LA meets on Brac for first time in decades

aston rutty centre exterior

The last time Cayman Islands lawmakers met in Legislative Assembly on Cayman Brac, the name “Hurricane Ivan” did not strike fear into the hearts of local residents, Bruce Dinwiddy was governor, and Juliana O’Connor-Connolly was Speaker of the House.  

Only one of those remains the same today as lawmakers convene what is expected to be a busy three-day public meeting at the Aston Rutty Centre. 

It’s the first time in 11 years that lawmakers have held a meeting of the territory’s main governing body on the Brac, although they typically have Cabinet meetings there once a year. Lawmakers have a diverse array of items set to come before them during this week’s meeting.  

Fund directors bill  

A bill seeking to introduce a new registration and licensing scheme for mutual funds directors and companies licensed under the Securities Investment Business Law is one item that will come before legislators during the week.  

The proposal, if passed, will require that directors of funds and investment companies either be registered or licensed. 

If the bill becomes law, professional directors, defined by the bill as anyone who is appointed as a director for 20 or more entities, will have to be licensed, unless they are working for a company that holds a company management or fund administrator license. The exception also applies to directors working for fund managers regulated by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority or specified overseas regulators, as long as the directorship appointment relates to the fund manager. 

All other directors and those falling under the licensing exception need to apply to be registered under the new law. 

The Monetary Authority can refuse to register a director if the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offense involving fraud or dishonesty or is the subject of an adverse finding, penalty, sanction or disciplinary action by a regulator, self-regulatory organization or professional disciplinary body. Professional directors must also meet the fit and proper test similar to the one set out in the Mutual Funds Law, including honesty, integrity and reputation, competence and capability, and financial soundness. 

Directors acting without registration would be subject to a fine of up $50,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 12 months. The maximum fine increases to $100,000 for professional directors acting without a license. 

Hyatt land rezoning 

In conjunction with the plan by owners of Grand Cayman Beach Suites to turn the five-story hotel into Seven Mile Beach’s newest seven-story hotel, Embassy Investments is seeking to rezone portions of the area surrounding the inland portion of the former Hyatt Regency hotel to facilitate development of a new resort that could be 10 stories tall. 

The former Hyatt has sat dormant since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, as the property owner continues to battle over insurance claims in court. 

The land on which the former Hyatt sits is a “split-zoned site,” according to planning records, consisting of hotel/tourism (allowing for 10-story buildings) and neighborhood commercial (allowing three-story buildings), with low-density residential zoning to the north. 

The property owners want it all to be zoned hotel/tourism. That application has come before the Legislative Assembly for final approval this week.  

According to the agenda of the Central Planning Authority’s meeting Sept. 4, “the proposed rezone is to facilitate the redevelopment of the former inland Hyatt Regency hotel site into a complex inclusive of: hotel, restaurant, spa, one and two bedroom condos, a conference center and retail buildings.” 

Motions  

Two private members motions have been filed and are expected to be heard in this week’s meeting.  

The first involves North Side MLA Ezzard Miller’s proposal to allow speargun owners to purchase new guns or replacement parts for the existing weapons.  

Currently, the importation of those items are not allowed, even though a small number of Caymanians maintain a spear fishing license that allows for the use of a speargun.  

The second motion, filed by Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, involves the renaming of two streets in West Bay after sea captains, and the renaming of the George Town “Swamp” neighborhood to “Caribbean Gardens.”  

A government motion filed by the premier seeks the grant of Caymanian status to one individual. According to legal changes made in 2005, any Cabinet grants of Caymanian status must be approved by the Legislative Assembly.  

aston rutty centre

The Aston Rutty Centre in Cayman Brac.– Photo: Jewel Levy

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