Delays on EIA for Port Zeus due to developers

| 18/01/2024 | 99 Comments
Proposed site of Port Zeus on the northwest coast of Cayman Brac

(CNS): Frank Schilling, the developer behind the proposed Port Zeus (Brac Marina Village), has incorrectly claimed that the Department of Environment was responsible for delays in producing an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project. However, the DoE explained Wednesday that the nine-month delay to the establishment of the project’s Environmental Assessment Board was due to the time it took for the project’s consultancy firm to prepare the draft terms of reference on how the EIA would proceed.

Schilling, the dot.com millionaire turned developer, is the latest person to incorrectly criticise the DoE over delays in development. However, the department is responding to its growing number of critics and defending the work it does to try to prevent unsustainable development.

The DoE is seeking to raise public understanding of the processes under the conservation law, the battle its experts have trying to curb the excesses of developers, and the misinformation that is being promoted by those who seek to remove even reasonable constraints on development. In the most recent statement about the increasing spread of false information, DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie explained the EIA process:

One of the options for Port Zeus, as laid out in the project’s Master Plan (click to enlarge)

“There is a misinformed idea that an EIA is a lengthy process conducted by the DoE, but an EIA is in fact carried out by the project proponent or applicant, with oversight from an Environmental Assessment Board (EAB). The EAB is formed specifically for each project and thus composed of relevant Government authorities, including the DoE. The EIA process and the timelines for the EAB to respond to submission of key documents are set out in the National Conservation Act EIA Directive (2016).”

The developers or owners behind a project are supposed to prepare and conduct the EIA, which is then reviewed by the EAB. The length of time an EIA takes is usually controlled by the proponent and their consultants and depends on the nature of the project.

“The Terms of Reference (TOR) are the ‘recipe’ for the EIA, including all of the studies needed to fully inform the final EIA report,” Ebanks-Petrie explained. Once the draft TOR document is finalised, there is a public consultation process organised by the developers and their consultants, as laid out in the EIA Directive.

“This ensures not only transparency of the project details but the opportunity for the public to comment on the project and identify any important considerations which were missed and should be addressed by the EIA,” she said.

“The EIA process is an integral part of sustainable thinking and planning before major development projects begin to ensure all of the impacts to people and nature are considered within the framework of the project,” Ebanks-Petrie added, stressing that EIAs are not decisions; they are information reports to help decision-makers make fully informed decisions.

As EIAs are all public, the DoE has reproduced a timeline of the Port Zeus EIA process to counter the false information that appeared in a recent article in the Cayman Compass, largely based on inaccurate claims made by the developer.

Source: DoE

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (99)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This article isn’t true. The CI Department of environment has known about the Port Zeus project since 2019 and the developer has communicated its intentions clearly and timely, every step of the way. Our submissions to DoE have been turned slowly and inefficiently with cycles of communication taking an inordinately long amount of time.

    The community overwhelmingly wants this project because it’s good for the country, located in the right area of the country and profoundly (and positively) impactful for the Sister Islands. People in the community have started asking questions as to what’s taking so long and begun asking questions of the DOE. That is not a result of a concerted effort by the developer, but a groundswell of public interest from those who understand how important this project is for Cayman.

    • Show the Receipts says:

      Well this is an easy fix, kindly submit your evidence with the date the TOR was emailed to DoE to CNS and I am sure they would gladly print an updated story with the truth.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good on the DOE for standing their ground. The large Developers have the CPA in their back pockets but haven’t yet been able to get anyone from the DOE that they can buy..Let’s hope it stays that way.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps you should elaborate on which members of the CPA are in their back pockets – genuinely interested that people keep making these accusations but never seem to have any actual proof

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  3. Anonymous says:

    A lot of hate in this comments section for no good reason, presumably stemming from money driven envy. At least he is investing in Cayman and trying to improve quality of life for people with more options for restaurants and helping connect the brac with GC. Try and be a bit more positive!!

