West Bay Road still open

| 04/03/2013

west bay road closure_0.jpgCNS): Although members of the interim government said they expected the first stretch of the West Bay Road earmarked for closure to close before the end of February, the road remained open Monday (4 March) and there was no news from government about the road or the legal claim filed by local activists. Government was silent on the issue after the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing was cancelled Thursday due to bereavement, and calls and emails to all Cabinet members were not answered. It is not yet clear if government and Dart have encountered difficulties regarding the closure of the stretch of road or if the legal action taken by four women in West Bay on behalf of the various opponents to the road closure has stayed the decision.

The controversial move, which is part of the ForCayman Investment Alliance between government and Dart, includes the eventual closure of more than 4,000 feet of the West Bay Road, which will be absorbed into Dart land, creating a new stretch of beachfront property for the developer. Tourism Minister Cline Glidden had said that the first stretch of around 1,200 feet was set to close last week to facilitate an upgrade to public beach in time for an international volleyball tournament being held at the location during Easter weekend and to improve facilities for the traditional camping.

Once it is closed, traffic will be diverted onto the Esterley Tibbetts Highway via a new access point where Governor’s Way used to be and the existing road at Raleigh Quay by the side of the Courtyard Marriott, cutting off the West Bay Road through route for what activists say is the first time in some 100 years.

However, four women filed an action under the bill of rights Monday asking a judge to examine the various issues relating to the road and find that the closure is unlawful and prevent the transfer of the crown land to the developer. Government has not yet commented on the legal action and since the announcement by Glidden and Environment Minister Mark Scotland on 14 February, when the ministers said they expected the road to close any day, the closure has become less certain.

The proposed imminent closure relates to the NRA-Dart deal signed in December 2011, which Premier Juliana O'Connor-Connolly has said the Cayman government is legal bound to honour, despite the lack of transparency surrounding the deal and the fact that an independent review carried out by local consultant auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has never been made public.

The deal itself has remained under wraps, though the early agreement was leaked to independent MLAs Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller last year and published on CNS. It is understood that the original deal has been modified but those details have never made their way into the public domain.

Scotland said the review by PWC found the deal to be “good value” and stated on 14 February that the report would be released to the public after 8 March, when Cabinet was expected to receive the final revised version along with the revised agreement.

The most recent amendment to the deal is understood to be in connection with the provision by the developer of a second public beach as part of the land swap. The Cabinet ministers said that a decision had been taken by government to accept a piece of beachfront belonging to Dart at Barkers and a small parcel of land by Smith Cove as part of the crown land swap rather than a smaller piece of beach along the West Bay Road by Victoria House, north of the existing public beach.

The Cabinet members all said that the financial value of the swap was the same, but in terms of practical solutions and the needs of the local community, this land swap was more beneficial. Scotland and Glidden both argued that the amendments made to the agreement during the course of the recent negotiations had nothing to do with clawing anything back in the deal or any questions about the value for money.

Related articles on CNS:

Road closure days away

Road activists turn to courts

Dart  to take 50% taxes  (Includes original agreement documents)

Category: Politics

Comments (53)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How is this not better than a small strip of asphalt??  It baffles me how some Caymanians can oppose this (from a frequent visitor).     http://www.forcayman.com/libraries/ckeditor/pdw_file_browser/images/upload/Public-Beach-Park-Olin.jpg

    • Anonymass says:

