CPA dismissed DoE order on Boggy Sand cabana

| 22/09/2021 | 101 Comments
Cabana at Boggy Sand Beach

(CNS): Minutes published this week from the Central Planning Authority’s meeting on 1 September reveal its dismissal of the Department of Environment’s legal directive to deny planning permission to a controversial application by Cayman Property Investments Ltd for a seawall and cabana along Boggy Sand Beach.

Despite the catalogue of problems with the project, CPA members decided to ignore the directive because they did not think it was lawful in favour of their own findings to justify waiving, among other requirements under the planning law, the high water mark setback and allowing the evidently unsustainable project to go ahead.

They accused the DoE of inconsistencies and “undue reliance on the concept of a managed retreat”, and gave the green light to the development, which poses a threat to the marine environment and the beach.

Without any technical support and even though the existing structure is failing because it was built to close to the sea, the CPA found the absence of any setback from the water for this project was not a problem because the “elevation of the property and its environs is high enough to assist in minimizing storm surge, thus allowing the proposed development to be closer to the high-water mark”.

The property is not just closer to the high water mark, it is built below it, and as the DoE stated in its submissions to planning, the current wall is no longer sound for that reason and there are now few, if any, solutions for this failed structure other than its removal.

But despite the direction given by the DoE under the conservation act due to the threat posed by this proposed development to the marine environment and the beach, the CPA dismissed it and ignored the rest of their technical advice, which was given in very detailed submissions that explained the evolving problems with the site.

The CPA minutes say that the members were satisfied that they were “not in possession of a lawful directive issued under Section 41 (3) of the National Conservation Act, by the National Conservation Council directing the Authority to refuse planning permission without undertaking a full inquiry and consideration of the application under its statutory mandate to effectively direct development so as safeguard the economic, cultural, social, and general welfare of the people, subject thereto the environment”.

They go on to say that the seawall serves to attenuate the impacts of wave action, and despite the problems faced by the other development in the area, the CPA relied on the adjacent properties with similar setbacks as justification for its decision.

Although the developer’s architect admitted that there were no guarantees that the new curved seawall they are proposing to build will not also fail, the board accepted the view that the design will serve to mitigate impacts upon abutting properties. The members found that the existing seawall was becoming detrimental to the property and surrounding properties, and permitting the current seawall to remain in situ would result in the least desirable outcome.

Claiming to have fully considered the advice from the DoE, the board was critical of that technical advice, even though there is no one on the new CPA with any experience in climate science. Nor did the members give any consideration to the issue of rising sea levels as a result of climate change and the government’s stated policy of sustainable development.

The board said the DoE was inconsistent because it had given advice in the past about the possibility of a curved seawall offering some protection and then advocated for the removal of all structures. “The Authority was unable to rationalise the inconsistency in the advice rendered by the DoE in this regard, and therefore was unable to adopt the advocated course of action,” the CPA stated.

But as is the case with all advice given by the DoE, it is based on circumstances at the time and offers possible alternatives that might mitigate against their worst predictions if their primary advice is, as is frequently the case, ignored. The advice about a convex wall had been offered on the basis of replacing the structure with just a wall, not as is the case with the current application for a seawall and two-storey concrete and glass cabana.

Given the dynamics at that beach and the evolving situation in relation to climate change, as well as increasing evidence that the site was now in the ocean more often than it was out, the advice was ultimately revised and a decision to issue a directive under the law was made.

However, the CPA has chosen to ignore the directive made under the conservation act, which the DoE recently stated was serious and they were examining the legal implications. With the publication of the minutes setting out the CPA’s position, CNS has contacted the DoE to see where they are now in relation to the potential legal options to stop the development, and we are awaiting a response

The decision also flies in the face of the central platform of the PACT Government’s policy position on dealing with climate change by making Cayman more resilient, which this decision by the CPA undermines. CNS has also contacted Premier Wayne Panton regarding the situation and we are awaiting a response.