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  4. Mumbichi says:

    I look at it this way: It seems inevitable that Scotts would sell to somebody, and also inevitable that some entity would build a mini-city there.

    At least Mr. Schilling seems to genuinely love the Brac, and wants to do good things. The artist’s depictions are just that, although I was alarmed to see the marina extend to the main road. BAD idea.

    Mr. Schilling is super rich, so he doesn’t need to make money. I think it will be a benefit to the Brac, if done properly. We should have enough professionals on the Planning Board and the DOE to ensure that it doesn’t become a disaster.

    I am not afraid of the future. I just want it to be sensible. We can’t keep the Brac a sleepy little place forever, and maybe if we have a somewhat upscale place on the West End, it will shift things away from the emerging thug culture that seems to be emerging.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    All the Naysayers need to realize Schillings plan is legit and need to keep quit their assumptions
    about his character. It’s amazing how low info.
    gets out of hand. The Brac needs a facelift, and Port Zeus is a great start. Get over it !!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry Judasanna will get rid of the DOE and have her handpicked Planning Control Board take care of this for Schilling…Start following the money folks..

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Word on the street is that Schilling has burned through a lot of his cash living a lavish life style and may not even have the funds to do this project which is probably the reason he is trying to deflect attention and blame for this project..He is no DART…

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Cant wait to see a 50 foot chrome dinosaur in Cayman similar to the one he built in Canada (….actually…I think it is kind of cool….). He does enjoy life and doesnt take things too seriously. Good for him.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/dinosaur-statue-penticton-1.6973366

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    • Johnny Canuck says:

      Alice is absolutely beautiful and a wonderful new tourist attraction in Penticton.

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    • Naramata Jake says:

      Frank Schilling single-handedly created an amazing tourist attraction right off the Trans Canada Trail in Canada. Everybody who hikes in the interior of British Columbia should see this amazing piece of art work. A site to behold.

      Frank certainly did not do Alice for the money.

      We could do with a Caymanian equivalent. How about a giant prehistoric blue iguana built on one of his properties? Though has to be blue not chrome. 😂 😆 😝

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      • Al Catraz says:

        “Frank Schilling single-handedly created an amazing tourist attraction” — Classic. A very talented artist created it. Schilling paid for it. But, sure, Schilling “single-handedly created” it. That’s the Frank we all know. The guy who actually DID the hard work fades into insignificance in the light of his all-encompassing talent.

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        • Johnny Canuck says:

          Birdman of Al Catraz needs to understand that the idea and setting for creating the attraction was all Schilling’s. The British Columbia artist has become famous in the art world due to his dinosaur creation.

          You need to do a bit more research and get out of Al Catraz before you shoot your mouth off.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There are plenty of dinosaurs here in Cayman you can model a sculpture on. A couple in the Brac, come to mind.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Schilling has enough money to last more than a lifetime. Why do they let greed take over their lives to make more and more?

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    • Ironside says:

      One word, Narcissism.

      “We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don’t care for.” —Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

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      • Anonymous says:

        Schilling is not a Narcissist . He is a very wealthy man enjoying his money, and who can blame him.

        A Narcissist is someone who constantly seeks attention by self promotion, like walking up slopes using other people’s money. It’s actually a clinical condition, which if you study will explain the darker side of a Narcissist’s character, like a total disregard for the feelings or interests of others, including a trail of damaged business partners.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ask the people who own restaurants and now building hotels… gotta have more gotta have more.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    it’s almost always the developers that cause these delays, they drag their feet and then blame whatever ministry is convenient.

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  11. Proud civil servant says:

    Typical private sector behavior… blame the civil service for their incompetence.

    Everyday I have to send forms back to private sector clients and call to educate them on the law they should be experts on.

    Does the civil service receive any thanks for this? No all we receive is unwarranted criticism.

