Rules changed to allow hotel rooftop pools and bars

| 24/11/2023 | 79 Comments
Artist’s rendition of Aqua Bay rooftop pool

(CNS): Government has amended the development and planning regulations to enable hotels and condos in the tourism zones to utilise rooftop space for amenities such as swimming pools, restaurants, bars or spas. The change was passed through parliament at the end of Thursday’s proceedings by Planning Minister Jay Ebanks to promote the use of roofs instead of beaches.

He said there was significant appeal, given the views that roofs can provide along Seven Mile Beach, and with the pending change to setbacks, it will give developers more space. Ebanks said the space cannot be used for additional rooms or penthouses, but only for amenities or auxiliary facilities, giving developers flexibility and encouraging the retention of beach space.

Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan said he welcomed the change as it would help improve the local tourism product.

The change was passed by members unopposed.


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Category: development, Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (79)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I just realised we all missed a key line in the story: “the pending change to setbacks, it will give developers more space” – Sooooo, are smaller setbacks / bigger building footprints for condos the next change to come? Enquiring minds want to know. (Maybe they’ll publish that one for the 20 day comment period before voting to approve it. You know, in case anyone wants to speak to their MLA about it.)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Lloyds luvs your kind.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The magic of politics is you get to set a goal and don’t care about the repercussions. “ FULL STEAM AHEAD, DAMN THE TORPEDOES “

  4. Anonymous says:

    The changes as reported seem positive, but as far as I can see, the proposed legislative amendment does not appear to have been published in the Gazette, and the Hansard from the Parliamentary sitting is not out yet and probably won’t be for a long time, so how are we supposed to see what this Government is doing? I want to ensure that they didn’t approve some other changes in the same amendment that actually have an adverse environmental impact, and that they aren’t trying to hide anything (which is definitely not something that the public can trust the Government not to do). Absolutely no way to hold them accountable and we never know what they truly do until after they’ve done it.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    We need to update our governing building and fire codes to latest ICC guidelines. They are stuck in 2019.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Actually it’s worse than that, the current building codes are from 2009.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The Caribbean is a great market to sell New Old Stock that doesn’t meet code elsewhere. We get the discount materials that have been rotting in North American inventories with no buyer.

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  6. Marion Cote says:

    They should be obliged to put shady type trees in pots on the roof (NOT palms!!!) to replenish the oxygen. Too much cement and tar on the island.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    OneGT has a rooftop pool on it’s drawing from day one. so how exactly did it get a building permit with a feature that at that time was not allowed up till now?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s tragic that rooftop pools now enjoy a higher commercial priority than basic pedestrian accessibility plans and walkways. There’s still no requirement to build sensible sidewalks and paths to allow foot access to so many buildings and developments in Cayman. There are wheelchair ramps that mount utility areas surrounded by hard ledges to nowhere. The Banana-grade CPA wants us to walk up a high speed traffic ramp or nip through a garden bed to get somewhere logical. We need to fire the conflicted CPA Board and hire credentialed international urban development experts so that reasonable plans are approved, and scrutinized to a passing standard.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Go to health city. A massive, concession incentivised “world class” Hospital and the car park doesn’t have dropped curbs right in front of the hospital. You literally have to wheel yourself all the way to the end of the carpark and then back round as the path in the middle has no ramps LMAO. Honk Honk.

      Sums these Islands up perfectly.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Why was it banned up to now anyway?

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    • Anonymous says:

      It wasn’t specifically codified one way or another, and now it is. Neighbours previously had planning notice rights to object on grounds covered in the Town & Communities Law, spec. noise, nuisance, etc.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    A disaster waiting to happen, between the poor construction going on lately and people with alcohol induce ignorance… bad news.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Omg what a bunch of hating complainers! Rooftop bars and pools require less square footage hence the surrounding land can be saved for green areas etc it’s a smart idea. STOP HATING and following that CMR moron

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    • Anonymous says:

      If people believed that any land would be saved for green areas etc they would love it, but the people are not that stupid. All this means is that those poor sods not rich enough to be on the beach can now have their cake as well.

      This doesn’t change the people on the beach from stealing it and its just being sold as that.

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    • Anon says:

      If you think for one second that they won’t still have pools on the beach you are sorely mistaken. Also this is a class issue waiting to happen. If you don’t think that there will be a fee for accessing that pool or just outright denial of entry to the elevator you are mistaken. We are about to live in a Cayman where Caymanians are the sore losers. I can tell you when it is no longer paradise here it’s Caymanians that have no where to “go back to”.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Big daddy Dart called this one in, so despite what JuJu says Dart and others still hold the joystick on government. Nothing but a pack of blatant liars, the lot of them!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Who profiteering from this now?

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Well, Dart dodged a bullet by building a rooftop bar on his new hotel not knowing if it would be legal.. Surprised Planning passed the plans before the law was passed. LOL

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Can you all stop voting for greedy, illiterate politicians

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Please minister Jay, now that you guys have the PACT handcuffs off, pass the law allowing 30 story towers to be built ASAP. We can get so much quality development and the island will be flush with cash. Love the unity team!

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    • Show me your braincells says:

      And also fire trucks ladders and the extensive firemen training to be prepared for any fires/rescues from said fantasy 30-story buildings, right…? 🙄

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      • Anonymous says:

        You realize that 30-story buildings exist in the world?

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        • Anonymous says:

          So does public transportation, comprehensive sewer systems, renewable energy, development planning, and PLANNING OF ANY KIND.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You are the fantasy rich person brain-cells. You have no idea as we regular Caymanians have to get these construction jobs but you rich foreigners already have your big money so you want to stifle the rest of us. Thank goodness Unity Team knows this and will do the best for Country.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    What happens to all that water weight on top of a tall building when the next ground shaker earthquakes stirs it up viciously? What/who will that ‘ivory tower’ fall on??

