Quarry plans resurface

| 05/08/2010

(CNS): The peace and tranquillity of life in Mahogany Estates for both the humans and the flora and fauna is under threat once again, CNS has learned. According to information circulated by the Department of Planning, another application has been made by the landowners to quarry 250,000 cubic yards of fill from Block 38E parcel 17REM4, the site where Lorenzo Berry and Whiterock Investment Ltd had created an unofficial quarry before they were stopped by the Central Planning Authority. Residents, who have for years battled against the unauthorised quarrying, had enjoyed a reprieve since the CPA’s decision in 2008. With the application back on the table, the battle is about to start over — not just for residents but for the DoE as well because of the significant number of red listed species near the site.

The same quarrying application was turned down by the CPA in November 2008 in accordance with a specific regulation in the law which states: “No use of land in a residential zone shall be dangerous, obnoxious toxic or cause offensive odours or conditions or otherwise create a nuisance or annoyance to others.” The regulation remains in the new Development and Planning Law Amendment and regulations which were passed in the Legislative Assembly last month.
 
Apart from the obvious danger and nuisance grounds for the refusal, local conservationists also objected to further quarrying in the area. Evidence from the Department of Environment demonstrated that a number of endangered and red list species live in the forest on and around the property, including the endangered white shouldered bat.
 
The land in question covers some 44 acres of oceanfront wooded bluff, which rises to around 30 feet above sea level at some points and is home to a number of endemic and native species. From the beautiful Pepper Cinnamon and the Headache Bush to wild calabash and the Broadleaf Tree, there are many plants with Red List Status, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an international classification system that highlights species at risk.
 
Research conducted by the Department of Environment, revealed that the White-shouldered Bat (Phyllops falcatus) had been rediscovered in 2001 after it was believed the bat was extinct in Grand Cayman. The Lower Valley forest is one of six small areas on the island the DoE was hoping to designate for special preservation as critical habitat once the National Conservation Law was passed.
 
However, as the law has been further delayed it is very unlikely it will make it to the statute books before the CPA hears this application, which means the authority will be under no legal obligation to consider any reports by the DoE,  nor will the landowners be under any obligation to carry out an environmental impact assessment if the CPA was to grant permission.
 
CNS understands that notice of the application has only just been circulated this week and it is unclear when the application will go before the CPA.
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  1. Anonymous says:

     I read with interest the above topic ‘Quarry plans surface’.  From my knowledge about Beach Bay property, the once administrator Mr Lorenzo Berry has been legally removed from that position.  He is only a shareholder like many others.  Decipher the the puzzle.

    • anonymous says:

      How  interesting to know that "Quarry Plans" has surfaced in the Beach Bay property by the past  Administrator, Lorenzo Berry,  when new administrators have been appointed to protect the interest of other family owners.  This is not a one man show.  Where are the other family members that hold interest in these properties???

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the same company which made the application in 2008.  I’m not sure if the new administrator of the estate who one would hope has the best interests of the family at heart is involved with this company.  It would be very interesting to know who the shareholders are and if the new administrator is involved in this – I find it highly unlikely.

      It would also be interesting to know if the new administrator is aware of the re-application of the plan which they objected to in 2008.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He has aright to make money off his land. In fact, he already has, by selling it to every property owner who bought lots.Some of these owners apparently can’t even access their land anymore, and yet some posters think this is fair?

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    To be fair, we must assume that the members of the CPA are honest, people of integrity who care about Cayman and its people. 

    We know that those who were members of the CPA when this was heard previously in 2008 did take on board all the concerns of the residents and make a fair and proper decision and that they did act with integrity, intelligence and honesty.

    I wish to take this opportunity to ask each and every one of the current CPA members to consider the consequences of this proposal very carefully.  This is a low density residential area.  The proposed plan is a commercial development.  Blasting such a large area, so close the sea, in one of the few areas in Grand Cayman which was not flooded during Ivan does not make sense.  The developer could make a lot of money selling the lots in that area without blasting it to smithereens. The value of the lots has increased by around $50,000 per lot since Ivan because of the lack of flooding.  

    In all honesty, once the area has been quarried, who in their right mind is going to buy land in the bottom of a quarry.  If we get another hurricane, the sea will wash into the quarry and totally flood any homes built there.