    Do any FOI to any government departments on how many applications are received incomplete. The numbers are staggering.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think you send forms back because they forgot to cross a t and dot an I just so you feel important and validate your over paid position

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      • Anonymous says:

        Impossible, as every single immigrant in the private sector is far too talented to ever make basic mistakes in the first place, as only the brightest and the best make it to our filthy, undeserving shores.

        I wonder what the permit fees run for an i-dotter/t-crosser, anyway? I’m sure you guys have a much more technical-sounding name, like “Assistant (to the) Regional Manager” or something, but you know us knuckle-draggers and our aversion to big words.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Kudos to DOE for revealing facts to destroy the lies.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Awww…boo hoo, have to work for a change, stressful.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Work for your pay raise then.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That might be the only FOI they don’t refuse and waste everyone’s time having to go through the appeals process.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or is it the civil servant sending back applications for not crossing ‘t”s and dotting ‘I’s to make them feel important and powerful as in reality we know the civil service is the greatest scam and front for welfare there is in the world. how many incompetent and unemployable people can be employed.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wow. The hatred is real 4:12pm. I’m a Caymanian civil servant & I’m not incompetent at all. I’m very deserving of the job I worked hard for & I prove myself everyday. Private school educated on island & university educated in London. I’m very employable having worked in both the private & public sector. Do yourself a favor & rid yourself of your nasty ways.

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        • A told ya says:

          4:12 is obviouslyone of those who have come to a place where he/she has never had it so good. wants to be in control but has been shut down ergo the asinine comments made. we know you and more than you realize. shut up ! Not gonna tell you again ya hear.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Shittling (sp error intended) makes even the worst stereotypical developers look good. He has no experience as a developer, hires “consultants” who like him instead of those who know what they are doing. He does not appreciate, much less love Cayman. Make him go.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Amen, I will pay for his one-way ticket anywhere in the world – except the Cayman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Use that one way ticket money for a psychiatrist. This individual has done more for the islands than many generations before you and many after you will ever do.

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    • Sir Humphrey says:

      8:00, May I remind you that Kenneth Dart had no experience as a developer before he came here.

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      • Al Catraz says:

        Mr. Dart also had degrees in engineering and business and experience in doing those things. Can you remind me of Mr. Schilling’s qualifications other than buying and selling internet domain names? Because, other than flipping domain names, none of his other businesses made money. His web extensions and registrar were both busts, as has been his vanity projects of a restaurant and a recording studio.

        And, as far as “look at what Mr. Schilling has done for Cayman”, please remind me of where those jobs are now?

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        • Sarasota Steve says:

          What you don’t understand Al Catraz is that Ken Dart is like Donald Trump, they are both what we call in America “nepo babies”. They were both born with silver spoons in their mouths and inherited millions from their mega rich fathers.

          Frank Schilling is a small town boy from the interior of British Columbia, in Canada. A self made man basically from nothing. Schilling had a better idea than anybody else and saw the future 20 years ago.

          Perhaps you should look at investing in Cayman Brac because I don’t see anybody else on Grand Cayman prepared to put their money where their mouth is there. To Schilling’s credit, he has got off his ass and is trying to do something positive there.

          God knows, they need something positive there from an economic development perspective, other than simply paving roads and driveways.

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          • Al Catraz says:

            Greater Vancouver is now the “interior of British Columbia”? Lol, yeah, a real frontiersman. Sad to hear that his physician father was “nothing”. Abject poverty in an upscale cul de sac.

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            • Naramata Jake says:

              Your ignorance of Canadian geography is incredible. Penticton, in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, is in the interior and a four to five hour drive east of Vancouver through the mountains.

              When you get out of Al Catraz take a trip there and see Alice.

              Though with a criminal record you might not get into Canada. 😂

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              • Al Catraz says:

                Frank is not from Penticton. He didn’t own a place there until a few years ago when he bought a property that was previously owned by another internet investor.

