Dart seeks 7MB setback waiver for bar toilets

| 10/05/2022 | 146 Comments
Sea-wall at Calicos (photo by DoE)

(CNS): One of Dart’s networks of companies has made an application to revamp the beach bar formerly named Calico Jack’s and is seeking a number of waivers to planning rules, including a high water mark setback in order to place a toilet block on Seven Mile Beach.

The application, which is due to be heard by the Central Planning Authority on Wednesday, is asking for a pass on the required minimum coastal setback on the famous beach at a time when developers are being warned that the lawful minimum of 130 feet is already too close to the sea.

The Department of Environment is urging the developer to rethink the project. As this is a redevelopment, DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie said this is an opportunity to correct a badly positioned structure and build a more sustainable one, rather than making things worse with a new badly positioned toilet block.

“The size of the parcel is sufficient to allow for the development to be located much further inland and in a way that would allow the coastal setbacks to be met,” the DoE said in its submissions, adding that it is now “imperative that minimum coastal setbacks are met, particularly given climate change predictions”.

With beach erosion a major problem across Seven Mile Beach, this site has already experienced
instances of erosion. “With a proposal for redevelopment, the applicant now has the opportunity to build in a more sustainable and climate-resilient manner, future-proofing the current structure,” Ebanks-Petrie stated on behalf of the National Conservation Council.

Dart is applying as Shoreline Development Company Ltd (Decco Ltd) for a $5 million revamp of the bar, which has been closed since before the pandemic, “to restore a signature destination beach bar and restaurant to fill a gap felt by both locals and visitors”. The plan is to redo the interior of the existing structures “while providing a new restroom facility”, representatives for Dart stated in the application.

The coastal setback waiver request for the toilet building was made because the project was “constrained by the restaurant and the existing public pathway” and it was “desirable to place the restrooms west of the pathway”, the officials wrote.

But the DoE raised several concerns, pointing out that the existing seawall at this site, which was erected without planning permission almost a decade ago and refused after-the-fact permission back in 2014, is less than 30 feet from the sea. The developers now want to compound the problem with a new hard structure that will also be far too close to the water.

“It is well-documented that hard structures, particularly those such as seawalls, that are built on a
section of beach where waves can impact them cause the reflection of wave energy and the erosion
of sand from the coastline seaward of them,” the DoE said.

The director told the CPA that the department does not support the granting of a variance in the coastal setback, based on the current design of the proposed development, and recommends the refusal of this application.

“We strongly recommend that the opportunity be taken to revise the site layout to meet the current Development and Planning Regulations (2022), improve the structure’s climate-resiliency, increase the area of beach available for turtle nesting and meet the development intentions set out in the draft National Planning Framework (2018),” the director stated.

But Dart made it clear they would not be doing any of that. In a letter responding to the DoE’s comments, Colleen Stoetzel, a former planning officer with the government and now the Land Use Planner for Dart, said the application was only to renovate the existing beach bar and restaurant within the existing footprint with “a new detached restroom facility”.

She said the only elements of the proposal that require planning permission are the alteration of the building’s north façade, restroom block, and a 6’ fence. “The application does not include any modifications to the existing seawall, which is not a part of this application,” she said. “No works are proposed to the existing seawall and it is therefore outside the scope of the application to require its removal or any alteration,” she added, with the only mention of the seawall.

“The DoE references components that are already in situ and are not part of this application and is not a matter under consideration,” Stoetzel wrote. “This application is only in relation to façade enhancements, interior renovations and bathrooms.”

The DoE’s recommendation that the CPA refuse the application can only affect the items subject to planning permission, the Dart rep said, adding that the renovations to the bar and restaurant could move forward subject to applicable permits.

See the full details of the application on the CPA agenda in the CNS Library.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (146)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Your Dart…..do you even have to ask anymore?

    • Anonymous says:

      *You’re

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not Dart alone, it’s his “Caymanian” senior management who push and facilitate his bidding , that are the real XXXX.
      Obey the laws ffs , you have plenty of land and money to do it.
      Waiver is blatant greed and a smack in the face of the community .