    Some brand new homes have already been damaged due to illegal blasting.

    As I keep repeating over and over, we all bought our land/homes in that area because it was and still is designated as "low density residential" not commercial.  None of us would have bought the propery had we known the developer’s plans.  Look at the plans and see how close the proposed quarrying is to existing homes.  Almost in their back yards.  Will it take someone being injured or killed by the blasts to see that this is ridiculous.  

    Think about the people who have paid the developer for land which is now behind his illegal quarry gates.  These people paid fair and square for their land.  Not only has road access been taken away, they cannot even set foot on their property.  Has the developer offered to back the land back? Of course not. This is totally dishonest and unethical behaviour.  Can you really trust someone like this to stop blasting when they reach their limit?  They have already contravened their existing planning permission by some 14 feet. 

    Would you want to live in such conditions?  Would you want any of your family or friend to live in such conditions?

    This is an area of natural beauty. There are banana orchids, bromeliads, silver thatch, Cayman parrots, agoutis, woodpeckers, owls, bats, etc. This is not something made up.  Anyone can go there and walk and see these things. These are a part of your natural heritage.  Something you should cherish and want your children and grandchildren to see.  Is it really worth selling out the little natural habitat left?  

    This area was protected during Ivan because of the cliffs and the woods.  There was minimal damage to homes and no flooding.  Take away the cliffs or make huge holes behind the cliffs and common sense should tell you that the next time, it will be a very different story.

    I am sure you are all people of integrity and honesty and ask that you very carefully consider all the very wide consequences of this application. 

     

  4. The 3 R's says:



    In this case the 3 R’s are Rights, Responsibilities and Relationships. These three are all to be held in balance in a functional community. In particular, if Rights and Responsibilities are held in balance, it is possible to maintain Relationships. It is good that Part 1 of our constitution has a name that includes both Rights and Responsibilities.

     

    Contrary to what some posters in this blog have maintained, the property owner’s rights over his property are not absolute. Absolute rights over one’s property is not the general historical position and not the modern position either. It is evident that if a person sells someone part of his property in order for it to become that person’s dwelling, the vendorhas given up by virtue of the contract some of the former rights he had over the portion of unsold property that remains his. A vendor who sells some of his property in order to form a housing estate has by virtue of his contractual obligations to the buyers given up any rights he might formerly have had to engage in operations that are inimical to the new estate. That is why he cannot in law set fire to bush land adjacent to the sold portion. That is why, also, he cannot in law engage in quarrying activities which are for a host of causes inimical to the estate or to his contractual obligations to its owners. In the last case this is reflected in the regulations to the Planning Law, which forbid quarrying in a residential area.

     

    In the current issue it is evident that the original owner (or, actually, administrator) transgressed the boundaries of his rights both under the law and also morally, because he failed to balance what he considered to be his rights with his more newly acquired responsibilities towards his neighbours. Indeed, he appears to been charged with the further transgression of the limitation of his rights in the administration of the property concerned, which was never his own, but belonged to a family group to whom he was responsible for it.

     

    A question which the Planning Department and the Central Planning Authority should perhaps ponder in addition to their ordinary responsibility, is whether, if there has been a Grand Court Writ staying the administration of the property until that issue is settled, they could be in breach of the judgement of the Court by hearing an application which posits an assumption of the ability of the Applicant legally to carry out any works on the property.

     

    And if so, whether Government itself might not be liable to large damages as things unfold.

  5. Richard Wadd says:

     Anyone know the Status on the Proposal / Application made by DART Reality (under what disguise I don’t know) for a 40 acre Quarry (sorry, I meant lake), 50ft deep, in West Bay?

     Apparently, it supposedly is for ‘Fill’ for a Low-Income Housing project.

    3.23 MILLION CUBIC YARDS of FILL. 

    I’m not sure how many people could afford to by the Land, let alone a House there.

    It has reached certain Govt. Boards already, FACT.

    By the way, isn’t this area supposed to be an "Environmentally sensitive Wetland area"?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am a property owner in the area and was just served with a Notice of Application for Planning Approval via Registered Mail 3 days ago so I only have a few days to respond.  There is no mention of a Quarry on the Notice it just says "You are hereby notified that an application for planning permission for the purpose of LAND WORKS, AND REMOVAL OF FILL" so to any Tom Dick or Harry who is not familiar with this terminology this application looks like a housing development or could mean anything.  Shouldn’t it have said "for the construction of a Quarry"?  Surely this is a breach by the CPA as we need to be notified correctly.