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                • Sir Humphrey says:

                  Geez Al Catraz, by the tone of your comments you really seem to have a bee in your bonnet about Frank Schilling for a guy that thinks Penticton is in Greater Vancouver.

                  Do I sense envy and jealousy?

                  Wonder what you have ever done to support artists?

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            • Anonymous says:

              The man was privileged enough to start life on third base and yet still mistakenly believes that he is responsible for the grand slam.

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        • Miami Dave says:

          Just a reminder Al Catraz, 🦅 Steve Jobs & Bill Gates had no degrees.

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          • Melbourne Melanie says:

            Correct. They had very specific technical skills which they spent a lot of time mastering at early ages. Schilling hired people to do stuff for him, but somehow believes he has expertise in everything. Look at his comment above about how he “single handedly” built a 17 ton statue. He actually believes that the sculptor was just a minor contributor not worth mentioning. Both Jobs and Gates actually knew how to do things.

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            • Penticton Pete says:

              Melanie,

              Nobody believes that Schilling created Alice. Though it was his idea.

              Kevin Stone was an internationally known metal sculptor before Schilling commissioned his metal dinosaur work. He has only added to his reputation with his new creation.

              He certainly got a lot of media publicity when Alice was unveiled last year.

              The idea and location in Penticton for the dinosaur was Schilling’s according to media reports last year.

              Kevin Stone also does a lot of metal sculptor work in Las Vegas. Do a Google search on him.

              I can see absolutely no down side on what Schilling did and we appreciate his financial support for artists. Not sure why people are being negative about what he did.

              Hope you visit Penticton one day and see the beautiful Alice.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I still have to question why it is that these foreign millionaires, who until in recent years had never heard of these beloved Isles, feel that they have a God-given right to tell us what we need and force feed us with it!

    Shilling or Pence, take your proposed development and shove it!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Frank has been in Cayman for over 20 years and his children were born here. He brought hundreds of IT jobs here during that period, and in the last five years, redeveloped several old decaying office buildings in central George Town (such as the old CIBC building where the Starbucks in in GT). From what is publicly known, he has contributed a lot philanthropically.

      So what a horrible, horrible person he must be. He should leave NOW!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        4:24 pm Especially since he’s been here 20 years is why he ought to know better !!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Go on then oh great one. Enlighten us all as to his publicly known philanthropy.

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      • Al Catraz says:

        Hundreds of IT jobs?

        He brought in some dozen expat software developers who are no longer here, along with a gaggle of salespeople, which did include some local hires. Where are those jobs now?

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        • Johnny Canuck says:

          He probably gave up trying to get work permits for his workers. So many pack it in because of the bureaucracy and always increasing work permit fees.

          Just look at all the big law firms in Cayman including the 2 big Caymanian ones. All of their non lawyer senior staff are no longer here and the positions have been moved to London and Ireland. The CIG and their people just wore the law firms down with their never ending increases in work permit fees and bureaucracy.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Schilling is on the wrong island for this kind of development. Being a washed up ashore dot.com person – he has Scott Development and associate family members going ga-ga goo-goo over money.

    Schilling would be best advised to stay in Grand Cayman and build his skyscrapers and compete with the likes of Dart.

    Another one the brilliant ideas to reach Brac – anyone forget about the golf course, wind farm, solar farm, goat farm, the other three marinas, Uptown, parrot estates, cruise ships, and on and on.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget the helicopter one where the Brac would be the central point for disaster response helicopter service in the region……

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ouch 943pm tell it like it is why dont you

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    • Hubert says:

      Not as if people are busting down the doors to invest in Cayman Brac which is a real economic backwater, living on handouts from the CIG in Grand Cayman.

      They should welcome Schilling’s investment in a marina / harbour as there is not one there.

      Cayman Brac is basically a model socialist island wanting to remain in the past economically.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Schilling is now a developer????

    Hmnn, we shall see just how much he develops on Cayman Brac, we shall see.

