2012-06-19 Encouraging signs for hotels[+]
2012-05-16 Dallas flights to boost tourism [+]
2012-05-16 Cayman Islands market update [+]
Lawmakers Halt Emerald Sound Projects
The proposed Emerald Sound development would be built between Bel Air Drive and Old Crewe Road. – PHOTO: SUBMITTED
It appears the Emerald Sound development has been stopped in its tracks. A George Town lawmaker said Tuesday night that members of the ruling United Democratic Party are not supporting the developer’s application to obtain a coastal works licence for the controversial South Sound project.Prednisolone 40mgMike Adam, Minister of Community Affairs, Gender Affairs and Housing, said, “Caucus did not support it, so it would not be appropriate to take it to Cabinet because it would not have gotten support there, either.” Contacted for a response, Emerald Sound’s chief architect Burns Conolly said, “No comment. Other than I do realise elections are upcoming. End of comment.”A group of community members called Protect South Sound organised in opposition to the development, held petition drives and otherwise challenged the proposed canal, dredging, road and bridgeworks. “On behalf of the objectors to the Emerald Sound development, we are very pleased by the news that the Coastal Works Licence will not be approved and that common sense has prevailed in protecting this area of immense environmental and cultural importance to the people of the Cayman Islands,” said Katrina Jurn of Protect South Sound.Fragmented AuthorityIn early August, the Central Planning Authority approved the planning application for the inland aspects of the 91-acre development between Old Crewe Road and Bel Air Drive. In late September, the National Roads Authority initiated the process to swap public land now occupied by the road in exchange for land owned by developer Rene Hislop’s RC Estates Ltd. The Roads Law grants the roads authority power to exchange land in order to relocate a road, without needing Cabinet approval. However, Cabinet approval is required for the coastal aspects of the development, such as the channel connecting the canal to the sea, and associated dredging of 0.7 acres of South Sound.Mr. Adam expressed concern about the fragmentation of authority when approving multifaceted projects. “Although the way the process works, they go to the CPA, CPA approved it. Approving a development requires coastal access. I think the whole process needs to be reformed so we don’t have those glitches,” he said.“I understand they are working with the NRA as well in doing the road works that were proposed for the development. That has not come to Cabinet as far as I know, I don’t think it needs to go to Cabinet. “We are looking at some modifications and amendments so we don’t have these kinds of issues,” he said.Ms Jurn said, “It is very encouraging that the UDP Government has listened to the concerns of the thousands of Caymanians and residents who voiced their concerns and objection to the development, and also the expert opinions who advised against it. Over 2,200 formal written objections to this development were made, making it one of, if not the most (formally) objected to development in the history of the Cayman Islands.”South Sound Road Land SwapThe developer has proposed relocating South Sound Road some 30 to 75 feet inland, with the new road being 6 feet above sea level, rather than the current 3 feet. The developer has indicated the existing South Sound Road would remain in place as a private access road for future homes on 22 seaside lots also owned by RC Estates. Objectors claim the land swap is not equitable.People who will be affected by the proposal have until 23 November to submit their input to the roads authority, which published notices in the Compass about the land exchange on 23 and 30 September.