See the CPA minutes in the CNS Library.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (101)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Are you surprised? Nearly 1000 people signed a petition to get the Fin Cayman developers (Ryan and Crighton) to stop damaging the marine park. It was ignored and the Cayman government just looked the other way.

    https://www.change.org/p/dale-crighton-protect-cayman-s-reefs-from-construction-development-damage

    • Anonymous says:

      Disappointing and disgusting! The building is not only below the high water mark it is in the sea. Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Blind Bartimaeus could figure that out just by trying to walk that part of our former seven mile beach, so anyone else who can’t see the truth should try taking a walk. Planning does not have authority to give permission to dig in the Queen’s bottom.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cayman built on sheer greed. Tell me something new.

  3. Anonymous says:

    the CPA relied on the adjacent properties with similar setbacks as justification for its decision.

    If Stevie Wonder was on the CPA he would be able to see that the cabana and sea wall sticks out beyond the adjacent properties like a sore thumb.

  4. MP says:

    So, the message from the CPA is that they would prefer to never hear mitigating advice, otherwise they think you are inconsistent?

    Some examples of things you shouldn’t say to them:

    “Don’t drink while pregnant! But if you are going to drink while pregnant, please keep it to one glass”

    “Don’t speed on the roads! But if you are going to speed, please at least wear a seatbelt”

    “But fish grouper to extinction! But if you are going to fish endangered species, please keep to the catch limits”

    “Don’t stay out late! But if you are going to stay out late, please be quiet when you get home”

    “Don’t skip church. But if you are going to skip church this Sunday, please keep god in your thoughts”

    “Don’t start fires in dry brush. But if you are going to burn your waste, please keep the fire under supervision”

    “Don’t do dangerous sports. But if you are going to do an extreme sport, please follow the safety recommendations”

    After all, these are similarly ‘inconsistent’ as the advice of: “Don’t build this. But if you are going to then build it curved.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    Now that Wayne and Andre have gotten us off the FATF gray list, and Andre has donated his “in excess of budget” contributions from the Financial Sector to charity, the two of them can turn their attention to this problem. Soon come.

  6. Anonymous says:

    ‘They go on to say that the seawall serves to attenuate the impacts of wave action, and despite the problems faced by the other development in the area, the CPA relied on the adjacent properties with similar setbacks as justification for its decision.‘

    Is this really the tone being set by the CPA and backstopped by the Govt, – oh well, everyone else is doing it carry on ? A pretty dangerous precedent being set just in itself here foregoing the potential to impact and permeate elsewhere, – PACT what are you doing ? 🤦🏻‍♀️

  7. Anonymous says:

    Face up Cayman. You are still third world and going back to your roots. The real world is slowly but surely leaving you behind. It will be more comfortable for you to deal with life now. Prepare for hunger and life without handouts.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry Gina. How you are strong enough to come to work in the face of such evil is beyond me. Thank you for trying though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Massive salary and benefits, large staff to do the work, no pressure to produce anything, just a few of the reasons to come to work.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I could prop up Slokey in his grave and he would make better decisions than this board..FFS school children in China would know this was a bad decision..

    The Board has to go and go very soon otherwise this will become another thorn for the pro-environment PACT government.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ugh, who cares anymore…if Caymanaians don’t care for their own island then just let them destroy it. Stop beating your head against the wall and enjoy what’s left of 7 Mile while it’s still there. The whole place will be under water in 80 years anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      They really do seem hell-bent on wrecking it so a few can get wealthy and the rest can suffer.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So Kiki and his acolytes are definitely still in charge of things.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ironically, Wayne, a principled man, broke away from Alden because of Mac.
      He certainly having to swallow his principles now.

      • Anonymous says:

        This decision and government inaction in this area indicate that the principles were swallowed shortly after the election and not long after passed out the other end.

    • Anonymous says:

      The UDP is stronger than ever.

