Dart pledges to conserve land as it develops

| 12/07/2022 | 193 Comments
Jackie Doak at the Chamber event

(CNS): Cayman’s largest landowner has made a pledge to conserve one acre of natural habitat for every acre it develops in the future. The Dart Group, which is responsible for a significant amount of development on Grand Cayman, has also said it will not begin any new projects until the government completes the revised National Development Plan. However, the president of business development at Dart, Jackie Doak, has called again for taller buildings to allow new development to go up rather than out.

Doak made the ‘acre-for-acre’ pledge and the commitment to freeze development at the Chamber of Commerce Parliamentary Lunch last Thursday and claimed that Dart is committed to sustainable development. She said this pledge to protect pristine habitat would help Cayman meet the United Nations’ goal of protecting 30% of land by 2030.

She stated that for every acre “that is disturbed” by the developer it would commit an acre of untouched natural habitat to be held for conservation. Barkers, the Central Mangrove Wetlands and land in the Sister Islands are possible areas that could be earmarked for preservation under the initiative as Dart owns significant land in all of those locations, Doak said.

She did not say under what circumstances the land would be held and whether or not it would be handed over to the National Trust or the National Conservation Council or managed by Dart under circumstances that the conglomerate itself defines as conservation.

“We hope our acre-for-acre pledge is a catalyst for other developers and government to adopt a similar philosophy with future projects and commit to an acre-for-acre when developing untouched natural habitats,” she said. “By the stroke of a pen, whether by a voluntary pledge from others or through legislation, this could result in over 30% of the islands’ land mass forever being preserved, exceeding the UN goal for biodiversity.”

During her presentation, she said that Dart would continue to support sustainable development and saw the idea of “going up rather than out” as a way of reducing sprawl, which, coupled with greater setbacks, could allow local beaches to replenish.

“We hope that in Grand Cayman consideration will be given to increased building heights in designated zones, coupled with a long-term multi-generational plan for a development retreat from Seven Mile Beach, allowing the natural restoration of the shoreline.”

The Dart boss also said that because of the current lack of clarity surrounding planning and development, the developer will wait until the government has completed the long-awaited development plan before it begins any more new projects. Dart will instead focus on its multiple existing developments around Camana Bay and the Hotel Indigo.

This means that Dart is unlikely to move forward in the short term on its controversial planned area development in West Bay across the Esterley Tibbetts Highway where the proposed project threatens dozens of beach access points and some 40 acres of the remaining mangrove wetland in West Bay. Despite Doak’s claims that the developer is committed to sustainable development, Dart officials have challenged the NCC’s direction that an EIA will be needed for this PAD.

CNS has contacted Dart to ask them about how the acre-for-acre project would be managed and whether the proposed PAD will be part of the future development freeze and we are still awaiting a response.


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Category: development, Land Habitat, Local News, Science & Nature

Comments (193)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Whenever anyone opens their mouth at Dart – the first question that springs to mind is … ‘what’s in it for them?’. Dart and Doak are not altruistic people, they are always on the make. Cayman is now waking up to this.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    ICYMI

    The distressed debt vulture now gobbling up the Cayman Islands

    Having made a fortune out of the woes of countries such as Greece and Argentina, Ken Dart’s next challenge was how to spend it. Cue a spending spree that has made him the ruler in all but name of the offshore tax haven.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/the-distressed-debt-vulture-now-gobbling-up-the-cayman-islands-a6729521.html

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Don’t pay attention to all these haters Ms Jackie, you are the best and Mr Dart is the best. Thank you for all you are doing and have done for Cayman, we would be nowhere without you.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Buy it up, develope it, then make sure the rest of the locals can’t because it’s for conservation. What a load of BS. How about you give someone else the chance to enjoy the fruits of this island?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The only pledge I trust, is tried and tested Lemon Pledge!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    106 more apartments on the Planning agenda next week and you fools distracted by the one developer who plans holistically and sustainably.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Dart has completely sucked / developed the life and character out of Grand Cayman. I don’t know what this place wants to be anymore but it’s sure as shit not a Caribbean paradise anymore.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That was FIN.

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      • Anonymous says:

        FIN typifies what Cayman has become.

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        • Fin - build on beach says:

          Fin is an example of taking all of the space. Fin have built right up to the property line and even onto the soft beach (iron shore).

