Rezone will increase pressure on 7M Public Beach

| 13/10/2022 | 151 Comments
Cayman News Service
Trafalgar Place, West Bay Road

(CNS): Parliament has voted to rezone several parcels of land by Seven Mile Public Beach that will allow for ten-storey development and ultimately increase the pressure on one of only a handful of remaining places where people can still freely access Seven Mile Beach. The site of the RBS Coutts Building and Trafalgar Place is now likely to be demolished and replaced by a ten-storey hotel after the owners were successful in their rezoning application, which will significantly increase the value of their land.

The rezoned land is located just across the road from the Seven Mile Public Beach, east of the Harbour Heights Condos and opposite the construction site of the Hotel Indigo, Dart’s second hotel in the area.

The application to rezone these parcels from Neighbourhood-Commercial to Hotel-Tourism was made by Trafalgar Investments Ltd back in 2020. At the time the Department of Environment urged those involved to consider the number of tourists and local people using this already limited area of beach prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The increased tourism footfall should be taken into account at this stage in order to plan for the sustainable use of the area whilst ensuring it does not undermine the purpose of the public beach as an area for the enjoyment of members of the public,” the DoE stated in its submissions about the re-zone application.

Since then the application has gone through a review process, including a 60-day public notification and consultation period. A notice of the pending change to the parcel was advertised in the Caymanian Times on four occasions between 11 and 20 November 2020, with that public consultation closing on 19 January 2021.

According to documents laid in parliament this week by Planning Minister Jay Ebanks, no objections were received so the CPA considered the application again in February last year and then resolved to forward the application to the planning ministry for Cabinet consideration.

More than 18 months later, Cabinet agreed to allow the rezone to go before parliament in accordance with section 10(2)(b) of the Development and Planning Law (2017 Revision). It was presented by Ebanks, who justified the change by pointing to precedent in the area and the need to support hotels and tourism. There was no debate and no discussion on the impact this decision will now have on Seven Mile Public Beach.

Alongside the existing condos, the new ten-story Watermark and Hotel Indigo, both under construction and due to open next year, as well as the mixed-use development at The Grove, which has also begun work on phase 2, all within a stone’s throw of this new proposed development, will leave the beach under unprecedented strain.

There has been growing public criticism about the limited access the public has to these types of planning decisions. Even when proposed amendments are advertised, the method of public consultation, the limited circulation of the notices and the labelling of sites through blocks and parcels rather than familiar descriptions all act to dampen public engagement in the rezoning of areas that often end up having a significant public impact.

See the details of the re-zone below:


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Category: development, Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (151)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dart already claimed Public Beach with Indigo

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  2. jay says:

    Just keep silent and watch as they build up around public beach, When Kimpton is ready they will build another tower of condos behind Calicos old location, hence why they want the variance. when that gets built all those tourists at Indigo Hotel will lose that beach area that was Calicos and be told to enjoy “public Beach” as it is for all the public. They have already walled it off and have a long term vision that is lost on the CIG no matter who is in power. At some point get ready for a canal to be punched through seven mile beach on the other side of the Kimpton so boats can come from seven mile to North Sound. Funny that the exact spot they removed sea rocks years ago to see what would happen…

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Not as much pressure as Lacovia. Do the National Trust support that project?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why does the National trust, who produce nothing, and contribute not a cent to commerce, have a say in developments that obey the regulations.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier sustainability and the environment was what you said. Why the change of heart?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t DOE make this more widely known at the time?

    When did the NCC know about this?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Insanity and greed rule in our Government.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Sanibel and Fort Myers beaches are literally gone. Devastation IAN brought on SWFL is mind boggling…Lee County schools are still closed.
    Cayman appears learn nothing from these unpredictable disasters. Keep building, the fools you are.
    https://www.winknews.com/2022/10/15/community-feels-forgotten-in-the-aftermath-of-hurricane-ian/
    https://www.winknews.com/2022/10/15/dealing-with-mental-health-after-going-through-a-hurricane/
    https://www.winknews.com/2022/10/14/destruction-in-tice-after-hurricane-ian/

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    • Anonymous says:

