Small resort faces beach loss from new hotel

| 02/05/2022 | 52 Comments
Cayman News Service
Coral Sands (from social media)

(CNS): The manager of Coral Sands, a small George Town condo resort, told the Central Planning Authority that the seawall constructed as part of a hotel development next door is taking the beach away from the older condo complex on North Church Street. The owners of the resort made a planning application for a sea wall in an effort to save its beach, which they now fear will be completely eroded. But the application was refused, largely because the wall did not meet ocean setbacks but also because it was unlikely to solve the problem.

According to the minutes from the CPA meeting on 13 April, Coral Sands Manager Harry Lynch told the members that they wanted to stop hurricanes and nor’westers from taking away what is naturally a transient beach because it will no longer be replenished when the hotel currently under construction by NCB next door is finished.

While the beach has historically come and gone, the Coral Sand owners will be sandwiched between an older wall to the south and soon a new resort to the north that will prevent any sand returning to their shoreline once weather takes away what is still here now.

But the CPA raised its concerns, which aligned with those submitted by the Department of Environment, that the proposed wall would likely have the opposite effect and actually wash away the entire beach. In its submissions, the DoE said the wall was too close to the ocean and its construction would have a negative impact on the water by the hotel, which is a marine protected area.

The department noted that the recent construction of a seawall at Regal Beach Club condos caused major turbidity and sedimentation, polluting the marine environment. The DoE explained that it takes a position against any hard structures on an active beach or close to the mean high water mark because the greater the distance waves can travel up a beach before hitting a barrier, the more energy is dissipated.

“The seawall would likely prevent this natural activity,” the DoE said, noting that it would prevent, not help, with the nourishment of the beach after a significant storm event by inhibiting the natural beach recovery process of what is a perched beach. It is well documented that seawalls are the cause of long-term beach erosion, the DoE added.

According to the minutes, the CPA refused the application because it did not comply with the minimum required setback from the high water mark and that it “is of the opinion that the applicant failed to adequately justify the lesser setback”.

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Category: development, Local News, Science & Nature

Comments (52)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How is it that the big wigs get everything approved while the regular people have to jumó through hoops to get approvals? Planning Dept is the worst! Somebody needs to deal with that short pip squeak control freak that makes everyone’s life miserable. People quit left right and centre! Cut the head off the snake and start over. Inefficiency should not be rewarded. Somebody DO SOMETHING!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Like seriously where in the world 🌎 does anyone owns the sea oh please.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I recall back in the 1970s when the Don Dise family were actively developing the Sand Cay and Finger Cay sections of Cayman Kai, they built “fingers” from piled-up loose rocks which were perpendicular to the shoreline. I visited the area to swim on a regular basis and observed that the beach consistently expanded.

    Bear in mind, this was all dredged and created land with a steep “drop-away” just feet from the shoreline – not naturally formed – so initially there was no transition beach. The “fingers” allowed water and sand to flow between the rocks and natural tidal action created beach, which still exists today. Eventually, the “fingers” were dismantled I believe.

    Am I the only one to remember this? Perhaps perpendicular, flow-through “finger” structures at Royal Palms, Regal Beach, Marriott and other problem areas might be an option?

    • Anonymous says:

      That is not what happened. I was there and watched it being built. The fingers were to prevent and minimize erosion. They only partly worked. The water was made deeper by the dredger which constantly pumped sand from the sea floor to make the land that is there today.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sea walls have been built since the thirties in George Town. Hogsty Bay all the way next to Lobster pot restaurant. If you look over the wall you will see sand beach. It is not the same as 7 mile beach.
    What we allowed here in our island, many years ago is development ON the beach. We shouldn’t have done that. It should have been across the street. What can we do now? Too late for 7 mile beach, but not on the south, northside and East End.
    Make a law that doesn’t allow any more structures built on the beaches. The only reason now, is to buy other properties around the islands. Simply its cheaper. Environmentalists were so adamant about Central Mangrove land. The only reasonable place to developed is the middle of this island. Its the cheapest land on the island. The building material to cheaply increase the height of the land is under the swamp. Creating areas of fish, lobster and other sea life needs no more than 2000 feet in from the sea. We can develop from that point all the way 3-4 miles.
    As we know already housing prices are not going down. Young people who went to free schools did not achieve an education to be hired in the finance, Trades or tourism. They need to go to another school or college to achieve success for the future.
    Many of the parents of these children couldn’t even provide their children with lunch or breakfast. They should have used birth control if they weren’t ready. Unfortunately there are no trade schools, university that teach the rest of what they need.
    Our children cannot qualify as waiters, waitresses or other low paying blue collar industry jobs. When some come for the interview they can’t speak or respect the interviewers? We need to stop talking about an industry that provides a large amount of revenue that maintains 6000 civil servants that ARE mostly Caymanians.
    What we need to do is increase the minimum wage to the cost of living. We need to demand trade schools, tourism courses with certificates and teach young people respect and morals. Buy beach land for the public beaches in the south, east and North side of these islands.

