Plans for a new plaza on West Bay Road, featuring restaurants, shops and apartments, have sparked opposition among condominium owners on Seven Mile Beach.
5 Points Development has submitted plans for a $20 million “mixed use” development, including space for 35 businesses, 58 one-bed apartments and four rooftop pools.
The proposals prompted more than 20 letters of opposition to the Central Planning Authority from beachfront condo owners at The Great House, Plantana and Avalon.
Concerns raised range from traffic and noise pollution to a predicted increase in crime as a result of the development.
The developer claims the project will bring new amenities to the area and have minimal impact on traffic or crime, and claims the units will be of a high standard and will not attract what it describes as “undesirables.”
The Central Planning Authority was scheduled to hear the case Wednesday, but adjourned the matter after Samuel Jackson, a lawyer representing the Great House strata corporation, raised objections to some late amendments to the plans. The developer has been asked to re-advertise the plans and appear again before the planning authority in January.
Agenda papers to the meeting included multiple letters of objection from condo owners on the opposite side of the road.
A sampling of the complaints includes claims that the apartments envisaged are smaller than hotel rooms and therefore likely to attract “temporary workers.”
One complainant wrote, “We originally bought with the aim of having an exclusive beach condo, with similar neighbors to ourselves.
“We would like any development to help with making the Cayman Islands a better place, rather than gravitating to the lowest common denominator and having small condos with temporary workers in them.”
Another resident wrote, “I fear there will be nightclubs and open air restaurants that allow loud music and late night dancing.”
Other residents referred to the potential impact on their enjoyment of the beach.
“Our privacy will be invaded with people accessing our private beach from across the street and it would be impossible to maintain proper security,” one objector wrote.
Responding to the claims in a written submission to the Central Planning Authority, Kyle Broadhurst, a lawyer representing the developer, pointed out the property does not have a private beach.
He wrote. “The residential units in the development are being constructed to a high standard. The price per square foot in the development is higher than the majority of units in the properties owned by the objectors.
“[The] development will have a park and pools available to its residents. It will also offer shops and restaurants, which will benefit not just residents of the development, but also the rest of the island. It is anticipated that those amenities will be of specific benefit to the [owners of] nearby condominium complexes, who will be able to take advantage of their proximity to nearby dining opportunities.
“It is suggested that the development may somehow impact upon the objectors’ ability to enjoy their own properties. Some objectors even reference interference with their ‘private beach.’ There will be no interference with the objectors’ quiet enjoyment of their properties.
“The development is well away from the other developments and there is no reason to believe that there will be any interference at all. With respect to the beach, the objectors do not have an exclusive right to Seven Mile Beach, and given the public access points, they have no reasonable cause for objection.”