Planning OK’s Ministry’s signs

The Central Planning Authority performed an about-face in regard to the Ministry of Sports’ plans to place billboards around Grand Cayman to highlight the achievements of young Caymanians. 

In late April, the authority determined that it “is not in support of the proposed billboard signs”. After the minutes of that meeting were published in mid-June, the Caymanian Compass contacted the ministry’s senior policy adviser Joel Francis, who said he was unaware of the authority’s position on the initiative. 

However, according to recently released records, Mr. Francis, Minister Mark Scotland and Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn had appeared before the authority on 6 June to discuss the billboards. 

According to the minutes of the meeting, the authority’s “Chairman noted that the Ministry had been attempting to receive approval from the Authority to erect several billboard sings promoting the ‘Proud of Them’ Youth highlight campaign, but the Authority had expressed concern with this type of signage. A general discussion of the proposed signage ensued and it was determined that the signs are acceptable and that once applications for planning permission were submitted, they could be approved administratively. The Authority did also express that the proposed sign in East End must be relocated on the other side of the road (i.e. not on the sea side).” 

Mr. Scotland announced the initiative last December, saying, “Early in the New Year, in partnership with the Office of the Premier and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, we will install billboards across the island.  

“They will highlight achievements in sports, education and arts. We also plan to make the honouring of our athletes a full-fledged national event every year.”  

 

GT Craft Market building  

On 20 June, the authority granted planning permission to redevelop the Cardinall Avenue site of the George Town Craft Market building, which was rased this weekend. The quarter-acre lot formerly was the home of Grand Cayman’s meat market. 

Earlier this year, government and developers Gene Thompson and Harry Chandi signed an agreement granting a 10-year lease on the Crown land to Magnum Jewellers, with two options that could extend the lease to a maximum of 30 years. The initial rent is $60,000 per year. 

Architect Burns Conolly told the authority, “Our client has a lease with the Government which allows them to redevelop this property and use it for several years. The building will be turned over to Government at the end of the lease.” 

In January, Mr. Thompson told the Compass that they plan to invest some $1.5 million in the project. “The plans are to redevelop the site, to upgrade it and to make it more attractive, with public restrooms, to create stalls for small vendors and to put up a Magnum store in there as well,” he said. 

According to the minutes of the authority’s 20 June meeting, the developers’ plans call for the construction of a new two-storey retail building with an area of about 7,600 square feet. The cost of construction was estimated to be $950,000. 

 

CPA approvals  

The authority approved a number of other projects during its 6 June, 20 June and 4 July meetings, subject to various requirements. Here are some of the significant proposals the authority approved: 

Morne Botes: 30 apartments (60 bedrooms), gym, pool and playground equipment
Cost: $1.07 million
Building area: 56,850 square feet
Parcel area: 2.3671 acres Location: West Bay Road 

Kent Rankin: 49-lot residential subdivision
Cost: $300,000
Parcel area: 14.4 acres
Location: Off John McLean Drive, East End next to NHDT Housing Development 

Sand & Sea Development Ltd.: Subdivision (27 detached house lots, one road parcel, one LPP lot) and excavation (20,063 cubic yards to a depth of 20 feet)
Cost: $225,000
Parcel area: 9.24 acres
Location: Seaview Road, East End 

Midland Acres Ltd.: Subdivision (143 house lots, one commercial lot, one road parcel, one LPP lot)
Cost: $219,000
Parcel area: 64.5 acres
Location: Midland Acres Subdivision 

Wilbur Thompson: Commercial boat storage yard and office/storage building
Cost: $20,000
Building area: 640 square feet
Parcel area: 1.75 acres
Location: Off North Church Street across from the Lobster Pot Restaurant 

Dusty Norman: Allow dive operations with parking and bathroom facilities
Cost: $10,000
Building area: 4,356 square feet
Location: On Northwest Point Road, north of West Bay Public Dock and Beach 

Camana Bay: Outdoor dining area
Area: 6,060 square feet
Location: The Crescent, Camana Bay 

craft market

Workers razed the George Town Craft Market on Cardinall Avenue to make way for a new two-storey retail building. – Photo: Stuart Wilson