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    • Anonymous says:

      Fall on all the politicians head top

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    • Anonymous says:

      or an earthquake

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    • Anonymous says:

      Rooftop pools exist in areas with higher probability of earthquakes already.

      Most development ideas are borrowed from other destinations.

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    • Travis says:

      Ha! Is it his a funny comment or real? There are 100 story buildings in earthquake zones that have established building requirements. What a joke your silly comment is.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The only joke is our planning and construction regulations. Go and ask any architect on the island how poor our minimum requirements for new buildings are and how poor our inspectors are and you would think twice before heading for a dip in one of these on this Island.

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        • Anonymous says:

          You must mean structural engineers. Architects have a very different skill set and are not qualified to provide the assessment you reference in a professional capacity.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes , you got this,Bobo. Cayman not the only place in the world with a 30 story building that sits on a Tectonic Plate.

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      • Anonymous says:

        But it will be the only place where it’s thrown up with absolutely no consideration for the tectonic plate by 3rd world subcontractors with some of the most lax building regulations and inspectors in the Developed World.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think you should leave this thinking to the architects

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  18. Anonymous says:

    OMG is that a real thing being discussed?? That might be fun to watch during a hurricane.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Just wait till a drunk tourist dives off the roof.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Here we go with instantaneous concessions to developers minutes into regime change. Buckle up Cayman. Are these the actions of a party railing against developer special requests?

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    • Anonymous says:

      To attract the high dollar developments you must give concessions, thank goodness our new government knows this. We will soon have boom times rolling again.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Concessions should be given to Caymanian developers, if at all, but not to foreign developers.

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      • Anonymous says:

        These are the best times ever for developers, it will never be better than right now, and they still want more more more. Greedy shortsightedness.

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    • Anonymous says:

      5:13 pm Get a grip. Those revisions were approved by the Wayne-led cabinet on 17th October. Check the link to be sure file:///C:/Users/cmmal/Downloads/Cabinet%20Post%20Meeting%20Summary%20-%20114.23%20-%202023-10-17%20(1).pdf

  21. watcher says:

    Why even tell us? They are going to do whatever they want, line their own pockets, create global and regional influence as they wish and hobnob with foreign developers, all to the utter stoic indifference to the woes of the people. I have worked all of my life, more than 40 years. Right now, I can scarcely afford to survive. Let that sink in.

    Meanwhile, Kenneth, Cabinet and their ilk discuss lofty ideals as though it makes a single solitary difference to our existence. Thanks for nothing. Thanks for always consistently providing nothing.

    Vote = worthless
    Hope = limited
    Survival = questionable
    Soldier crabs = probable nutrition

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  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s about time! Should have happened 20 years ago. It’ll bring back the prime party setting lost when Royal Palms ended… and a distant 2nd Calicoes

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    • Anonymous says:

      I thumbs downed this because the prime party setting was Long John Silvers, NOT Royal Palms. Oh, and Holiday Inn. And while we’re at it, Legends, Liquid Lounge, Monkey Business, Matrix… Actually, nightclubs don’t seem to be a trend anymore anyway.
      Okay. Nevermind.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Dork. You must be joking. Royal Palms was by far the best party place in Cayman 7-8 years ago especially on Sundays.
        Long John Silvers? Never heard of it except if you’re referring to fish sticks.

  23. anonymous says:

    Would this have anything to do with the new hotel under construction opening in April? Who is selling out to the developers this time? You fools voting in these so called independents who are ‘for the grass roots people not development” are fools.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    So, exactly what they could do now, except it no longer counts as a full floor. 11 floor buildings by stealth in other words. Because 10 just wasn’t high enough. (Or made the right people enough money?) Gotcha.

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  25. Tres Gauche says:

    More Miami notions of “style”. Cayman had a proper jewel of a beach. Now being systematically destroyed aesthetically and environmentally.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on comment. But not just the beach, the entire island we once knew is being systematically destroyed, both aesthetically as well as environmentally.
      I agree that 7 Mile Beach was really once a “Rare Jewel”, as far as tropical island beaches go.
      For the most part, it still is.But one has to ask the question. When will the maniacal development back off enough to realize it?

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  26. Anonymous says:

    And JuJu says Wayne is in the developers pocket. Cause what you wont see is the hotels and condos told to remove their beachside pools – these will be in addition to those.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Lemme get this straight. ONE GT in town had a rooftop bar and pool in their marketing, long before this approval for such plans was put in place.

    It smells rotten in here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you had amenities on the roof before it used to count as a floor. Now you get to do however many floors of rooms, then put amenities on the roof… So basically an extra floor without rooms.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Little Miami train inbound. Choo choo

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  29. Anonymous says:

    The Watermark condos scheduled for completion in 10 months already have 4 rooftop pools included. These are private pools for each of the four 10th floor penthouses.

    I think it is a good use of space to be honest.

    http://www.thewatermarkcayman.com/renderings/

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  30. Anonymous says:

    That’s great – rooftop pools are lovely

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Meantime..

    In 2032, India will need a billion tonnes of coal, partly to charge EVs in urban areas via power generated by thermal plants.

    For an EV to achieve maximum environmental benefit, the electricity used for charging must be generated from green or renewable sources.

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  32. Justice says:

    Hmm hope there are stringent regs on security rails, times of usage and construction specs reviews with this approval.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, this was my first thought

    • Anonymous says:

      yawn…..why would it not. we are not reinventing the wheel!

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is Cayman. We most certainly will be reinventing the wheel. That is what we specialise in.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Planning have effectively added another “Habitable level” beyond that permitted by the regulations.
      This precedent will be used to increase permissible development heights…just watch.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    So can the Marriott now proceed with building their suspended pool between their two towers?

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