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Dart,

    Your arrogance is unpalatable. Despite the wide held belief that you “own” this country, you don’t. For the sake of preserving your money making space you’re adamant to destroy the beach, which I use, although you are not ignorant to the erosion that solid structures cause. Your approach is highly offensive. Revise the plans or leave the project alone. Enough of you.

    Signed,
    Me,a Caymanian/local/stakeholder/Owner/Investor in the Cayman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @7:48:
      Dart’s arrogance may unpalatable, but Dart’s money is quite spendable: this is why all that he does is A-OK.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the spirit of give and take amd “one hand don’t clap”: Allow the variance upon the condition that the restrooms will be designated as public restrooms and have clear signage on the beach side pointing to them as such.

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  4. Hancock says:

    The nearer the Loo is to the sea the least chance of people peeing in the sea. You cannot have it both ways.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    What Dart’s real estate bulldog wants, she gets.

    All of it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not true at all.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What does it say about Cayman’s governance that it might allow a singular bad actor this extraordinary leeway to disregard laws, regulations, and public perceptions? What is the net effect of that corrosive policy on stakeholder rights and corruption watchlists? Cayman’s reputation is on the line, not just Dart’s or the Planning Guild. Dart “winning” this toilet game is not the good play.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Smirk.

  6. Colin says:

    Will Handel and the other dart (former) employees excuse themselves?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    “Self-professed Billionaire developer too stingy to remediate two illegal toilets; deploys former member to influence meeting outcome”

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is sufficient room on site to allow setbacks to be met….so obey the rules even if you Dart.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Doing the only responsible and right thing is just too easy and straightforward. Tells you everything you need to know about this outfit.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    I know plenty Caymanians with illegal structures. All of those dumpy rentals for instance. Tenement yards I think they are called. Clearing of land illegally. Caymanians need to stop crying over spilled milk. You sold your land. Don’t get all uptight because you’re jealous and don’t have money. Your ancestors spent it. My family did the same so I can talk about it. I’m keeping mine.

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    • Churlish Response says:

      So, in your world, if a crime is committed, it shall be excused if you elect to commit the same crime.

      Got it. Glad you aren’t in a position of influence.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Calico Jacks encroaches seaward, has an illegal seawall and is partially on Crown Land which belongs to the people of the Cayman Islands. What people do in their own yard, including taking a 💩, is their business. This, on the other hand, is public 💩 business.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Tenement Yards mainly a Jamaican ‘ting. Just sayin.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Used to be. Take a drive around.

      • Anonymous says:

        A multi-family housing arrangement consisting of many substandard dwellings packed closely on a single plot of land. Dwellings often share resources such as running water and toilets

        All that’s needed is a picture of WESTBAY

  9. Anonymous says:

    CIG should urgently re-read the NRA Agreements and rescind the substantial land portfolio gifts and transfers that were made without corresponding good faith from the recipient. They are years in breach and should forfeit land title back to the crown for non-compliance. PACT need to behave like they are in charge. Then we’ll see if DECCO can see the sense in remediating illegal structures on their properties, falling into line as a corporate citizen, and maybe springing for a couple new toilets as and when needed.

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  10. The Waco Kid says:

    Toilets? We don’t need no stinkin’ toilets!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    It might be Calico’s in name but it won’t be like the previous version. IF locals are allowed, you know it’ll be like Coccoloba. Lacking soul and expensive as hell.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If it’s one thing that Dart knows how to do it’s suck the soul out of a place. He’ll probably close it down at 7pm. #donewithdart

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      • Anonymous says:

        New bar for new Hotel…….wait for Public Beach to close cause is coming.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not a fan of Dart, but your comment is absurd! They ‘Want to make money’, so closing down early is not in their interest. Just shows the many totally stupid comments being posted. Common folks… THINK!

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    • Patricia X says:

      Let’s hope so. The more expensive the cocktails the better the bar.

