Plans for a $20 million, 10-story hotel on the northern end of Seven Mile Beach have attracted a slew of objections from neighboring residents who have labeled it “cheap and nasty.”
The developer, identified in planning documents as the Libanon Corporation, made a point-by-point rebuttal to the multiple complaints, insisting the hotel was not planned to be “lower quality.”
The Central Planning Authority was scheduled to debate on Wednesday the application for a 10-story, 129-room hotel on West Bay Road, provisionally named The Shores. But the hearing was adjourned and the developer instructed to re-advertise its plans, which were altered during the official notice period. The application is now likely to be heard next month.
The project, slated for a plot of land on the roadside of West Bay Road, north of the Kaaboo festival site, has attracted strenuous opposition from residents in condo complexes on the beachside. The CPA received 10 letters of objection from neighboring residents and strata representatives, who claimed it would dwarf their properties and bring congestion to the “quiet end” of Seven Mile Beach.
They also highlighted concerns about the number of tourists crossing the street from the hotel, which does not have beach frontage, to use the beach.
Representatives of Discovery Point, The Mandalay, Heritage Club and Villa Royale complexes all wrote to the authority to express concerns over the impact on their properties.
“The development itself looks cheap and nasty,” one objector wrote.
“It will attract the worst kind of tourist to the area. We will feel unsafe letting our children run around outside, knowing that the strangers looking for cheap accommodation are staying next door.”
Another objector claimed the hotel would attract an unwanted element to the quiet stretch of beach.
“It will be the residents who will be left to clean up after these unwanted visitors. Residents who are already negatively impacted by the noise and the crowds of over 260 people a day trudging through their properties to get to the beach. And how long will it take for those looking to profit from the tourists to move in? Selling liquor and renting beach chairs. Offering to braid hair and sell half-hour experiences on beach toys,” the objector said.
The developer issued a point-by-point rebuttal to all the letters of objection, insisting the hotel would be of high quality and was an appropriate and allowable project in a hotel/tourism zone.
“The proposed hotel is not planned to be a ‘lower quality hotel,’ and the number of stars of any hotel development should not be a factor when considered for planning approval,” the developer wrote.
“We completely disagree with the characterization of our project, as well as of the guests that will visit it.”
The developer added, in written submissions, that the hotel guests would be required to use existing access paths to reach the public beach. “Any insinuation that Cayman’s beaches are private, and for the exclusive use of residents of oceanfront properties should be rejected. Cayman’s beaches are public, and for the use of all.”
The project plans also include two pools and a restaurant.