UPDATED STORY: Developer Stefan Baraud has been granted planning permission for a 20-home apartment complex featuring Cayman’s first rooftop pool.
However the Central Planning Authority ordered that ground floor commercial space should not be included in the project and that the development should be restricted to two stories and the pool deck.
The authority approved the application for the Hyde Park Complex, which Mr. Baraud describes as a luxury development, featuring two- and three-bedroom family homes to the east of West Bay Road. But it included a number of conditions, following complaints from residents in the area.
Neighbors’ complaints included concern that the pool deck, overlooking their homes, would be an invasion of privacy, and the introduction of a large complex in what they consider to be a quiet neighborhood of town homes. They also said commercial space, including a gym, on the ground floor was out of keeping with the character of the area.
The authority granted approval on condition that Mr. Baraud submit revised plans eliminating the commercial space and reducing the height of the development.
“The Authority is of the view that in this instance a three story building is not in keeping with the scale and character of buildings in the area and would detract from the ability of the surrounding land owners to enjoy the amenity of their properties and the neighborhood. This matter will be addressed through a condition of approval requiring revised plans to be submitted showing the building with two stories only,” the minutes to the meeting, published Thursday, state.
The minutes indicate 20 people appeared in person at the meeting to raise objections, including the height of the building and what they saw as vague plans for unspecified commercial space on the ground floor.
Mr. Baraud acknowledged there had been significant opposition to the project. He said he was happy to have the apartments approved and suggested he could submit a revised application for the gym and other amenities to be reconsidered.
He said there were wider issues across Grand Cayman linked to a lack of available land.
“We have got a real problem in this country; we are running out of developable land. The result of that is a lot of new development is seen to be encroaching on existing neighborhoods.
“People are against multi-family developments and that was part of the problem.”
He said land is cheaper and more plentiful on the eastern side of the island, but the cost of fill made it prohibitive to develop.
“We haven’t reached that far out yet; everything is still West Bay Road and South Sound.”
He said many developers are looking around in vain for land for the next project.
“We have a growing population and the demand for home ownership is increasing. The cost of property is going through the roof.”
A separate application from Mr. Baraud for eight family homes in Cayman Kai, which also attracted significant opposition, was rejected by the Central Planning Authority. The application was to sub-divide a lot in Cayman Kai for multiple homes. Residents complained that the application was against zoning and against the restrictive covenants of the neighborhood, which limit development on the lots to single-family homes.
Editor’s Note: This story was revised from the original version to include the conditions of planning approval required by the Central Planning Authority.