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  12. Unhappy Caymanian says:

    Cayman sold out years ago.

    No point crying over spilt milk.

    Global warming is coming and will sink Cayman so does it really matter?

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  13. KP says:

    Why did government not have the wall removed when it was not approved and built without permission? If any local had build on their home or land unapproved and without permission, they would have had it removed instantly.

    I am so sick and tired of all these developers who use every loop hole they can, just because they know they can. I lose respect for them when they do this kind of things, instead of putting the country first, they put their bottom line first, no matter who or what is damaged or run amuck by their decision.

    Government need to stand firm and fair and it is disgusting. They have locals cannot even put a nail down unless they have planning approval, now they have an illegal wall up, put down without permission, did not approve after the fact, and it is still there?… the question to our government entity who is responsible for this… is ‘WHY IS IT STILL THERE?” IT IS TIME NOW… REMOVE THE WALL, IT IS ILLEGAL AND UNAPPROVED…. MOVE IT, RIP IT DOWN. BYE BYE WALL…

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    • Anonymous says:

      …and have them pull out the concrete and rebar from in the sea too please by the collapsed Royal Palms pool deck that they own along the beach.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    IN ALL SERIOUSNESS why not get Royal Palms up and running again with a rooftop upgrade instead of the sister bar Coral Beach which is no where near as nice (back when both were operational pre-China virus.

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  15. JTB says:

    So another venue that he can shut locals out of?

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  16. Anonymous says:

    All Decco/DRCL CPA applications should be viewed as one file. What little they’ve done properly, as well as all of what they haven’t done. Their belligerent actions can’t be compartmentalized anymore. The whole file should be tainted until they start behaving and acting like a good corporate citizen. Otherwise don’t deal with them. Any property with illegal structures should pay to have them removed and remediated. How are we allowing the grandfathering illegal activity? Dart is the worst corporate actor in the jurisdiction.

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    • #onebigrodeo says:

      Given we need contractors, consultants and subs on the CPA would be good if all those consulting on these various projects, including legal, are disclosed as part of the application process.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    When Trump mused about buying Greenland, I thought ‘now there’s an absurd idea that should never be allowed to happen’ – and then I thought ‘that’s an absurd idea that’s actually happening in my own *******
    Country 🇬🇱💲🛑

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    • Anonymous says:

      Handel is on the CPA Board and Dart ripped Calico’s back from him so lets see how this plays out

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    • A. Friend says:

      Well…. MONEY TALKS, Mr. Anonymous, and most of our government listens! Humans are greedy….. especially politicians. Didn’t you notice when our politicians were approached by Mr. Dart (and his money) most of them fell in love with him? I saw in the news that he has increased his holdings and is now a billionaire! Now they probably think he is God!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Except Dart isn’t paying their way. What proportion of enterprise value is reinvested back into the local community? Nearly zero. Worse, they acquire land with duties and obligations and sue the holders of rights out of theirs. They are the worst corporate actor in the land.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Citations needed.

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          • Anonymous says:

            For god’s sake don’t yoo start again with the citations needed crap. CNS – can’t you just not approve those posts please?

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            • Anonymous says:

              LMAO!!!!!!

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            • Anonymous says:

              I want them also.

              You can say, “in my opinion”, or “I think”, but when a person, like 10:24 states something as fact, then they need to support that view.

              If we are having a discussion, we are free to express our opinions, and should make it clear they ARE our opinions.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Corona?

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          • Anonymous says:

            Dart is suing Britannia stratas and trying to bar their right of access to the beach hotel he acquired (with standing obligations and remedial service liabilities). Can we not see the state of the rest of the landslide buildings? Golf course? There is a whole hotel missing and 17 years lost access and opportunity. Not exactly winning the hearts and minds.

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            • Anonymous says:

              2016 to 2022 is not even remotely close to 17 years. Dart didn’t buy a hotel in this instance.