      No one is opposing a public park on government land (in the FCIA fine print, not the big picture). What is opposed is diverting from the plan to eventualyl have two roads in to West Bay. Traffic flow and emergency management and common snese tell you that this is better than one, no matter how big the one is. That, and the argument that what is being 'given' in return for the road AND BEACH ACCESS is equivelent. Without showing the numbers. – Even if the roads were equivelent, one is not better than two and there is no way that the beach access being given up can be repalced with iron shore access (by Smith's cove), etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great photo it really shows the plan in good detail I was waiting for something like this before passing my own judgment. I really have to agree with you on this, this looks like it will be a great place for everyone to enjoy.  I hear people complaining about the campsite being next to the highway but there’s clearly a nice size buffer from traffic and they won’t even be able to see it. The only thing is that they are not right on the beach, but no one say that have to camp at those sites, there’s still plenty of space on the beach if that’s where they choose to be but I suspect there will be people rushing to get spots at the campsite before anyone else because they are secluded and private, there should be more sites like this around Cayman. I am personally looking to take advantage of the bike paths so I can take a ride without worrying about getting run down a smart Caymanian could start a nice small business with a few of those bikes that have chariot seats on the back, I can imagine tourists enjoying a riding tour through this area or even a taxi ride to the beach. There will also be a need for bike rentals. I think the people fighting this just have their mind made up and are set on stopping it just to make a point whether it’s a good thing or not, the whole complex look beautiful and once it’s all done everyone will love it, outside of the folks that just like to fight against everything new and exciting.  

       

      Good ahead haters and thumbs me down and call me a troll as you seem to do to everyone who isn’t against this. If you don’t like it don’t come down and enjoy it when it’s done, it’ll just be more room for everyone else to have fun without all the negativity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart PR Machine – continue to pour the DART KOOLAID to the easily misled.

      You can fool some of the people some time, but not all of the people all of the time.

      As the FCIA details are released drop by drop, with the pot being sweetened poisoned grain by poisoned grain of sugar, but giving up something for every poisoned grain of sugar, we really have come to understand how terribly one sided was the orginal deal Mac and his French Fries were trying to fool us into believing.

      So the radical "destructive people" were correct the FCIA stinks.

      We now see how Mac did not have the guts to look at us West Bayers in the face to tell us that the FCIA was a "GOOD DEAL"!  Yea, sure but Mac go on, a "GOOD DEAL" but for who?  We now know – DART.

      You know what?

      FCIA is still an excellent deal for Dart because for every dollar of value he "gives" to the Cayman Islands people, he gets untold thousands of dollars in return. 

      Smart man, you bet.

      Fool Caymanians for being so easily fooled.

      We still cannot see the total FCIA Deal, Why not?

       

    • Anonymous says:

      The photo I want to see is the one that shows what happens after Calico Jack's…Is that a state secret?

  2. 4Cayman says:

    God has a way of working things out. If you look at the irony of it all, the road was expected to close this week and the norwester came and nothing happened to the road. Now at the George Town dock the road had to be closed due to the norwester. Does that mean dart will now close this road too and divert traffic through boddens road?

    So the excuse to close the road due to bad weather is pure garbage and I hope everyone sees the whole cover up that’s going on here. People of this island due not succumb to their deception – the deal or swap of land is not a fair one and is one side to darts favor!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Might be interesting to look intowhether there was permission for the mangroves to be removed beside Uncle Lukes pond alongside the road and who might be paying for the huge guardrail needed to stop cars plunging into the lake which is 30 feet deep. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Julie must be a coward!!… Close the damn road and get on with the next project. We need the work and you all really know its a going ahead anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not for fast, pardner. Evidently you really are clueless and appear to understand nothing about Cayman or its people. Hope you aren't actually living here, perish the thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      "We need the work" – this really sums things up. It doesnt matter abut the future of the islands or the people, I have work now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The whole thing is a crying shame!

    • Anonymous says:

      Really?  Its a damn half mile of road.   Why not devote your community attention to beautifying West Bay?   Isnt that more worthwhile?    Trust me, Dart will take care of making sure his works are beautiful, just likeCamana Bay.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Just like that pile of ‘food’ known as tiki beach? Grow up and smell the stale bread.

      • Anonymous says:

        Judging by your tone you appear to have zero affinity (and furthermore couldn't care less about it) with Caymanian society. A little respect would be welcome.

      • Anonymous says:

        DART Public Relations at work again!

        Caught ya! 🙁

  6. Anonymous says:

    Stick a fork in this issue as it is dead, let's move on.

    • Anonymous says:

      DART Public Relations Team – Stick a fork in us and we will bite your hand OFF!

