Plans for new homes and retail plaza on West Bay Road

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.”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I am familiar with this development and was at this hearing. I was a developer myself and understand where he is coming from.

    Of course the developer has the right to develop this property in accordance with the zoning law.

    But there are some serious issues with the plans as submitted.

    TRAFFIC
    There are 11 restaurants planned for this development. That’s more than Governors Square, , Buckingham Square, Galleria and Westshore Plaza added together. The difference is that from the Pinnacle / Governors Square right down to Kirk Plaza / The Wharf West Bay Road there is a central turning lane.
    There is NO central turning lane on West Bay Road at any part of this development. The traffic and accident problems caused by this will be enormous unless the developer widens West Bay Road along the front of his development and adds a turning lane.

    LACK OF CONTROL
    There will be a mix of commercial on the ground floors with 2 floors of one bedroom units above.
    This is the case at Camana Bay. But with one big difference. All of Camana Bay is under one management and ownership.
    The plan for The Grove is to sell all of the COMMERCIAL as well as all of the RESIDENTIAL to individual owners.
    There could in fact be over 90 DIFFERENT owners each trying to rent their own unit. Each competing with each other and each not caring about the effect on other property owners, including their own neighbors, provided they get their units rented.

    SO-CALLED RESIDENTIAL
    There will be 58 individually owned ONE BEDROOM condos and STUDIOS above the restaurants and shops. Unlike every other condo development along the beach there will be NO two or three bedroom units.
    The units will will be too pricey, $2,000 per month, to rent to single professionals.
    So what is likely to happen is that these units will quickly become rented on a daily or weekly basis to tourists. Each owner will be required to register with the tourism board and collect tourist taxes. But that is their problem.

    The legitimate problem for the owners across the street on the beach side is that this development only offers small roof top pools. No one comes to 7 mile beach to use a roof top pool? It is certain that almost all of these low daily rate tourists will cross over the street, at some danger to themselves, to make use of the facilities of Plantana, The Great House and Avalon.

    Of course the beach is public. But how do these developments stop them using their private beach furniture, private pool and private showers? All of which are paid for by the owners.
    These 58 unmanaged hotel rooms will generate almost as many people as Plantana, The Great House and Avalon added together. Why should their own owners be unable to find a chair on the beach because they are being users by people staying across the street?
    The answer is that they will have to pay for extra security to interrogate every person using the pool and showers and then tell them to stop and just use the public beach.
    Can you imagine the unpleasantness, especially for the unsuspecting interlopers? It will be constant stress. As well as much added expense.

    But the developer won’t care because EVERYTHING, including the commercial space will have been sold.

    The Planning Commission is required to take into account the effect of a new development on neighbors, and the burden on them is too unfair and unreasonable to approve the plans in their current form.

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  2. There are 3 major problems with this project:

    1. TRAFFIC
    They intend having 11 restaurants plus 24 other businesses on site but, unlike every other development down West Bay Rd. there is no central turning lane. This would be a nightmare unless the developer widens West Bay Road to incorporate a turning lane.
    2. MANAGEMENT CHAOS
    The idea is to have 58 one bedroom apartments over the 35 stores. But every one will be individually owned. Including the condo-stores. Unlike Camana Bay there will be no incentive for any owner to do anything right.
    3. RESIDENTIAL UNITS
    They will be residential only in name. No 2 or 3 bedroom units and each one will probably be rented on something like AirBnb to short term tourists. Who certainly won’t be satisfied with the exposed roof top pools but will cross the street to the beach.
    The beach of course is public. But how do the owners there stop the use of the beach furniture, showers and their pool? This is THEIR property and will require extra security to interrogate everyone in the pools, using the water in the showers and beach furniture. Constant stress and unpleasantness.
    The solution is to require The Grove developer to provide a proper, onsite swimming pool. Like at Sunshine Suite for example.

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