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          • Anonymous says:

            #Hyatt #Britannia #RoyalPalms #ReGen

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        • Anonymous says:

          Remember this is the guy who had an Argentinian naval training vessel impounded to leverage more money into his bank account entering into and pursuing a distressed debt opportunity. ⛴

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          • Anonymous says:

            Did Argentina owe him money or not?

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            • Anonymous says:

              Weak argument 11:32, – no they initially didn’t, Dart decided he wanted Argentina to owe him money and manipulate/extort profit from it.

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              • Anonymous says:

                They owed interest on bonds issued by the Argentinian government & then defaulted on the capital repayments.

                • Anonymous says:

                  did Dart own any of the bonds before buying them when they became distressed and then suing the nearly bankrupt country for almost full value ?

                  Dart and Paul Singer also held out making 93% of the bond holders who had accepted a deal wait until they were paid in full. Dart and Paul Singer bought the debt for the purposes to capitalize on the distressed bonds and through their leverage were rewarded 1500%

      • Anonymous says:

        Because that will be the location of the next hotel they build.
        Remember Marks charabank tour in the 90’s shoeing their shore to shore development? Camana Bay to Coral Beach (when they added Royal Palms purchased from the Kirkconnells).

      • Anonymous says:

        Ken Dart was a billionaire in the 90’s. Going for trillionaire now

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  18. Anonymous says:

    This is the bad actor we want to entrust dump remediation to? The worst cut-corner developer we’ve got.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    There is a fight for the Boggy Sand development….lets just see what the great PACT is about this time.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They ranted and railed about all the crap that the DART group was getting away, about “vote for us and we will fix it”. Sitting here with my cup of coffee waiting to see exactly what they will do. So far nothing!

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  20. Anonymous says:

    There should be a dart tax of 1% for hard working Caymanians to pay for their mortgages, car repair and food purchases. Fair is fair. Why doesn’t Dart repair current Caymanian homes throughout the islands if he likes to build stuff. Maybe build a complimentary five star condo for a thousand hard working Caymanians to live without strata payments.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Gimme gimme gets you nowhere

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      • Anonymous says:

        and yet here you are…

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      • Anonymous says:

        and that there is the problem with so many people here. Entitled beyond sanity and worse, completely ignorant to it

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        • Anonymous says:

          Oddly enough, reinvesting 3-5% of net enterprise profit back into the host community is a basic CSR industry norm, if we are to believe in the ESG mandates of 2022. instead, DART is acting like an oppressor, suing residents out of their rights, failing to honour codes, and procedures. Tell us again who is the ignorant party for letting them steamroll through? What do they bring to the table as a social enterprise offset? I’ll give you a minute.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Here here! There should be a Dart foundation for community well being. philanthropy is popular with billionaires why not Dart community philanthropy be a driving light for hard working Caymanians.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Where? Where?

              Also, I can’t help but wonder why on earth they haven’t thought of that…..A Dart Foundation, genius!

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              • Anonymous says:

                Billionaires get tax write offs for their “charitable” works.
                No income tax here so no “ foundation” .

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          • Anonymous says:

            Google and ye shall find.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Soccer jerseys? A couple indentured scholarships? Please, these amount to decimal rounding errors on overnight interest. These are not proportionate community and/or social welfare investments.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Here here! I would add that a Caymanian Dart credit card for purchasing food has some merit. Gas card perhaps. What does everyone else think?

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    • Anonymous says:

      You must be tired with your hand out for so long.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There should be a Dart card like a Chucky Cheese card for Caymanians to use for essentials like for burgers, chicken and Batabano outfits.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I thought that was the Camana bay card or the Polyn card…where they know all your spending habits …

    • Anonymous says:

      DART’s corporate raiding attitudes and astounding lack of proportionate CSR corporate commitments, should taint and weigh against every corner-cutting application they submit. They do not hold a master developer title or a contemptuous oppressor license. If they can’t fix something they knew was wrong when they acquired the liability, then that’s on them. Not only this wall, but the DART cottage wall and over-sea cabana, and every other partial remedy they propose, and/or other injustice they might seek to perpetuate to their advantage. As you fairly note, there is nothing going into the plus column on the other side. We need to start taking issue with this fait à complait attitude.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Put simply it’ll happen because the vast majority of people in positions of power in the Cayman Islands are motivated by greed and the accumulation of wealth. If there is any doubt, just look around the islands at the myriad construction projects with no consideration for any other factor than the bottom line. The consequence of this will only arrive when these structures crumble into the ever advancing sea or are flattened by a hurricane/tidal surge.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Greed and beach destruction at its worst. When will a stop be put to thus madness?