    It was only bought to my attention by CNS (thank you very much) and I will now object to the works immediately as I do not want constant drilling in my back garden where my child plays, huge trucks passing down my road every day which is a danger to our children and noise polution.  Also as as there are no side walks on Beach Bay Road the big trucks hitting someone is an accident waiting to happen.

    The residents have objected to the quarry in the past and have shown to the CPA that the drilling has caused considerable damage to the foundations of their properties and caused great upset in the area.

    I hope the CPA shows some consideration for the residents of Berry Drive and the rest of Mahagony Estates and Beach Bay and the application isnot approved.

     

     

     

  7. 100% CI says:

    How pathetic!

    What a way to lobby for support….. cheap!

    There are people who follow processes legitimately and to the word of the law! Unfortunately, there of those who don’t understand the laws and apply tactics like copying and pasting the CPA’s boards names on CNS.

    It’s apparent what you do when you don’t get what you want!!

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      For those of us that do understand the law and it’s current inadequacy to protect and preserve what little precious habitat Cayman has left, better informing the rest of the populace that do care is hardly pathetic. Would you rather that the CPA board not be made public here for fear they might be singled out or shamed? Right, let’s regress back into a cave where secret boards decide the future of Cayman’s development path.

      In order for Cayman to keep it’s biodiversity and economic diversity there has to be a balance between the ability to reap short term gains on prime habitat land and restrictions that preserve natural resources for all to benefit from in the future.

      Once again, the shortsighted few, with apparent absence of environmental ethics and responsibility will allowed to make few dollars now at the cost of choking off local species and destroying their habitat forever.

      That is what’s truly pathetic about this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately you are so correct.

        An examination of the CPA membership will clearly reveal serious conflict of interests, some of the most opposers of the Draft Conservation Law and the last time a development plan was proposed.

        Why should the be secret, who are they there to serve, it is not just the politicians it should also be us who are affected by the poor CPA desisions. 

        Anyway if the CPA members can be known to the developers, contacted by the developers to influence their decisions in the developers favour then why can we people not also know who the CPA members are so that we can contact them too?

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Why shouldn’t they be on CNS? Aren’t they public officials?

      • Anonymous says:

        No they are destroyers doing the work of the politicians and developers

    • Anonymous says:

       100% – what is wrong with you.  your statement is absurd, absurd!

    • Anonymous says:

      To 100%;

      Advising those opressed by the Minister of Planning, the Planning Department and the Central Planning Authority are all paying a high price to lose tranquility and value of our homes.

      Yes the CPA Board Members must realize that they are not only accountable to follow the orders of the Minister of Planning, the Planning Department, the CPA and the Developer – for years their damaging decisions will be felt by us and every time we see these CPA members we will be reminded how they made decisions against the good of Caymanians and it is time for all people to know the Caymanians that are the responsible for the destruction of Caymanians

      I am fed up and disgusted at how many Caymanians are just part of the problem and for what, it just is not worth it CPA members.

      I am glad that I now know who makes up the CPA.

      Thanks 100% you go me mad enough to write this, XXXXXX

      [CNS note: The CPA minutes are all online]

    • Anonymous says:

      This is 100% WAR to protect our neighbourhood, publishing the list is 100% correct.

      Now we know the persons responsible to make the decision, who will they obey – politicians / developer or the planning law / people.

       

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why should the property owner be deprived of using his land without compensation from those wishing to conserve it for wildlife? I’d like to see some scientific proof about these species, compelling reason for protecting them in this location and a compensation plan for the property owner. I’d also be interested to know how one’s desire for a quiet walk can supersede an owner’s property rights.

    • Just Sayin' says:

      The problem with your argument is that you cannot have a business being undertaken in a residential area.  There is a difference to someone opening up a small administrative business where working hours will not affect property owners, to that of owning a quarry.  You can go anywhere in the world and hit that brick wall., well except of course in Cayman where anything goes.  It just means the quarry owner was a bit stupid in the first place, to buy a plot in a residential area in order to carry out quarrying.  Your bad, so sad.  Well, as mentioned above, it would be anywhere else but in Cayman.

