‘Be careful’ of WB road move, residents told

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    Although an agreement has been reached to maintain Public Beach access over the long Easter weekend, West Bay residents were warned Tuesday to “be wary” about future plans for that beach.

    Both North Side MLA Ezzard Miller and boat Captain Bryan Ebanks told about 100 people gathered at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School Tuesday night that they didn’t trust any pronouncements on the issue coming from the Dart corporation or the ruling government.

    “Don’t take anything for granted,” Mr. Miller said. “The premier has stood in parliament…[and] announced that the road is going 
to be moved.

    “Be very careful in spite of what they might tell you now, that it is not an accomplished deal. I am fairly certain that I saw drawings in the LA of where the road is going to be moved to.”

    Members of a concerned citizens group in West Bay met with Dart representatives Monday. Group member Alice Coe said she was encouraged about continued Public Beach access, but noted the group would “remain vigilant” about proposals to move the road further back from the beach.

    Mrs. Coe read a statement Tuesday night concerning the moving of West Bay Road. The statement was compiled from notes by Dart representative Ken Hydes taken during Monday’s meeting with the West Bay group: “Dart…does not currently have any set plans or designs that can be shared 
with the public.”

    Mrs. Coe said the company indicated it remained open to discussing the road relocation with the Caymanian people.

    Representatives also noted that it was never Dart’s intention to restrict pedestrian access to the beach, only to restrict vehicular access to the beach.

    In an earlier statement, Dart indicated it was concerned about individuals removing sand from the Public Beach area and noted it had installed posts with chain links between them to prevent that activity.

    Spirited protests by members of the West Bay citizens group led to the removal of those posts last week.

    “Everything seems all above board, but we still have to remain vigilant,” Mrs. Coe said. “There’s no reason they should try and deceive us.”

    Captain Bryan said he simply distrusted any statements made regarding the future of West Bay Road at this point.

    “Developers are extremely interested in that Seven Mile Beach road,” he said. “Why? Because of the value of it.”

    Mr. Miller said he had spoken with two real estate agents who had valued the old Marriott Courtyard hotel property on the land side of West Bay Road at roughly $30 million. However, he said if the road was moved behind the hotel, the real estate agents estimated the value of the land would rise to between $80 million and $100 million.

    “I believe there is intention to move the road,” Mr. Miller said. “I would hate to know [the beach view] was not something that I could not bring my grandchildren to see.”

    TOPimage_113739STORY

    MLA Ezzard Miller gestures during a public meeting in West Bay Tuesday night. About 100 residents gathered there to talk about the proposed realignment of West Bay Road and other issues.
    Photo: Brent Fuller
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    10 COMMENTS

    1. OH NO…..CHANGE,….the sky is falling!

      I swear to God, if most of the regular people ran cayman, absolutely NOTHING would get done.

      Lets look at the obvious shall we……

      Hmmm where to start. Okay, here is someone who is building a good road, free of charge to the government. If anyone remembers Ivan, parts of westbay road were washed out. So here we have a chance to have two roads, and one road, further from the sea, so less chance of washout. This road will lessen the traffic burden on one road. It will allow housing to be developed where none can be now.

      Gee…..it all sounds bad 8 *shakes head in dismay.

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    2. @big berd – If the plans block a large amount of people from EASILY having access to the beach, I can’t see how this can be good for the Cayman Islands. The beach should belong to everyone! This thing about being able to own a beach or certain feet of lands adjacent to the beach is a major flaw in the law. The beach is the only spot we have left to de-stress ourselves.

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    3. One of the best aspects of driving along West Bay road is being able to see the sea. When there are developments that block the view, then it becomes an eyesore. South of the Ritz has become a concrete jungle, it would be a great shame and a loss of a public treasure to lose the last views of the ocean from the road. In other countries developers recognize the beauty of running the road along the sea so all can enjoy the drive, stop and have lunch and relax as you take in the view. It is my favourite part of West Bay road, and one of the last remnants of a true Caribbean island. Leave the road and enhance the area to really give value to Cayman – build across the road. Why is South Beach in Miami so popular? Move the road and you will destroy what little remains of 7 mile beach for the residents of Cayman – only the few who can afford the view will live there. DART should recognize the value of creating public space even if our government doesn’t. Ocean Drive that’s what is needed, and DART would do such a great job!!!

      Don’t look at DART for operating as a business, look to the government for being short sighted.

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    4. Listen to all the sky is falling people.

      First off, the beach will no more be blocked off, than the strip along 7 mile is now. Compared to the by pass dart already built.

      Obvious, just isn’t obvious to everyone I guess.

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    5. You knew what Ezzard was going to say before he ever got to West Bay. Mistrust of devil expats who want to take over the island. Ezzard’s plan for the development of North Side are more Bed Breakfasts, that is his view of the future.

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    6. @big berd – I have nothing against Dart moving the road and making a better one – so long some agreement is made that the ownership of the road belongs to the public and not him to block and do whatever with it. As far as I know, Dart does a good job in making roads and beautify along them with local vegetation. But what I am concerned about are these two things that the public has not been guaranteed to their best interest: 1. Where a large amount of people may have access to the public beach; and 2. Will there be a large parking facility for people who want to visit the public beach – will the park be near and easily accessible to the beach? These are my concerns! The beach is all we have left to de-stress ourselves and enjoy the holidays with our children! I would hate to see another hotel or development along West Bay Road block the easy access to the beach! From way back government should have had our laws amended to ensure access-protection and how near one can develop by a beach or how much beach front should be left to the public… but no… it appears we have managers in government more than leaders with brawn who looks out for the people’s interest. God help us! It seems the way things are going, Cayman will be sold out to elite and well-off individuals who will call themselves Caymanians, and the true Caymanians will be considered as the pests and tresspassers on their beach-front properties. I think our government is doing an unsatisfactory job in looking out for their people!

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    7. A suggestion to consider. If someone takes the time to right a comment i think that only thumbs up should be allowed on that comment. If someone disagrees they should have to write their own comments. Again people who agree with those differing comments should only be able to post thumbs up. So its a level playing field and a positive one.

      The reason i say this, is that i have often seen completely factual comments made on various postings (not necessarily on this site) and people (or maybe just one person with access to different computers) bombard it with thumbs down. it is also difficult or impossible to tell why or what people are objecting to.

      If i agree with a comment i will post a thumbs up. if i dont agree with that post i should find one that i agree with or post my own comments. The current system allows a total sham to be made of postings.

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    8. Perhaps it would help Mr. Miller and the people of the Cayman Islands to know that there has been an on-going investigation into their employees who are not in compliance with the Cayman Pension Laws. A friend of mine has been waiting two years for the National Pension Board to enforce compliance, but I suspect that it is being delayed or kept quiet by those in the Ministry that are politically connected to continue to receive money for roads, ports, etc.. and pursue their own political agendas regardless of what is good for the people of the Cayman Islands while the small businesses are required to comply and still not receive concessions from the government.

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