Businesses using public land

Increased usage of public land in the Cayman Islands for commercial uses may lead to new laws prohibiting the practice.

Cabinet Minister Arden McLean said at the Cabinet press briefing on Friday that the Recreations, Parks and Cemeteries Unit had observed businesses using public land for commercial purposes.

‘This includes person’s operating food stalls and the like on these properties and prolonged docking of commercial boats at the jetties,’ he said.

Mr. McLean reminded business owners and the general public that all public beaches, ramps, jetties and parks were for recreational use only.

‘The aim is to offer safe and clean open spaces where families can socialise and spend quality time together,’ he said.

Mr. McLean also said public jetties were provided specifically for the embarkation and disembarkation of boat passengers and not for prolonged use, while ramps were just for the launching and hauling out of boats.

Some business owners had been leaving boats and trailers parked on ramps.

‘It is extremely important not to block up any of the ramps in this country,’ he said.

Currently, the government is limited in its ability to prevent public land being used for commercial purposes.

‘As far as I know, there is no statute to prosecute,’ Mr. McLean said.

However, watersports companies are prohibited from using public land by their Trade and Business licence, he said.

‘When you receive a licence [to conduct a watersports business], you are told you cannot use government facilities and that you have to use your own facilities.’

Should the practice of using public land for commercial purposes continue, Mr. McLean said the government might have to act.

‘It may mean we have to do a law to govern the public facilities,’ he said.

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