Neighbours want Kai PAD info

A major development floated for Cayman Kai in North Side has sparked serious concerns among nearby residents. However, the developer said the new plan is not a significant departure from what was already intended for the area.

On Tuesday, the Caymanian Compass published a story on Criton Development’s application for a “planned area development” on some 50 acres in the district of North Side in Grand Cayman, mostly on the inland side of Rum Point Road. But the proposal also includes a hotel on the ocean, next to the Sea Lodges of Cayman Kai.

The Kai Village PAD also includes a small marina, homes, offices, retail, community centre, park and restaurant, with construction possibly taking place during the next five to seven years.

After the print deadline for Tuesday’s newspaper, the Compass received emailed statements from the developer and also the Cayman Kai Property Owners Association.

Dale Crighton, director of Criton Holdings Ltd., said the proposal is part of the long-term vision for the ongoing development of the area and dovetails with his company’s The Cays at Rum Point, which is immediately to the west 
of The Kai Village PAD.

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“The application is a standard PAD plan, which is generally in keeping with what was already envisaged for the future development of the site. Although no 
construction of any structures for hotel or commercial use is to take place in the immediate future, what the plan does in fact do is to include the proposed second phase of the development with the various uses anticipated given future demand for the area,” he said.

“As it was always envisaged to incorporate some level of light commercial in the second phase of the development this is no major 
deviation from the original development. Given the limited amount of facilities available to residents and visitors in the area, we feel this is something that we can incorporate into our development for future phases of the Cays allowing for badly needed amenities such as a gym, pharmacy, post office, fuel station, community centre, etc.,” Mr. Crighton said.

Robert Hill, chairman of the Cayman Kai Property Owners Association, said neighbours are seeking more information about the proposal and the development’s potential effects on the environment.

“The residents of Cayman Kai are just now learning of a proposed development affecting the North Sound coastline and the Cayman Kai area and those who have seen what is being proposed are very concerned. As residents we are trying to get more information on the proposed development from the Planning Department and will consider all our options as information becomes available,” he said.

“Our major concerns relate to the potential detriment to both the natural and built environments,” Mr. Hill said. “The proposed development will significantly affect the mangrove and coastal environment over a large segment of the North Sound, which is a unique environmental resource.

“It will also fundamentally change the built environment in this part of the island, which has long been an area that has offered tranquillity to our visitors and residents alike. The last thing residents of Cayman Kai wish to see is the over-development that has happened in other parts of the island,” he said.

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  1. I remember when residents in Newlands and Savannah opposed the Country Side Development claiming it would ruin the country appeal to their neighborhood, lowering their property values and increase crime in the area. Now every piece of property for sale in the area lists conveniently located within minutes of Country Side Shopping Center.
    North Side and Cayman Kai need this type of development, and those neighbors that are lined up to oppose the development simply for the sake of opposing it (before seeing the plans I might add) will also line up to shop at the grocery store, eat at the restaurants’ and patron the bank and post office too.
    People need to think outside the box and not limit all development to George Town and West Bay. Those NEIGHBORS bought land and developed it to their liking, and I’ll bet people opposed their houses or apartments or whatever it was at the time. Now they want to oppose the guy next door for environmental reasons before they even know the facts. Get real people!

  2. Lieralkman I can tell you one thing though that crime in the area has increased because almost every house in my development was broken into. Mine hasn’t been broken into yet because I try my best not to leave my house. Garbage on the road is worst than ever and cars are now traveling at higher speeds on Hirst road. Frankly I wold like to relocate as Country Side mall has definitely changed the demographics of my area and for what – convenience? Hurleys is only 5 minutes away.

  3. I took the time to look at the proposed development plans. It is massive and will involve the dredging of a large area of what is now mangrove on the North Sound. It will also involve large scale commercial development that there is no need for. I don’t blame those tourists and residents that now enjoy the the Kai and Rum Point areas for being very concerned. I am also. Perhaps the Compass could print a map of what is proposed so that other people can see what we all stand to lose if this goes ahead.