    Absolutely no business case for Port Zeus. If money was to be made from such a far-fletched idea, local families who are already connected to development, tourism and politics would have done it a long long time ago.

    Like so many of our expat, turned “local” friends, it does make me wonder how many SAR (suspicious activity reports) will be filed both here and abroad if this Schilling character thinks he is just going to throw around money – like he really is interested in Cayman Brac.

    Have my serious doubts about this guy.

    Whatever morons in government/cabinet approve of digging up the land all the way to the main north coast – they obviously have been bought out by this character.

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    • Anonymous says:

      9:32pm – I have serious doubts about you. You’re a clown who contributes nothing to the Cayman Islands. In fact, your a net negative since your brainless comments sub-tract IQ points from everyone who is unfortunate enough to come across them.

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    • rick says:

      Just like when he set up his ”record label” and pretended to now about the music business or care about local artists.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone who becomes wealthy through whatever means, thinks that their wealth then gives them talent and competence in other areas….like running a restaurant, or developing a Marina.

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    • Anonymous says:

      He will disappear just like the aviation company down by west end park disappeared.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The money is to be made from quarrying the land and dredging the ocean floor, which was the plan all along.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Local families in business on Cayman Brac are totally risk averse unless they get massive financial handouts from the CIG.

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    • Anonymous says:

      9:32, You obviously don’t understand that there is a business case to build the FIRST and only marina on the Brac.

      Local Caymanian families are very risk averse.

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  16. Anon says:

    this development will ruin this beautiful area of the coastline. No No No!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dont worry 724PM – if schilling thinks he is going to throw money and bully us on Brac – he is wrong.

      Our local DCB should not be so fool to approve such a project.

      What idiot would propose to dredge right up to the main north coast road? Apparently his name is schilling.

      He drifted into Brac to spend some more, and will be glad to see him drift away and take it with him elsewhere

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    • Anonymous says:

      A coastline that has no safe marina for boats. Really smart 7:24 but doubt you are a boater.

  17. Anon345 says:

    Hold them all to account DOE!! Please don’t ease any of them up! Because that’s exactly what they want!! And we locals are the ones suffering for it on all three islands!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Stop picking on Mr Shilling as he is a wonderful man and only wants to build a great project. Just look at his new restaurant – only the best! Honorable Premier just eliminate the DOE and allow Chairman Paridue and the CPA to approve what they feel is best for us.

      CNS: If you lived on the Brac or knew anything about the island, you would know that the CPA is not involved in the approval of this application.

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      • Anonymous says:

        We the residents of Cayman Brac have not started picking on this schilling character yet. That time will come, but he will pick up his bags and go somewhere else before then.

        Port Zeus, lol, not happening.

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      • Anonymous says:

        sold the ‘great’ new restaurant at a substantial loss, or so I hear….

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      • Anonymous says:

        Um, me thinks this poster made this comment in jest….

      • Ironside says:

        I feel that 6:26am’s comments are pure sarcasm…at least I hope it’s so!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Who is drafting the TOR for Schilling, AMR? What experience do they have if any in performing EIAs for like developments? There is of course the possibility of consultants being paid to be deliberately vague and misleading with their TOR. I would hope that Schilling realises that DoE is now wise to any attempts to pull the wool. Maybe this is why he’s crying fowl?

    Developers need to realise and fulfill their obligations with regard to the process. Blaming stakeholders in the process is just plain unprofessional and irresponsible.

    What’s very worrying is that the inaccurate narrative being spun around this issue is something that plays right into the hands of the current gang of ministers that want to scrap every process that currently relates to conservation of Cayman’s dwindling environment.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    9 months to prepare the draft terms !

    9 months !

    what a joke …

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  20. Anonymous says:

    I realise the artist’s depiction is just that, however it seems crazy for the sea to come up to anywhere near where the Scott Development building is now — that is close to the main road.

    Goodbye existing businesses when the next hurricane hits.

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