tide mark and it has been a fact for many many years. Below this mark is Public beach.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Another Dart project built with very little care or consideration for the environment. When o when will Cayman learn. Once the pandemic is under control tourism will not be the same as before. Who will be filling these rooms in all of the 10 storey properties due to be built? Cayman has lost its Caribbean charm compared to other islands. So sad to see

  11. Anonymous says:

    Pirates still running amok on this island disguised as Christians.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “Dart officials said they plan to direct guests towards the beachfront it now owns in the area of the former Calico Beach Bar.”
    Waaaaaait a minute. You CANNOT OWN beachfront. It is all PUBLIC!

    And oh, yeah, just add 60 more parking spots. That should do it to cover that boardroom…in the extra large boutique hotel…

    • Anonymous says:

      Like it or not, they have made use of the public beach to the benefit of their hotel, and all for FREE…

    • Anonymous says:

      Moron…you sure can own beachfront (ie waterfront property.

    • Anonymous says:

      Beachfront – land that fronts unto the beach. The beach below the high water mark is public – above the high water mark can be privately owned, as virtually all of Seven Mile already is.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What other impacts factor into our unabated development, beyond the highly-dismissed notion of natural environment consideration? Are the Cayman Islands following any recognized standard of best practice and planning diligence, like ISOCARP, AESOP, AICP? Wouldn’t millionaire condo and residence buyers feel more confident if we were taking the time to even pretend to follow those standards? How are the other development factors factored into planning approvals if at all? For example, are there geological footing and soil stability tests for sinkholes, caves, earthquake liquefaction risks on the plot? Has anyone checked to determine if the limestone under that part of the Soto Lands can support a 10 story building? Are there fire service reports for yet another 10 story so close to ETH and forested Gov’s Harbour Residential? How about a police safety assessment of the counter-intuitive dense foliage cover plan around the existing security concern of public beach – ie drug use/sales, bag-snatching, pick-pocketing, and assault/robberies? Are there practical and social plans factored, if at all? Traffic, sewage, water, electrical, and internet grid demands all come to mind, as well as social degradation of the public beach, sunlight shielding of the 10 story building itself. Imperato is planning a big hotel across the road to the south, what about that? Another 10 story on either side south of that one too. Did Governor’s Harbour residents within regulations distance receive their required planning notices by registered mail within the objections notice period, or are these after-the-fact notices? What are the consequences to the individual Planning Board Members who trail behind the Billionaire leader’s rubber stamping bonanza as part of his sham Committee? Apart from the conflicted millionaire helming all proceedings in the middle of the table, what are the other’s names, career dossiers, and what competency tests qualify them to occupy that room? Eventually these chickens will come home to roost.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are doing soils tests now. I’d like to see a fire cross that highway and impact Gov Harbour…gimme a break. Fire supression systems in that hotel will be top-shelf. Fire Department never comments on the questions you ask. They simply ensure there are fire lanes on the site plan and adequate fire supression systems incorporated per Code requirements. Police should be dealing with crime issues at Public Beach regardless of this application. Governors Harbour residents within the notification radius were properly notified and neighbourhood owners (regardless if they were within the radius) were invited to a meeting with Dart about the proposal. Your questions are slightly interesting but no need to single out one developer when others are not subjected to the apparent rigor you recommend.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Police are not allowed to operate on Dart properties unless invited on site to do so. As prescribed in the NRA Agreement.

    • Nan Socolow says:

      Terribly sad, the unabated development by Dart on Seven Mile Beach. The unique Caymanian character of Grand Cayman is being savaged beyond repair by over-building.
      Fortunately, Cayman Brac remains the charming and unique Caymanian island time forgot.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you haven’t read the news of late, Moses and his merry men are letting an American private military company fly drones from the Brac and build bits of helicopters there. In the event of a war, the Brac now has a lovely fat target on it. But yes, isn’t it lovely.

        • Don Lytome says:

          Some folks don’t believe the story about the purpose of the helicopters and drones……… and I am one of them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Frankly, it would be a whole lot easier to digest if Daggaro were a US or UK backed military contractor with some kind of operational history. Pity it is instead a Swiss holding company, strangely with no associated Cayman Islands operating business, or T&BL, owned by an Italian-sounding Amalfi Capital, purportedly backed by Chinese. They have been gifted an international landing zone, away from the normal airport oversight agencies (effectively a sovereign fenced air base within a UK Overseas Territory), even while Cayman’s regimes are being sanctioned for opacity, corruption, and shielding of illicit operators, and economies. With processes like this, our headlines will continue to write themselves.

  14. NCC New Construction Conspiracy says:

    How will Kurt get those consultant fees if we change the board Cmon Mann you for reel ??? No worries this NCC will be filled to the brim with lodge and govt stooges and minions who will play and pretend hardball and drive up consultant Fee$$$$ making them even richer and more lucrative for their Con sultan. You all know exactly how this going to go and our dearest Govna will give his benevolent accent to this new improved NCC say all is well in his land of absolutely No corruption because of the mandates he enshrined in our constitution. Dart please move forward with your grand new town and ignore this bump in the road delay and cut out the middleman/ Consultant with your development Cabal having a unnecessary meetings at a certain cigar room establishment on west bay road!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Drain the entire swamp!

  16. Truly Third World Class says:

    No environmental oversight, how convenient. Not a care in the world attitude will be Cayman’s ultimate undoing. Here’s a future headline “Who wants to come to an island concrete jungle with a decrepit infrastructure and dead environment”.

    I have plastic trees for sale if anyone wants them. No water and no gardener required.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Althompson is the guy in charge of the board? The same guy that sells all the stuff to the builders? Is it just me or does this seem kinda wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      Shut up as Mr Thompson is a great Caymanian who loves his country. Why don’t you get on a flight and leave as we need Mr. Dart and all the great developments he is doing. Thank you Mr. Thompson and the rest of the CPA

      • Concerned Caymanian says:

        says an employe or sumone who directly profits from ALT or Dart 🙁

      • Anonymous says:

        You get on a plane and leave. It’s not your country any more I’m afraid. Your government and wealthy Caymanian families have sold it to the highest bidder.

        • SSM345 says:

          Wait for the further changes to the laws surrounding obtaining citizenship come about; they might as well sell those certificates too…..

          Wait a minute….

          • SSM345 says:

            That’s what all these fancy empty developments are catering…..invest in Cayman, ghet residency both for home and tax purposes and bam!

            Nothing to see hear Anti-Corruption….OECD…IRS…..the list goes on.

            About as obvious as it was walking into CNB with suitcases back in the day…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Thompson wouldn’t know a conflict if it smacked him in the face.

      • Anonymous says:

        He knows what a conflict is. He just doesnt care – or he appreciates how lucrative it can be to ignore one.

        • Anonymous says:

          @ 2:18pm; He is very happy making millions of dollars selling his building supplies………… and apparently that is all that matters to him.

  18. Anonymous says:

    …”Dense vegetation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    No problem, I’ll just wait 30 years. In the meantime, just walk south through the saplings.

    Cayman, we are a joke!

    • Anonymous says:

      No one will go “through the saplings” more than once after they experience the s**t show Government has allowed Public Beach to become.

      • Anonymous says:

        And all the people complaining about visitors using public beach are the same ones insisting that all beaches are public. Make up your mind.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Who does ALT think he works for? He is hell bent on approving every damn thing.

    First thing the new government needs to do is to remove him and all of his contractor and developer buddies of that board.

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