      Just try it!

      Make a my day!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I hope the Government has come to their senses.  This is aDart steal from the Cayman People.  Caymanians gets nothing. Eventually they will be barred from the current Public beach and probably be charged a toll to travel the Dart Road, through his properties.  The best deal the Government can now make to honour the people's wishes is to pull out of the deal…period!!  Look at the damage this company alone has done to our ecosystems, look at the destructions of the trees, where is the storm buffers for the West Bay Road now?  This is not wanted or needed by the West Bayers…only a few.  If Dart cared about the people, he too would please the people.  XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop worrying about what Dart is stealing and start focusing your energies on the daily news of Caymanians stealing from each other, Aiport Authourity, NRA and the list goes on.  Start dealing with the elephant in the room.

      • Anonymous says:

        "tru dat" when dart  steals, it is an act of god  and therefore we should accept it as such. yes sah massah, one more lash  please cause i bin a  bad Ni!@##$, I has.

      • Anonymous says:

        That line of thinking has beenused to justify all kinds of stuff being ignored ("More important things to deal with"). Sorry pal, Caymanians ain't that stupid, and clearly you ain't that smart. We'll endeavour to deal with both, thank you.

      • Anonymous says:

        We are dealing with the elephant in the room THE DART STEAL

  8. Anonymous says:

    From the sidelines it seems that the CIG has entered into legally binding, valid agreements that it can't get out of but it is too concerned with its own popularity to fulfil its obligations. Expect this to cost the country ten times what it should have.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What a relief! Good thing I checked here first before attempting to drive back to West Bay tonight.  Not sure what I would do if I had a choice of roads without being fully warned in advance.   

    How about a story that's newsworthy rather than reissuing the same road one every week just to get the same old comments?   

  10. Anonymous says:

    The way I see it, Dart would have never built the road unless he felt he had a legal claim to the property that was being swapped, I am sure he has excellent legal advisors. There seems to be two possible outcomes here, one is that the road gets closed and things move forward and two is that the CIG backs out of the deal that seems to have been legally signed in which case they will owe Dart millions of dollars for the road he built as his part of the deal. This CIG will be hard pressed paying him back for this not to mention it will completely discourage anyone else from make deals with the Cayman Islands Government.

     

    One other question I have is how is there really going to be a Beach Volley ball tournament at public beach with everyone camped out all over the place.. It’s going to be a mess down there and it wouldn’t really look good all over the international news covering the tournament..

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think the volleyball tournament location will be a mess, wait until everyone who wants to access 3/4 of a mile of SMB wants to park there.

    • St Peter says:

      In Cayman and anywhere else in the world if you want to do a development of your own land then you have to build your own roads.

      What kind of government would be so Fool Fool as to make an agreement that cost tax payers for one of the world's richest men to build a road through his own land?

      Furthermore what gives the NRA the authority to make contracts to give private individuals or companies the tourist tax,  or any other govt fee or tax? Dont tell me that everybody involved believed that the NRA  can make decisions to give government revenue to whoever they choose or whatever reason they choose…

      Jeesh but some of you are dense…

      • Anonymous says:

        So if you build yourself a house would you need to build a public road to that house? No you would build a driveway or access road to access a public road owned and maintained by the NRA. Only the driveway or private access road would be maintained by the owner / strata.

        C'mon lets be serious, nowhere in the world do developers build roads for the government. The highway land is not owned by Dart, it is owned by CIG, Dart is building the road as part of the agreement. How does the taxpayer suffer? And which taxes exactly? Last I Checked Cayman was "tax free".

        Think before you speak.

        • Anonymous says:

          Evere heard of "indirect taxes"?

          Requiring a developer to build and then donate access or alternate route roads for public use as a condition of planning consent is quite common in the UK – I would think it's also pretty common in the US and the rest of Europe as well – why should local government pay for an access road or alternate route that helps a private developer get rich?

