Plans for three separate marinas have been recommended for approval by Cayman Brac’s Development Control Board.
The Brac has needed a “safe harbor” for visiting and local boats for some time. Now three projects have come along at once.
The Department of Environment believes only one can succeed and has recommended that Cabinet pick the best location.
But Brac planners have backed all three, one of which will create a swimming area with slides and “water park style activities.”
One of the three projects – the Alexander hotel’s $2.5 million plan for a marina to attract visiting yachts to the island – has attracted opposition from the National Trust, which warned it could have a negative impact on diving conditions, as well as harming the environment.
Minutes to the Jan. 28 meeting of the Brac development control board, published on Tuesday, make no reference to the objections of the Trust or the Department of Environment and recommend that the three projects go ahead with some minor design modifications.
As well as the Alexander Hotel’s plan, which involves cutting a channel through the reef and excavating part of Salt Water pond, which borders the hotel, two marina project plans have been submitted by businesswoman Mirjana Mirjanic – one close to Carib Sands and the other on the opposite coastline, close to Scott’s dock.
Details of the Scott’s marina, revealed at the November, 2013 meeting of the planning board suggest a small water park will be part of the plan, as well as boat moorings.
The Brac planning board’s approval is not the final word on the applications. Cabinet is the ultimate decision maker on Coastal Works Applications and will be required to consider the views of the Department of Environment.
A submission by the DoE’s technical review team on Ms. Mirjanic’s application, recommends that only one of the projects is ultimately approved.
“The DoE firmly believes that a marina/safe harbor represents a national asset for Cayman Brac and the Cayman Islands in general, however, due to the small size of Cayman Brac, multiple marinas are likely not economically viable and therefore this application should not be considered in isolation but rather under the context of a wider development strategy for the Brac.
“Additionally, the environmental impacts of any marina development are likely significant and therefore the creation of more than one facility would exacerbate those impacts.”
It recommends the application is deferred, “pending a policy decision at Cabinet level as to the Government’s preferred location for a marina to support Cayman Brac.”