          • Fin - chartered land survey says:

            Ironshore consists of fossilized coral that easily compacts. Most importantly it compacts faster than the hard limestone (marl) that the rest of Fin and surrounding buildings are build. There is a problem if the different parts of Fin settle at different rates. The wall facing the sea that is build on the ironshore should settle more quickly and the wall could tip towards the sea. Evidence of the movement will be cracks at the base of the wall and the windows will start to stick. It is odd that the windows in the condos consist of so many panes. The additional panes will provide more flexibility and reduce the likelihood of them sticking. A good place to start would be to hire a chartered land surveyor.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a far cry from the gem the place was circa late 60’s to the 90’s , which just demonstrates that developers like DART that have been enabled by Caymans various Govt’s have totally missed keeping what Grand Cayman held that did make it a special place. Caymanians need to be asking their elected parties just why they allowed the place to be flushed down the shitter by people like Dart.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Because every man has a price and money and greed corrupts perhaps?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ask the Kirkconnell’s why they sold Royal Palms to Dart? Caymanians need to ask why the major Caymanian families are selling out to Dart.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There’s council estates in Yorkshire more Caribbean than Cayman now!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bet it will not happen. Where has the camping ground gone to and no 1 challenges it. Waiting to see where the camping ground went to. Will some1 from government gives us an explanation.

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      • Anonymous says:

        John Doak’s rendering of public campsites from appendix of Kurt Tibbett’s first NRA version is now entombed under the cured concrete of Indigo foundation. Just like the community fairgrounds cleared for Karoo were another hotel development misdirection included under suspected PAD application. We should also note there are no completed dog parks, no pedestrian pathways, jogging trails, Sunrise Learning Center, Rugby pitch, no maintenance of properties (all acquired under nominee names) and on and on…it was all just a long game ruse and never honest or for us. There is still determined concealment of the total portfolio holdings – aided by conflicted MLAs, Cabinet members, Appleby, and staff in L&S and PLA. It is the very definition of conspiracy. One has to wonder if the opposition to a beneficial ownership registry is coming from DART. Who are the UBOs of these multitudes of nominee companies? Are there PEPs that were cut in?

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  8. SKEPTICAL says:

    Why didn’t he do this from Day1 to create an image of someone who actually cares about the possible negative impact of his re-designing the island……and perhaps get more people on his side.

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    • Anonymous says:

      He was buying land in the 90’s (via his puppet Mark VanD). Hidden by registering owners as Cayman Companies – Cayman Shores etc.
      Having already started building on the majority (Public Beach & North/Salt Creek/ yacht Club/Camana bay/Brittania & Hyatt/) it’s a bit late for this pledge. Maybe just so he can ravage Barkers.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    seems like Jackies legwork with Wayne of planting solitary trees hasn’t paid dividends or altered the flavor of Darts popularity. Did Wayne need something with more substance & sway across his desk before he could risk friending a fresh rubber stamp and save face ? Are Dart now sulking using ‘lack of planning clarity’ (when they’ve used it to their full advantage before) to tighten the screws on Wayne stifling the Govt’s coffers ? Who knows, but what we do know is that none of them can be trusted and Kenny, keep your eye on that 8-ball, ‘live, lurk & slay’

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  10. Frustrated says:

    Here’s an idea – just STOP the development!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    “The Dart boss also said that because of the current lack of clarity surrounding planning and development, the developer will wait until the government has completed the long-awaited development plan before it begins any more new projects” is just a nice way of saying we’re feeling the pinch and are cutting costs.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Who are they developing for? What occupancy rates are in Cayman hotels? Appears hospitality industry is facing another hard blow with recession that appears to be unavoidable.

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    • watcher says:

      But…. but, there are yet wealthy people around the globe who yearn for luxury accommodations and condos!! Whatever are we to do?? Thankfully, we have Mr. Dart et al to build new palatial estates so the rich won’t be subjected to staying in the existing hotels (ew!)

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      • Anonymous says:

        I know two young wealthy couples and they have not even taken a glimpse at Cayman. Not one thing interests them about the island. They like villas, not hotels and condos. They want adventure, not stingray city and hell. They are foodies, not just looking for overpriced food.
        I’ve been going to Cayman for years, but these wealthy couples and their friends…Cayman doesn’t get a wink.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Please try to find a nice studio or 1 bedroom unit within walking distance of George Town or Camana Bay.

      It’s a nightmare. It’s not even the prices that are the biggest issue, these units just don’t exist!

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