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  23. Anonymous says:

    The constant cycling of government employees, National Conservation Council and National Trust council and staff in and out of the Dart empire has got to stop.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    DART seeketh and CIG granteth.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Look a beach bar is needed, for our tourism product but I don’t know how anyone could see that building an not think let’s tear it down an start over about 30 yards back. Parking space will be limited but better than sitting in the water on your picnic table… or is it ? Any way no weed to vote

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is plenty space to knock the building down and build a new one at the required set backs, ample room for parking too. Remember West Bay road was moved further back for the Kimpton. If the Dart organisation really cared for Cayman and the beach environment, they would knock down the the sea wall and start the development from scratch, great opportunity now to fix this area.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, cause sangwich eatahs off Carnival will be able to afford $20 margaritas at the new Calicos…..

  26. Anonymous says:

    As an organisation that promotes sustainability they should be ashamed of themselves for making such a request. If fact they should be looking to correct the errors on the past so that they will continue to have a beach for their patrons to enjoy. Not long ago the water was right up to the wall. Or have they forgotten?

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    • Anonymous says:

      promotes sustainability but doesn’t believe in sustainability.

      This just demonstrated DART just doesn’t really care about the long term damage to the Cayman Islands. He just wants $$$$

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me or is the ocean getting closer and closer to Calico Jacks seawall?
    Is this global warming or erosion?
    Perhaps some scientists among us would like to take a shot at this?
    As an ignorant netizen, I would compare the current beach ocean level with an area that is totally ironshore.
    If the level of water at the ironshore is consistent, then I would suggest the issue is erosion.
    If the water levels are higher on be ironshore example, then we definitely have a problem with rising ocean levels.
    Sometimes we just need to apply simple principles to prove facts.

    Ok let’s have a proper discussion. No insults, no uber-political crap just plain honest “how you see it”.

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    • Anonymous says:

      bad news is that it is both.
      – Sea level is rising. But has so far risen such a small amount that it is not the main contributing factor in this case (or any yet). – But see the ‘king tides’ stories (here & Miami) for where it is going. The concern is that what we build now will (should) be around for decades so we have to plan for 1-3ft higher waters (depending on the scenario you prefer and your level of risk intolerance) if we want the buildings to remain viable as long as they can. (Think of people still living or working in 30-50 year old buildings, or older in other countries.)
      – Erosion is the main problem here. As noted in the article regarding ‘build a wall by the sea and the sea washes away your beach’.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what Hr Handel thinks about all this after his lease not being renewed? Perhaps he will make it difficult for his old landlords?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Like most wealthy Caymanians, once they get their payout they don’t give a damn about anyone.

      There’s enough extremely wealthy Caymanian families out there to build schools, libraries etc. for the next generation. Giving back to their community. But do they? Do they f*ck.

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is something people don’t talk about enough. Most traditionally wealthy Caymanian families are loyal only to themselves. No integrity, no comradery, no giving back to the community that helped give them their platform. Just greed, cronyism and vibes.

    • SMB says:

      Handel and Dart are best buddies.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t count on Handel, or anyone else currently residing in Darts pocket book to stand up to him at this point.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Another day, another devulture with a variation taking the mick out of Cayman

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  30. Anonymous says:

    But wait, is that an old picture of the wall which the current PACT appointed deputy chairman of the Planning Board had constructed without permission?