  5. Unhappy Caymanian says:

    Cayman has sunk itself under a veneer of greed and environmental disrespect

    Sell your grandmothers and concrete it all over

    It is all we have left

    Poor Caynan

    You deserve what you get

  6. Anonymous says:

    PACT needs to grow a spine, stand up and change the various laws to e necessary changes can be made to save what is left of these islands! Otherwise, be ready to face the hard times that will surely come. Our homeland is being destroyed by greed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Time to start over on this one. Tear it down and rebuild 4-5 stories as far from water as possible. Get rid of all that concrete crap. Plant some vegetation to HWM.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Never doubt it. CPA will renege and grant whatever application comes before them, for the fees! I recently lost a valid objection against a proposed sea wall.

    Greed rules!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mother nature > Developers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    tear the walls down! don’t build more walls. Idiots all round!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Poor rich people losing their beach, oh dear, how sad, never mind

  12. And the beat goes on and on and on.Where is the common sense in all this BS that keeps getting approved.I am sure people are sick and tired of my talking about this but I have talked about this from the late 70s to present day.When will enough be enough?Much of all this goes back to the Marriott putting in the pool and patio which surprise surprise has started the domino effect.People get your head out of the sand before it will change to getting your heads out of the water.As a footnote have any of the CPA board ever been to look at the destruction their IDIOTIC decisions are creating?

  13. Anonymous says:

    12:15, are you on the PB or a Developer because those are the only 2 parties that would give an answer like that.

    How the F does losing your beach and being sandwiched in-between two properties increase your land value exactly?

  14. Anonymous says:

    a generation or 2 from now, kids here will have to look at videos to see what a white sandy beach look like. sad.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Regal Beach is just one of a number of disgraceful installations along SMB corridor (and its seawall too!). Apparently they now sell for over $3M for the rights to have the water splash around your ankles while you cook in your kitchen!

    CPA is a joke. has been for decades. The shoreline and ambience of our Islands are being ruined for short term gain at massive expense medium and long term. Such a shame.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure you read the article.

      The CPA REFUSED the application to build a seawall.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the writer was referring to all the projects that have been approved by the CPA over the years that never should have been approved. In this case approving the wall in the adjoining property by NCB.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Make NCB remove the sea wall at the Tides in South Sound NOW before it is too late! It is only a matter of time before that beach is gone forever!

    • Anonymous says:

      NCB only cares about property sales, but not the natural environment. Actions speak volumes, and louder than words.

    • Anonymous says:

      NCB doesnt own Tides…

    • Anonymous says:

      The Tides sea-wall will be removed in due course , along with a lot of other infra-structure.

      • Anonymous says:

        Along with most of the tides structure itself actually. It should never have been allowed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Planning permission is vested. Worse, the law allows – in fact requires – the owner to repair and maintain structures so like Boggy Sands seawall, the most the CPA can do is gamble that a newly located rebuild will be better than repairing the old build (which doesnt even require permission). Theres NO law that allows any Board, Department or Ministry to make someone remove something that was legally approved and built no matter how much the public cries for it. LOBBY YOUR MPs to change the LAWS!

    • Anonymous says:

      NCB are PPM lackeys so they got all the permits they needed without concerns for future consequences.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Can none of these effing clowns figure out that putting structures in the way of natural flow of currents will eff things up?

    Complete and utter f***tards.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Shocker. The CPA are the ones who approved the hotel neighbors sea wall (the one causing all the issues) and all of a sudden they care about the beach but won’t allow those damaged by their approval of the hotel to attempt to fix their beach. What a mess this whole planning approval process is.

    • Anonymous says:

      sue the CPA and NCB and hope I am on the jury

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that was the old PPM CPA “rubber stamp” board that approved the seawall at the NCB Hilton project not this one, not that it matters too much but finally glad to see this one getting some balls and able to say no..

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorant comment. Different CPA board. Get a little caught nah?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Simply remove all of the walls.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Selfish Greed.
    Just to keep locals off the beaches.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Piss poor planning (that we pay millions for).

  22. Anonymous says:

    I’m sympathetic to Coral Sands and hope that they can find a feasible solution to their beach erosion concerns. I can remember great times swimming out there and relaxing on that beach with friends.

    In a fairness, Coral Beach has been their since the 1990s and, therefore, hope that the neighboring development doesn’t disadvantage to significantly.

    That being said, the neighboring development is likely to increase the land value of Coral Beach. So, perhaps there may be some type of benefit-deficit trade off there.


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