      A couple of examples:

      Johan, Chairmanship, CIG Board
      CG, Chairmanship, CIG Board
      Gilbert, Chairmanship, CIG Board
      Jay, Chris, Kenneth, Julie, Ministers
      McKeeva, Speaker

      …… fill in the blanks

      • Anonymous says:

        Cline Glidden chair Port Authority.
        Richard Parchment deputy Port Authority.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are right. Wayne’s actual title is UDP front and facilitator.

      • Anonymous says:

        Johann has been a very vocal outspoken critic of the UDP specifically Mckeeva and his Government, ran against the UDP/PPM coalition and led the referendum against the port that was proposed and promoted by both UDP & PPM administrations.

        CG was involved in a very public separation from Mac including a motion of no confidence which removed Mac from his position of Premier. The West Bay people punished him and Rollie for that decision as they were handily beaten by Mac and his crew which ironically included Bernie.

        Gilbert spoke out against Chris this election and ran against him in the previous election. Its obvious that there are few loyalties there which would indicate that he got selected on merit versus friendship.

        The voters of Cayman selected the others but I don’t think Julie could still be considered UDP after two terms with the PPM independent coalition and that leaves Mac.

        Surprisingly the promising Rolston Anglin who ran with Mac in this election and lost has not been appointed anywhere. That should force the objective observer to question really how much control Mac has? We would expect Mac to look out for Rollie and Capt. if he was in control as they were the only two that stuck by him.

  12. Anonymous says:

    CPA just paving the way for eventual development over the water. they playing chess not checkers, too bad it’s future generation that will suffer the most.

    • Anonymous says:

      they playing chess not checkers,

      Hanlon’s Razor. “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

      OK, maybe not total stupidity, but I wouldn’t accuse any of them thinking one move ahead about anything.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If you examine the Planning Law, you will see that there is an awful lot of discretion afforded to the Central Planning Authority (CPA).Therein lies the problem. It is therefore up to the appointed CPA to make decisions, which can vary according to those historic “interests” we are so aware of, some being more special than others depending on the appointed board. In yesteryear, there used to be a government lawyer appointed to sit ex-officio on the CPA to give legal advice, but for some reason this no longer occurs. The answer to that should be telling, and also explanatory. We have had too many poor decisions being made by this all powerful body that are questionable and is ruining the infrastructure and very fabric as a society we were built upon. PACT we are watching to see what you will do to correct this situation.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      That is a major problem and one I have fought for years. The Thompson building on North Chutch Street failed on setbacks requirements on all three sides. They built a sidewalk but not elevated so they park cars on it. They fill in the sea and slap concrete all over the place with no permission. The Appeals Tribual referred it back to CPA. Guess what they still use the premises contravening the law. Does enforcement care NO.

      Caymanians are now finally waking up to see what is going on but it is too late. SMB is a prime example . Go walk it, the sand is now in recess in the middle of SMB . Too little too late. I am informed we are now 3.8 mile each.

      It rather seems nothing has changed at CPA, it is business as usual.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well written and presented!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think I’m with you 2:43, do you mean kind of like if I were to be given a Govt credit card, and say decided to go gambling on it even though I knew the decision wasn’t the best but there was no law in place to say I couldn’t and then have my close knit circle argue for me and get away with it, – that kind of discretion and interests ?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why bother having a DOE?

  15. Anonymous says:

    CPA should be required by law to adhere to DoE environmental assessments rather than distegard highly specialized expert findings as mere “advice.” Otherwise what is even the point of government funding an environmental department, if they are never listened to? No one has a voice except developers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Expert???? Please indulge me and explain who is an expert at what?

    • Anonymous says:

      1:47 pm The CPA did listen to DOE advice. The DOE initially recommended a “curved seawall” to the developer, so that’s what the developer proposed and that’s what the CPA approved.

      • Anonymous says:

        No. The DOE didn’t recommend a curved sea wall. They offered. Curved sea wall at the time as an ‘if you don’t listen to us on this then at least do this’ which was only to be taken as advice at the time because the environmental position is constantly changing for the worse. You would know this if you read the minutes, read the previous articles on the situation, talked to someone at DOE, or even… and I dare say it… read the very article you just responded to!