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  31. SaveCayman says:

    Anyone with half a brain should see the insanity of developers like DART get their way. For the locals my butt. More for to fill greedy pockets from high end clientele. Destroy the environment will ultimately be the end result.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    With Handel as Deputy Chairman of the Board, I don’t see this happening, wink, wink. And isn’t it nice for us to bring expat planners into the country who jump on every little variation a poor Caymanian might ask for, but once they get their “papers” they sell their souls to the highest bidder and use their intimate knowledge of our laws to get around them. I’m so happy that my money will be going to pay for her free health care from CINICO for the rest of her life, but I can’t afford it myself.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    Approved!

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  34. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s great that Dart saw a market segment poorly served and is trying to fill it…remind me, who shut down all the beach bars in recent years…oh, hang on…Dart did.

    These people have no shame and we are being played like suckers

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Alternative headline: “Dart seeks to eliminate weekend drug den ignored by RCIPS”.

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  36. #ClimateWins says:

    Climate change is here- a variance may be denied for public safety concerns- it’s time to listen.

    The developer and it’s management need to stop being greedy- work with the recommendations, do something for the citizens and give the people back their beaches and public access rights, freeze the destruction of the remaining wetlands owned by Dart and stop playing with us pretending you are being a ‘community-driven’ corporation.

    Perhaps these applications should include an ESG scorecard?

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Any ‘after the fact’ planning refusals should see the structure in question torn down. That would stop this nonsense.

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    • Mumbichi says:

      Amen!

      A harsh, but fair solution, particularly in light of our current system in which ATFs get a fine up to 10X the filing fee. Such “fines” are merely rolled into the cost of doing business, and are not punitive in the least.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know which fool believes this is for locals.. This will be just like Hemmingways turning it to Tillies. Shut it down, renovate it, raise the prices and get rid of the locals..

    Anyone would be a fool to think that this is not going to be incorporated as part of Darts Indigo hotel.

    Next up is Royal Palms for his Four Seasons hotel. By then locals will not even be allowed on the beach so it won’t be a worry.

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  39. Anonymous says:

    He just gettin ….

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  40. Anonymous says:

    Dart’s Lawyers are better than ‘our’ lawyers. Case closed.

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  41. Anonymous says:

    They want it closer to the water so they can build more condos behind it one day in the future.

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  42. Anonymous says:

    DOE and everyone else needs to shut up!
    Decco/Dart only do great things for Cayman. I feel that they should be exempt from applying for anything and just get on with it.
    They provide:
    First class building and works
    Lots of high paying jobs
    Great things for the Cayman Islands
    The list of what they have done is to much to write. Just be grateful they are here doing things.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You sound dumb and poor. Pick a struggle

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    • Anonymous says:

      So we should allow Dart to build first class toilets near the water.. who wants to be swimming in poop during the next Norwester. He wants to build toilets, why can’t they be built closer to the front of the building on the roadside?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I say, 6:32 pm….. Are you mentally off your rocker, or are you just another Decco/Dart paid cheerleader? Get lost! Dart is NOT what an above board government wants or needs.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Dart has the power and money, all you need to be a success! This project will be allowed just like anything else they want. After all, we allowed this all to happen years ago; you reap what you sow.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bredren, wha’ de rass you smoke? I need plenty a dat!!!

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    • WhaYaSay says:

      @632. P*SS off!!
      “Maybe” great things for the CI but certainly NOT for Caymanians!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think I have ever seen 159 thumbs down before on any comment on CNS; is this a record?

  43. Anonymous says:

    Don’t let him get away with it.
    It’s not like it will REALLY be a bar that locals will be welcome to. He’s got the money to do it right, make him do it and set a standard for ALL to follow.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s for his new hotel guests next to Public Beach. Not the public though.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why not for the public? You can go to any bar you want to on the island – act decently and dress appropriately – what’s the problem?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Of course it is. Just like Camana Bay is not for the public. Or Coccoloba, Coral Beach, Tillies and the rest. I for one am sick of them opening all these things and keeping the public out.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh yea, and just how do you propose to stop the biggest landowner/developer in the Cayman Islands?

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