  4. Jose P, either you did not see any plans or you cannot read them. The Kai PAD is NOT on the north sound at all…what I saw at Planning shows it on the landside of the road into Kai nowhere near the north sound and the mangroves. It has a small marina that is actually off an existing canal- that’s it. No lost mangroves, no dredging!

    I suggest you go to planning and ask to see the drawings like I did and stop putting nonsense out before you do.

  5. Honestly Jackson has a good point, if Cayman Kai were to be developed it would bring a lot more of the unwanted trash build up, traffic and crime to the area. I’m only in my twenties and I can tell you development isn’t always a good thing. Truth be told, the Cayman Islands is one of the more developed Caribbean islands, but yet it has somehow managed to keep some of its tranquility through the years.
    The Cayman Islands has the best of both worlds.
    It has the commercialism that the island needs to stay a float, but yet it has its hidden secrets.
    Whether we know the development plans or not, if it is allowed the Kai will be destroyed whether we like it or not. The mangroves that are home to many of the aquatic sea life will be destroyed. The area will basically turn into town, and truth be told I’m not looking forward to that.
    Cayman Kai is one of the few places on the island that still holds the peace and tranquility that time forgot; it is simplicity.
    Allowing a developer to take that away from the island, takes away yet another piece of the Caymanian birth right. The area will no longer be just for locals and tourist, it will turn into an even bigger commercialized area meant as a tourist attraction.
    Cayman Kai will no longer be seen as a peaceful and tranquil relaxation spot, but yet it will represent the billboard adds you see for the Caribbean.
    As Caymanians, and as people who cherish this island, it is our duty to protect the secrets we have left. Grand Cayman might be the biggest and most developed but that doesn’t mean we have to give up all of our hidden treasures.

  6. All the beaches and natural sanctuaries, are not like any ordinary lands. These zones provide therapeutic benefits to people – like the beaches, the trees, the freedom to walk barefoot, feel, and admire the wildlife, is necessary for de-stress and for future generations. It is wrong to limit access to these zones or take them away for a few people who have big money to claim their ownership. Our government need to look into the laws and bylaws when it comes to huge developments. Will these developments enhance God’s ecosystem?

  7. @ Casa de Campo
    Actually I did see the plans and had no trouble reading them. For anyone else that would like to confirm that within the approximately 50 acres that this development will occupy there is indeed a large area adjoining the North Sound, the lot number is 33D 21 REM 6. Judge for yourselves.

  8. Sorry Jose P,

    Drawings I saw clearly show a border around the 50 acres of the PAD in red I think. It goes nowhere near the North Sound. Not sure what you were looking at. The overall parcel may stretch down to the mangroves but it is not a part of the PAD. What the planner told me is that the application is only for the area shown outlined and that clearly does not go where you suggest. Stop trying to confuse people.

  9. I wonder if the Cayman Kai Property Owners would care to comment on the fact that most of the property in that area was done by dredging; including Sand Point,Water Cay,Finger Cay and the Cove.Prior to the dredging and filling this area consisted of marshy areas with some slightly higher Sand bar areas with a soft,covering,much like quicksand. This means that some of the people complaining about dredging in the area have no problem living on property that was environmentally sensitive before it was dredged and filled. In the 1960s and 1970s there was a canal dug out that stretched from the Water Cay area ,north along the Water Cay peninsula ,then turning Eastward and reaching as far as Cayman Kai Sea Lodges.(Not sure if it is still there as a lot of work was done in that area a couple of years ago. I believe that clearing of the land on the south of Rum Point Dr.,from the Eastern entrance to Cayman Kai, near Bowses Ground Road ,to the Water Kai Peninsula was carried out) .Where was the objection to this?Complaining now is pure hypocrisy.