  9. 100% CI says:

    If the CPA had done what was right the first time I don’t think we would be seeing this again…..the man business would have been going on and I can guarantee you no one would be complaining …….typical Cayman…

    Everthing a someone tries something innovative in a process whether it is to build a house, clear land, mix some tea there is resistance!

    • Anonymous says:

      why don’t you buy my house and move into the "quarry" then.  We didn’t buy our property in order to live in quarry conditions.  Its a low density residential area not a commercial development.

    • Truly 100% Caymanian:) says:

      I’m sorry to say but its obvious that you are someone affiliated with this project and will definitely benefit from its approval. Another Caymanian (if you are) ready to throw the rest of us under the bus for a quick buck!

       

      You should be ashamed. 

  10. 100% CI says:

    So what if a man wants to make some money off his land?

    At least it na no foreigna he selling it to to B!!&%$ it up!

    • Anonymous says:

      What don’t you get about this. 

      He’s already sold part of it to foreigners and Caymanians.  Now he wants to make their lives a misery again with his commercial quarry development in an estate he sold as low density residential.  Get it?  iAs in sold the land, not only to foreigners, but his own people under false pretences in a nice quiet neighbourhood, then added a commercial quarry behind the homes.  Right behind them, as in a few yards away.   Its like you building your home in a development and a developer coming along quarrying behind your home in your back yard.  Would you like it?  I don’t think so!

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s already made money off the land, by selling it to homeowners. So he doesn’t own all the property anymore. The HOMEOWNERS own theirs.

  11. Anonymous says:

     

    What nonesense!!!! 
    Did you know:
    Every one of you that has broken gound in Caymanhas quarried!
    This is personal!!
    Why is it that only one developer in the entire Cayman Islands is being sought after when his desire is to complete an approved  subdivision with a tender modification to the already approved plan?
    Can one not learn how to do business more efficiently and less costly? 
    What are you telling me here?
    One is protecting the Lower Valley forest, tell me how does this forest relate to the this development?  I can tell you how……
    Mahogany Estates inherited manyendangered species but only after he started to sell the land in the subdivision i.e  “white shoulder bat “, the Reverend of St. Alban’s Church and his crew!
    • Anonymous says:

      From my understanding he is not trying to complete anything. He is REMOVING it! Quarrying is damage to the land that will never to be recovered.

      Correct em if I am wrong….

      or

      Pay attention!!

      • Anonymous says:

        You are correct.  In fact they have already blasted an 18 feet deep quarry where they had planning permission to dig down to 4 feet for the purpose of putting roads in a subdivision in a LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL AREA – NOT A COMMERCIAL PROPERTY. They have been ordered to replace the fill they took illegally, which of course has never been enforced.  You can go on to google earth and see the gaping hole in the landscape.  None of the residents was against their doing what they had planning permission to do.  However, they have far exceeded their planning permission.  They even have quarry gates up with "Danger Hard Hat Area" etc. on the gates and the worse thing is that people own property behind those quarry gates and cannot get access to the land they bought from this developer.  When residents have objected to these contraventions and heavy trucks in and out, they have been threatened.  They have been told not to walk on the roads despite owning property there, etc. etc.        

        Those of you who are defending the developer, next time the quarrying starts, you are welcome to come and stay in  my home and see if you can endure these conditions. I bought land in a low density residential area because that’s where I wanted to live.   If I’d wanted to live in a commercial development, I could have built a house in Industrial Park.  Its not about foreigners and Caymanians.  In fact many lots have been sold by that developer to the very foreigners he claims to hate.  Its about abiding by the laws, not abusing them because you have friends in high places, and most importantly preserving what is left of Cayman for OUR children.   

         

  12. Say Aint So says:

    Talk about persistence by the owner of the quarry. I dont live in the area but I often appreciate a sunday drive in the area to enjoy the scenery. This issue needs to be put to bed once and for all. I will be watching the decision from the planning dept. as i’m sure everyone else will be as well.

    pissed-off Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks to the UDP Dictatorship you no longer have the opportunity to object, but OHHH yes wait a minute how about if we demonstrate in front of the glass house all business is done there any way because of our all in one premier Caymanians let us stand up to this dictator we have to stop him and his mad approve anything planning board and planning department.