        • Anonymous says:

          It may be past time for DOE to continue to accommodate these pre application consultations. Their efforts and words are only used against them.

        • Anonymous says:

          7:37 pm. DOE can’t have it both ways. It can’t meet with the developer, suggest a curved wall, then (after the applicant submits a plan for a curved wall), tell them NO.

  16. Anonymous says:

    What is the name of the ministry that falls under the direct guidance and control of Premier Wayne Panton? The Premier will need to make changes to the makeup of the CPA if he going to have any credibility on environmental issues going forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sweetie, you could put 12 Greta Thunbergs on that Board and they’d still have to adhere to the Planning Laws and Regulations which are in a terrible state. What the public wants is for the CPA to bend/breach the laws yet ironically that is exactly what the public accuses the developers of doing…lose lose situation until the laws and regulations are amended and that can’t be done overnight.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have board members on the board now that do not abide by the law. Why would 12 Gretas have to.

      • Anonymous says:

        “… that can’t be done overnight.”

        And never will.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’ve seen a lot of orders, regulations and laws changed overnight…ummmm…Covid-19

          Things can happen fast if they want them to.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:43 pm It’s NOT the Premier’s Ministry that appoints the Planning Board. It’s the Planning Ministry. It’s not the CPA that needs changing. The CPA is complying with the laws before it. If the Premier wants things done differently. he needs to change the laws.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I think the applicants bully the boards and threaten legal action. Well the boards need to stand up and say “take us to court” and then fight all the way to the PC if necessary. Government can afford to fight a few of these battles and they MUST do so for the sake of the country!

    • Anonymous says:

      1:41 pm. No, it’s the DOE and NCC that tries to bully the CPA.

    • Anonymous says:

      XXXX

      Nothing changes with this board..We thought AL’T and his Developer board was bad. These guys are rubber stamping everything the last board did.

      This is going to be a real issue for the PACT Government if they don’t do something very quickly and replace this board.

  18. A.J. says:

    The next big storm will tear the roof off of that mistake.

  19. Anonymous says:

    In a country in which the Rule of Law has meaning the Attorney General’s Chambers would no doubt be bringing an urgent application for a stay on that decision and a Judicial Review on behalf of the DOE/Conservation Council/the people of Cayman. In that mythical place, it would be either that course of action or an acknowledgment that the drafting of the legislation/relevant order relied on by the DOE was botched.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:17 pm. Are you living in a dream world. Where in those minutes did you see an “Order” from the DOE or NCC? It was a recommendation, simple as that.

      • Anonymous says:

        It was a directive given under the conservation law, not a recommendation. The directive was to deny the application.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds to me that this place should still be know as “Lawless Caymanas”. This is just another staggering step in Cayman’s maladaptive evolution, land pirates are now trying to reclaim the seas.

  20. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    Right, that’s it then. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Please Mr. Premier, this is important. We know your plate is full. That’s what your job IS. It will never get better, and frankly, most of us don’t know why you would want to do it. The CPA mess needs sorting out, and soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:07 pm. As if the Premier isn’t aware that the CPA did the best it could with this application. The DOE initially recommends a curved wall, which the applicant complied with and CPA approved. And then everybody cries foul saying the DOE issued an order (which it didn’t) that the CPA didn’t abide by. Are you all ignoring the fact that the CPA has Laws and Regulations within which to work. Why is this a “CPA mess” and not a mess with the current system of laws and regulations.

      • Anonymous says:

        Listen, there is no way to justify this..If I was on the Chairman of this Board, the first thing I would do would be to meet with the Premier and the Minister and let them know straight up that if these decisions come up they would have to be deferred until proper changes to law could be made or at the very least give the Chairman some type of temporary veto power.

        Wayne and Jay, we cannot continue like this. This is one of those things that was promised to us and one of the main reasons you were elected. If you don’t you will have the same wrath of the people that the PPM had..now let’s see some changes..