  10. There you go again Jackson, me me me, I I I. Sure Hurleys is only 5 minutes away for YOU, but it might be 20-30 minutes away for someone else. It seems that Foster’s, AL Thompson’s, Subway and the rest are doing well in that area, so while YOU may not appreciate the convenience, others certainly do. And increased crime is widespread all over the island, not just your neighborhood.
    It seems no one here wants any development of any kind b/c there is never any development that is proposed that people don’t object to. If Dart does it, people are pissed that he is taking over the island, a foreigner they complain about selling out, a Caymanian (like Crighton) and he is selling out his country for the almighty dollar.
    If people really cant see the benefits that development brings to this island, they can always hop on over to Cayman Brac or Little Cayman and live the good ole life. Very little development, no import duties and a bloated civil service to make you feel right at home. You might even get your driveway paved for free.

  11. There is a great danger that correspondents on this matter allow the debate to become bogged down in detail. We should ask ourselves the most fundamental of questions, such as who wants it? and who needs it?’ and why is it being proposed?
    As a resident of Cayman Kai I can see no demand, no need and no requirement.
    I see only the destruction of what makes Cayman Kai special and what brought residents there in the first place. I see only the destruction of our fragile environment by ruthless developers who only pursue the precious dollar. There is no enhancement of the area being proposed, only a means of a few people to accumulate greater wealth. There is no benefit to Cayman Kai or North Side, only the exploitation of the natural beauty of the area by those who would see it destroyed for personal gain. There is no demand since we already have significant areas of real estate lying vacant yet developers would pour yet more concrete into our already over-developed island.
    The newly elected Cayman Islands Government should nail its colours to the mast immediately and protect that which is special about these beautiful islands. They must reject this proposal without prevarication.
    Harry L Tee CBE

  12. Dear Harry L Tee CBE,

    I will now ask you a fundamental question: Why would a developer put money into a project if there is no demand, no need and no requirement??….yep…your questions make no sense–thought so!

    If you live in Kai you more than likely live on reclaimed land. That area was all virgin mangroves and buttonwood swamp before you came here. It was dug up, filled in with dredged material taken from the north sound. You then came along and purchased it and now you do not want any more development? very hypocritical sir.

    These large developments are rarely something that will happen overnight. They are simply planned early so that as they developed everyone knows what quality community is being built. just as the Kai was 40 years ago and just as Camana Bay is currently.

    Given that this country exists on inward investment, allowing us to remain without direct taxes, it is impossible for any government to shut off the pipeline of our existence no matter what they say in the campaigns. I am sure the main reason you are here is for that little tax break you are enjoying. I am sure that you would not like the government to shut down inward investment and turn around and tax your nice little house up there! Didnt think so.

    I am sure no one wants the character of Kai to change and I am sure the new development will compliment rather than contradict the existing community.

    Change is the only constant and in Cayman with our tax structure its critical so get used to it or move to another island. On the other hand, we are happy that you came to stay with us and continue to welcome you but clearly your position on this is wrong.

  13. Let us be clear about what is happening here. It is NOT about what happened in the creation of Cayman Kai forty years ago. We have learned a lot about environmental protection since then. It is about what is happening NOW and future environmental damage. To say that Mr. Crighton is anticipating demand for Cayman Kai development belies the fact that the environmental disaster he created at the Cays sits empty after years of subjecting his neighbors to the sounds of blasting and grading (it started before Ivan). The property owners of Cayman Kai bought into a life style different from Seven Mile Beach with the expectation that this would be a Community supported by restrictive covenants applicable to their properties which limit each lot to a single family dwelling of limited height,similar to covenants which Mr. Crighton promoted at his development at the neighboring Cays. Now Mr. Crighton wants to use his influence to impose a development completely incompatible with the EXISTING Cayman Kai on those of us who have been there for upwards of forty years. I would ask the reasonable people of the Cayman Islands, who I believe represent the vast majority, is this fair and reasonable? Or is this a power play by an influential person to impose his singular financial interest on others. Please note that Mr. Crighton made NO attempt to reach out to the property owners of Cayman Kai with respect to this proposed development prior to filing for planning approval. This fact alone speaks volumes as to his true intent.