      “They took refuge at their daughter’s house. The house was on the edge of a lagoon but made of concrete, insulated with hurricane windows and elevated. They thought there was no danger as the eye of the storm made landfall.” From inside, you couldn’t even hear the wind,”
      “On that fateful Wednesday, September 28, the house didn’t shake, but they hadn’t taken the rising waters into account.” (Le Monde, After Hurricane Ian, ‘I’ll never go back to [live] Florida’)

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  8. Anonymous says:

    I call out these politicians who are SUPPOSED to be representing the CAYMANIAN people. How can you give away all that value to private interests without extracting value for the common man? You are thieves and robbers intent on power and lining your own pockets. DISGUSTING.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not a giveaway, Mac’s fax man, inadvertently broadcast the cost of rezoning.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Upzoning is a giveaway and the politicians need to get something for making private landowners wealthier. Perhaps, make them pay an infrastructure development fee or contribute to affordable housing program for Caymanians.

        How about a conditional upzoning? If developer wants to increase building height from 3 to 10 stories, developer needs to provide 30% affordable housing for Caymanians in the development.

        This is no brainer stuff.

  9. Pinga BTH says:

    Jungel bar has 2 meny shootings anyway

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  10. Sustainable buzz word says:

    Do people in Cayman read? PACT told you all upfront in their strategic policy statement
    (The SPS) that development and construction would lead in the post-covid economic recovery.

    Therefore, ofc they have to approve many, many applications. They told you all what they were gonna do!!! What else are they doing to bring in money and investment? Nothing!!

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  11. Michel says:

    Such lack of vision. More concrete.

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    • Anonymous says:

      trading concrete for nature we are gonna learn the hard way sadly and then it will be too late.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why is Thompson allowed to keep
    Building on Balboa Beach as of today. The Appeals Tribunal referred everything back to CPA for a fresh hearing. Where are the enforcement guys. No where. What a shambles

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    • Anonymous says:

      For the same reason, Chris Johnson wanted to evict the honest, hard-working fisherman from “his” property, after years of operating there without issues, providing a vital service to the community.

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      • Anonymous says:

        But the fishermen have no
        Legal right to be there. What is your problem. These are two different issues. The premier has said he will relocate the fishermen. Clearly you are out of touch with what is taking place.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Brining in fish they bought from Honduran fishermen?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Stupid remark. Fishmongers poured concrete illegally and set up shop in about 2007. Johnson has every right to
        Kick them off. As he keeps saying this beach is for everyone. He is doing the right thing. Do not forget he also built the sidewalk because CIG did nothing.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    assholes! I am leaving Cayman even I am an caymanian.

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  14. D. Truth says:

    The people building all these white elephant hotels, and others, are destroying the life and beauty found in the Cayman Islands. I am considering moving to a better place to live. There are a lot of other islands that are as good or better than here. I guess I will be looking around……

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    • Anonymous says:

      Go look, you won’t find any better unless you buy your own island. The only places still unspoiled remain that way because they are too freaking dangerous to live in.

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  15. GT Voter says:

    Why do we need another hotel?There is no shortage of hotel jobs and little unemployment This will mean more imported labour, a shortage of rental properties, higher property prices and increased rents. Plus more traffic and stress on the current infrastructure.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Very sad. What annoys me is no-one wants these towers except for a handful of barely literate real estate agents. It will be owned and bought up by foreign investors who’ll pay zero ongoing taxes.
    Really very sad

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    • Anonymous says:

      Find me one person on these islands that would say “great, what a wonderful addition to these islands. More concrete and empty units owned by Russians”. It’s terrible and 40 years behind the times

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ongoing taxes…..Income to Cayman and employment for caymanians….
      Restaurants, supermarkets, car hire and sales, gas , electricity bill, water bill , insurances, fees to managers, company formation and associated fees, local employment , gardening and pool services….the list goes on.
      This is in addition to 7.5% transfer tax and massive monthly maintenance fees.
      Caymanians and Cayman receive benefits now taken for granted, and will only be appreciated when taken away.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A challenge perhaps to an intelligence contest, if you think the real estate community is dumb why are they ahead of the curve and your dumb ass is trolling CNS.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Another local watering hole turns to cement

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