      Residents in Beach Bay plan the demonstration and then we will come in support like we did for the road in George Town.

      Time to demonstrate our feelings words are too easy to ignore.

  13. Anonymous says:

    250.000 yards at 35 a yard ?

    What do you think is going to happen ?    This is cayman.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be very interesting to follow the money trail! 

      Now if we only had gambling then I know that I could win because it is very easy to predict where some of the money will end up.

      Not Blind.

  14. CPA says:

    Expect this to be appoved, the new CPA board seems to be just there to rubber stamp all applications no matter how outrageous.

    It’s all about build, build, build with no consequences.

    ANyone know how much Mr Berry was fined for running an unauthorised quarry last ime, as he must have made a fortune off it

    Or are there no consequences for illegal actions in Cayman>?

    • Anonymous says:

      As a long time, long suffering resident of Berry Drive, I can only pray you are wrong.  After enduring several bouts of quarrying in which trucks were in and out 24 hours per day, illegal blasting with no warning which caused damage to several homes and has left part of the road like a war zone. Trucks parked on homeowners driveways overnight, with the drivers sleeping in them in order to be first In to the quarry.   Landowners with land they are unable to access because their land has been illegally blocked off and made a part of the illegal quarry.  This developer is no longer the administrator ofthe estate, so presumably has no legal capacity to make this application.  He was ordered to put back the fill taken out to make the 18 foot deep quarry presently there amongst our homes. We will do what we can to stop this but I have a horrible sinking feeling that you are right.  There is no one willing to stand up for what is right. The mighty dollar wins every time.

       

      • 100% CI% says:

        What is it that you ppl always try to obtain sympathy by telling lies?

        I live in BB and I have never seem or heard trucks running in BB  from Mr. Berry’s subdivision, walls cracking? Mr. Berry took money from his pocket to get a surveyor to check on the cracks and blasting for peace and sanity and when he came to my house I let them in to do what they had to do….

        You ppl are pathetic….

        Suffering, what are you suffering from all your lies! 

        • Anonymous says:

          Hmm if there has been no quarrying why did you need a surveryor? 

        • CPA says:

          mmm, as he made around $10 million from his illegal quary, I’m sure any surveyer would be chump change

          Yes, us ppl are all patheltic for trying to stop illegal activity, trying to enforce a court judgment and live on OUR land without fear or damage from blasting or having our children mown down by a huge speeding truck

          Yep we are pathetic, but what are you to want dead kids for easy money?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Beach Bay is one of the only places left on the island where residents from all over can go for a jog, a peaceful walk.  The area is beautiful and should not be spoilt by the constant sound of quarrying and large trucks passing by.  On my walk I often see rare birds and Agoutis in the forest areas and it feels very Caribbean and tranquil.

    Please CPA and DoE put a stop to this, just leave one piece of Grand Cayman left to the wildlife, residents of Beach Bay and others to enjoy the peace and quiet of the area.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Left to the current members of the CPA they will approve the destruction of your community!  That is because they have orders from Premier Bush on how their votes should be cast, he does not care how Caymanians suffer.

      Do what the developers and quarry operators do, contact Premier Bush and the members of the Central Planning Authority directly (phone the Planning Dept. for their contact numbers – if they will not give you their numbers / email addresses then post that here on this website and I will get them for you) let each member know how you feel about more quarries specifically those in residential areas, here are the names of the CPA Members (from the Planning Dept. website):

      Mr. A. L. Thompson (Chairman)

      Mr. Steve McLaughlin (Deputy Chairman)

      Mr. Peterkin Berry

      Mr. Peter Campbell

      Mr. Ernie Hurlstone

      Mr. Philip Hydes

      Mr. Ray Hydes

      Mr. Gillard McLaughlin

      Mr. Rex Miller

      Mr. Allan Myles

      Mr. Eldon Rankin Mr. Helbert Rodriquez

      Mr. Antonio Smith

      Mr. Robert Lewis (Executive Secretary (Acting))

      Mr. Ron Sanderson (Assistant Director of Planning (CP))

      It is time that members of boards realize that they are accountable to us, the people who will now have to suffer as a result of their poor decisions and not just the ones living within 500 feet, thanks to the Premier Bush and his UDP government who do not us to have a say in anything.