        • Anonymous says:

          11:03 pm Yes and then the Minister and Premier would be accused of political interference. The duty of the CPA is to uphold the Law and, whether you like it or not, they did. They only thing they should be meeting with the Premier and Minister on is to make recommendations to change the laws. Until they do, the CPA is bound to uphold the only the Laws and Regs we have.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Why have the DO attend meetings at all at this rate.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Does the DoE have the resources to seek an injunction, and have a court find if CPA is acting in contempt? If not, why aren’t our wealthy private citizens willing to contribute to the social good in such cases? To that, I am referring to all the silent/complicit Caymanian oligarchs, senior partners at law, accounting and audit firms that feather their nests without demonstrating commensurate appreciation for our community and environment. Shameless.

  23. Rodney Barnett says:

    LOL LOL LOL !!

    This is the work of the NEW CPA Board!

    Just a look into what to expect for the next 4 years.

    Nothing is changed, no matter who is in power. Everything is done for the insiders!

    But then the USA border is wide open, so I guess we all could go there and get the free housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and education offered by the new Marxist government. I know I am mixing subjects, but I can’t help myself!

    • Anonymous says:

      No, please stay in Cayman where there is no corruption. No stabbings. Uncongested roads. Superb education. Impecibly educated politicians. Care taken for the environment.

      Yes – same problems, different country. And yes, you took the focus of the discussion away from what is important – for Cayman to figure out how to govern itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the 90’s I used to get Jamaicans showing up on my jobsite looking for work. They had permits taken out by someone XXXX but he didn’t have any work for them. The agreement was they found their own work, repaid him for their work permit fees, and worked for him one day per week for free. Nothing Marxist about that eh?

      • Anonymous says:

        8.58pm Not only in 1990’s. They still doing it and since they now control our country it’ll never end.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Overhaul the CPA. Show some balls PACT.

  25. Hopeful says:

    Boy this is what bites! Just look at who all are part of the CPA and you see the sellouts! Every one of them! Their pockets are their only God! The only decisions they make is to further their own agendas. Not a bit of it is for Caymanians or Caymsn on a whole. That is why we end up getting foreigners in these post because we cannot rely or trust our own people! Even those up on the pulpit! Our forefathers have turned in our graves! Caymanians know better! But money talks and these greedy wanna be high society bunch just sticking it to us!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. It all starts with Caymanians and ends with Caymanians. We could, could… dictate how much we allow foreign ‘ghost’ investment, alas we are a country without ethics and morals from the top down. But, this is the electorate’s mess, and it will not be corrected unless the electorate gets some sense on who/what they elect.

      I am cynical to think that our current ministers actually want a poorly educated electorate that they can control and buy-off. If Cayman education were dramatically improved, hmnnn… real knowledge and insight might vote out the driftwood. But, I believe the powers in charge will hinder our children from a proper education.

      Just my opinion!

  26. Anonymous says:

    WTH?! What is the CPA doing? SMH.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Will the PACT be brave enough to sack the board?

    You can’t get a worse decision than this. The CPA has failed the people of Cayman. While walking the beach I should not have to swim around a building.

    I have said over and over these decisions should be made by trained civil servants.

    Private sector conflicted boards don’t work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s drop the PACT act and call them by their real name..UDP.
      And no, they can’t just change an entire board every time they do something we don’t like.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s their board. They appointed all of them.

        • Anonymous says:

          So sack them..We can already see their intentions which is no different from the PPM board..

          They have to go and go quickly..Every stinking one of them.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Pact – you need to change the CPA board members. Put people there that will back what you campaigned about – being prepared for climate change.

    Anyway,if we get another Ivan hurricane – the building will get torn down anyway, by mother nature.

    • Anonymous says:

      They did

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you kidding me?..there might be one of that lot on there that I would say “might” have the best interests of the PACT Government in there mind when making these decisions.