      • Anonymous says:

        What has this cost 'tax payers'??  Dart was a net provider of cash on this deal to government.  You dont know what you are talking about. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Last paragraph–look at drawings.

      • Anonymous says:

        Will the Campers only be in the Campsite area or all over the place including the beach, grass area, dog park and playground? You can bet there wil be people who will pitch thier tents right on or near the volley ball courts and say they have a right to becuase it's public land and for the people not for a volley ball tournament..

        • Anonymous says:

          It is a new cayman passtime at easter.  Parking next to a four lane road.  Much more fun that on some sandy ocean side beach.

          • Anonymous says:

            You guys are just perpetual complainers. Lets go back to making rope and become as all impoverished country.

            • Anonymous says:

              Goodness, suddendly it's all become crystal clear to me. Unless we allow Mr.Dart to do anything and everything he wants, we'll all be going back to the days of rope-making. Boy, have I got a deal on a two-part bridge in London for you!

              • Anonymous says:

                The truth is if we continue to give Dart all the rope they want,  they will hang the cayman people with it.  I cannot belive how bllind everyone is to this obviousl take over of our country.

            • Anonymous says:

              My, My, you Dart public relations team are touchy eh?

              Yes, some of us ladies have more back bone than the so called men.

              We will overcome against Ken Dart TODAY

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, and Mr.Dart would appear to be happier having dogs closer to the beach than Caymanians. Sure it was a simple oversight as only a complete moron would offer that idea to the Caymanian people.

        • Anonymous says:

          I thought camping was actually illegal here, but they allow it only over the Easter holiday for locals. Does this mean tourists will now be able to book a holiday camping at the beach camp site?

  11. Anonymous says:

    The Dart people have to be S&^%$#@  there drawers.  They know that the longer it takes to get the "deed" done the more chance the people will realize that this is a one sided for Dart deal and the people are getting s@#$wed.

    The road should not be closed until there is 100% transparency on the entire agreement and it has had a chance to be questioned and challenged by the people and the courts.

     If Dart had nothing to fear they would make sure this happpens but they instead want it closed now.  What does that tell you?

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG are the ones holding the information you seek, the detailed report of value for money from PWC.

      I'm sure a MUTUAL confidentiality agreement would stop ALL details being released to the public, CIG will only release details which are deemed suitable for public viewing.

      In my opinion the CIG have more to hide than Dart, Dart's plans for the land are already public.

    • Anonymous says:

      It tells me you all are looking for something that is not there. What do you think you will find? What? I can't believe west bayers are this stupid. Get over it .road going thru. It will be good for everyone. Stop being jealous and envious. You will never have the money nor the love for this country that this man does. Go back to partying and forgetting what truly is important your children's education. Fix that ,spend time on that. Make sure that they can speak english properly.That they can add and subtract, multiply and divide. Miss Gwen would turn over in her grave if she could see west bay now. What a disgrace drinking and drugs ,stealing .You all need God. Try going to church.

      Yeah I'm not Dart 's PR team . Get a life. Sick of all you idiots. You all are embarrassing the rest of us West Bayers.

  12. ex-Protestor says:

    After cutting down so many Australian pine trees and the clearance of land, I give up… just continue Dart Group… continue with the project. You already took away enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      The austrailian pines are actually a invasive species that compete with our natural plants.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let's not invite the Aussies in to the debate, for God's sake. Could be interesting, though!

    • Billy A says:

      The Australian Pines been cut down in the late 60's to make way for Governors Harbour. I saw pics on FB of ariel shots taken by someone that lived on Grand Cayman many years ago (think it was a Bob Croft) & also posted by Graham aka Tubbie. Seems that the clock has turned back.    

    • Anonymous says:

      These pines are not native to Cayman.

      And unless you live in a treehouse, trees were cleared from your land to build your house. 

      • Resident- says:

        What?!  These type of pines belong to Cayman from years back. They were here before any of us was born. When the wind blows through them, they release sounds that are good for people who have nervous problems which calms them. They should not cut all of them down.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    has anything ever been completed on time by CIG????