Property owners in the Cayman Kai area were advised on Thursday night that they should remove any encroachments on the gazetted road corridor before the National Roads Authority does it for them, bills them and possibly has them prosecuted in court.
North Side MLA Ezzard Miller held a public meeting at the Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre, where four different maps of the Cayman Kai area were on display. Mr. Miller said the NRA proposed to rebuild and widen roads in the area. The purpose of the meeting, he explained, was to try to get the cooperation of the land owners to remove encroachments at their own expense. Otherwise, the NRA has full legal authority to come in and remove the encroachments, such as fences, hedges, garbage bins, trees or driveways. A boundary plan of the area was first gazetted in 1986 at the request of developers, Mr. Miller said by way of introduction.
“We are not moving any road,” he emphasized. “We are simply re-establishing where the road was placed in 1986 and 2004. I know [the developers] put down markers, so every land owner should know where the road is.”
What had happened, he elaborated, was that the road was gazetted for a 30-feet width, but the government of the day did not have the money for the amount of asphalt that would have been required; the government did have enough money for a 20-foot width, so that is what was put down, but the Crown road is 30 feet.
Present plans are for hot mix to be laid for a road 24-feet wide with a three-foot shoulder on each side, Mr. Miller said.
He expressed concern for the safety of area residents and visitors, noting that traffic had increased significantly in the area. Not only is walking on the road dangerous, but there is also the potential problem of a fire truck or ambulance not being able to get through, he pointed out.
The NRA is in the process of writing to each land owner, he said. All owners will receive a map of their property showing any encroachment. Mr. Miller said he hoped this would happen within the next 90 days. The time frame for removal of the encroachment will be stated in the letter.
He expected that land owners would know their property boundaries. Anyone who does not can obtain a map from the Lands and Survey Department on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building, he said.
Mr. Miller was speaking primarily about Water Cay Road and Sand Point Road. Water Cay Road runs past Kaibo and ends at Ivory Sands, popularly known as Starfish Point. Sand Point Road runs past Rum Point Club. Both areas are popular tourist destinations.
When the MLA opened the floor to questions, a common concern expressed was about speeding vehicles.
“You’re encouraging a raceway if you put in a 30-foot road,” one man declared. That raised the issue of whether speed bumps could be installed.
Another person asked what would happen if owners did not get a letter from the NRA before they left the island for their summer home. Mr. Miller said anyone leaving in the next three months should give their name to the administrative assistant at his constituency office. He would then see if the NRA could get those notices out earlier. Notices will go the address filed at the Land Registry, he pointed out.
If an owner does not remove any encroachment and the NRA does the work, the owner will be billed for it. If the bill is not paid, the NRA can put a charge on the property, meaning that it could not be sold before the bill is paid.
The National Roads Authority Law (2016 Revision) states that any regulation made under this law “may provide for the imposition of a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for six months for any contravention of, or failure to comply with, such regulation.”