        I say it’s time to sack them and don’t wait as long as we had to wait with the PPM in charge.

        Say what you like about the last one they supported Alden’s PPM charge for more unbridled development at any cost.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it will. And guess what? The law allows them to rebuild/repair the exact same structures approved by previous CPA. Just like if your house gets torn down in a fire or hurricane and the law allows you to rebuild your approved structure.

      You starting to get it yet?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Banana Republic

  30. Anonymous says:

    Lol

  31. Fire 3 Board Members NOW says:

    Each time they make a poor decision like this, PACT needs to replace three of the appointed members with individuals XXXX and who value and cherish the Cayman Islands.

    • Hopeful says:

      PACT has made their bed comfortable and are a part of these people! You don’t need to look for changes except in favor of what Caymanians don’t want, or can’t do because we can’t pay the bribes. A foolish man builds his house on the sand, how many of them be banging down the church door and still living a life that says different? All!

    • Anonymous says:

      3 is being timid – I suggest fire everyone who voted in favour of such a decision!

  32. Anonymous says:

    This new chairman is just a puppet for the large developers. Now that they put this one thru, watch what happens next. The new chairman should have to publicly show who his clients are and the projects they are currently undertaking. And everyone thought they were getting a change, looks like business as usual folks!

  33. E. Benedict says:

    Well done planning board, next you should vote on giving yourselves a well deserved pay raise, selling out our environment is hard work!

    On with the slaughter!

    • Anonymous says:

      Um…you know the Central Planning Board don’t get a salary right? So where some members are self employed, they’re losing income…and not making it back tenfold by approving applications either but I’m sure youll jump to that conclusion next…..

      • Anonymous says:

        Are we supposed to feel sorry for them? Did you honestly think that, for example, the previous chairman, AL Thompson’s owner of the largest hardware store on the island didn’t financially benefit from this board’s decisions?

        Wake up.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Good.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Totally irresponsible!

  36. Concerned says:

    It is an utter disgrace that this has been allowed. Shame on you CPA. SHAME ON YOU. I hope the DOE continues their valiant efforts with more support (and the law if necessary) going forward.

  37. Anonymous says:

    “the members were satisfied that they were “not in possession of a lawful directive issued under Section 41 (3) of the National Conservation Act…”

    I take it this was based on legal advice received from the person making the application?

  38. Anonymous says:

    This is what the courts are for. Get moving DOE.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have been fooled into allowing the UDP to run the country. Back to The ‘Who you know’ days of Cayman’s darkest politics.
      Wayne’s promises have been trashed by Mac and his blind followers.

      • Hopeful says:

        You can’t blame anyone for The Premier spineless leadership, that’s his decision! That may not be what we voted for, but it sure is what we got! One doctor telling us what we can and cannot treat ourselves with, everyone that has money had his ear! Now the Chamber is going to advise on reopening? Talk about no experience and tunnel vision! Strap down, we in for a hard anti Caymanian ride!

        • Anonymous says:

          So who was Alden consulting?..not the same people?

          Do you really believe that Roy and Joey would be the best source to get us through this pandemic??

    • Anonymous says:

      When was the last time you saw Government sue Government?
      Perhaps a cause for some lawyer looking to make a name for themselves.

      • Anonymous says:

        This would be an appeal or judicial review that would presumably have to be brought by an objector. If the government legal department shows up to defend the CPA then we will all know Wayne’s true colours.

      • Anonymous says:

        I went back and looked at the law and frankly couldn’t see whether the DOE “directive” was properly issued. Seems like it should come from the National Conservation Council after a meeting and vote. They really should meet every two weeks a few days before CPA, but they never have. Oh, well.

        • Anonymous says:

          1:37 pm EXACTLY !! That’s the point. The directive was NOT lawful, despite the kissmeass “resolution” that DOE produced to try to make it legal. The NCL is faulty and perhaps the Development and Planning Laws and Regs are faulty. But you have to abide by the laws that exist now.

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