Road can go south, says NT

| 06/03/2014

(CNS): The National Trust is asking government to realign the East-West arterial road south in order not to encroach on what is more than five acres of Trust owned and protected land. Contrary to claims being made by the government, the Trust says the road can be moved. The local NGO had already expressed concerns about plans for the road since its gazetted approval under Section 25 (4)(a) of the Roads Law in 2005 but there have been no amendments to the plans and government and the NRA have ignored the Trust. The offer by the investors behind the proposed Ironwood development to finance the extension from Hirst Road to Frank Sound has increased the urgency to change the current route and the Trust is warning government it faces a legal impasse if it does not.

This phase alone will encroach on the Mastic Reserve and Trail as well as the central mangrove wetlands. As gazetted, the road extension from Frank Sound through to East End would also pass through the Trust's reserves where endangered blue iguanas have been released

“We are disturbed at the possibility that years of acquiring land and millions of dollars raised for these purchases could be compromised for road access when the road plans could easily be modified,” the Trust stated this week as the concerns about the road in the community grew.

“Under the National Trust Law, the Trust has the power to declare its properties inalienable and once declared inalienable, these properties cannot be sold or purchased. The Trust-owned parcels of land comprising the Mastic Reserve have been declared inalienable. How the government intends to deal with this legal impasse remains to be seen.”

However, the Trust said that if government reroutes the road around the areas preserved in perpetuity for the people of the Cayman Islands under the National Trust Law it won’t have any legal problem to tackle, as it noted the reasons why the land was entrusted to it in the first place, as well as its cultural and historical significance.

The NT has pointed to a catalogue of issues relating to this road extension, from the direct loss of habitat and the amount of fill that will need to be quarried and used for the road to the damaging facilitation of the spread of invasive species east, not least the green iguana, undermining the enormous ongoing successful efforts by the Trust to save the endemic blue iguana from the brink of extinction.

“The National Trust’s properties are protected because they are important habitats for the ecological health of Grand Cayman but also, in the case of the Mastic Trail, as a piece of our shared national history. To build a road through these areas will fragment and impair the important environmental functions they provide. To drive a road through the Mastic Trail is a fragmentation of our history.

“If this project moves forward in its current form, the serious implications for Cayman’s future generations will include habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and habitat change – directly, in the immediate vicinity of the road, and indirectly, in areas linked to the habitats being modified,” the NGO warned in a briefing paper.

The Trust said, however, that by simply making minor readjustments to the road’s position, the critical habitats which provide Cayman with a major tourism product, one of our few land based natural attractions, and allow it to rate as one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, will be maintained.

See briefing papers below and diagrams showing the encroachment of the road on Trust land.

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (80)

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  1. Easterner says:

    Billy McLaughlin for Premier. Certain he would do a damn better job than the current one!

  2. Kadafe says:

    As bad as they say UDP was I find it hard to believe that they would not consider moving the road before rubbuting it as Alden has..

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, please!! If ever there was a govt. which was directed by dollars rather than environmental concerns it was the UDP!

      It's as if some people get amnesia as soon as a govt. is out of power and start thinking that they were wonderful.  

    • Anonymous says:

      That's becuase despite his other short comings Mac was no Yes Man..

      • Anonymous says:

        Mac was definitely a Yes Man. You just had to know the kind of things to say to Mac to get the Yes response. Concerns for the environment was not one of those things.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Arden and Ezzard, please call a united meeting on this issue with the people of East End and North Side. This is now coming in our territory and damned if we will sit down and take it. Everyone knows that we aint afraid to hit the streets and do whatever we have to do to protect our territory. Its time to take a stand!    And, Bo Miller or BoBo as we have always known you, where are you on this? You still live in NS don't you? Come on, lets unite and sand up as one united force against this proposed travesty and defend our Mastic Trail.

    • Anonymous says:

      There you go! the first word out of  our Caymanians!

      let's stop this development! 

      why not  meet with the developers and  work it out? instead of playing the ass against progress.

      I have come to one  conclusion. We are getting  sidetracked by you  objectors.  While you all are bitching  about it, you are sending  signals telling  them we do not want anything to do with these projects.

      This only  give the government (Immigration/work permit)and the developers more reason to bring in their own crew to build these projects.

      I witness it from the Ritz.. They went through hell with objectors crying about the inviornment.Did it stop them? no!

      Do the local builders a favor! keep your mouth shut! it is going to come anyway.

      We are starving in this country. If you want to contribute! help your brothers.

      Bo could do with getting the sewer system for that project. Help him fight for that! 

    • Anonymous says:

      why you don't hit the street and demand a better education system and a trade school for the youths of this country……

  4. Turtle Stew says:

    Why is it small business are not allowed concessions too? We give concessions to wealthy developers whilst we tax the small business operators for the difference.  This  makes no sense when economically it's the small businesses and the middle class that makes an economy fruitful. The rich canjump on a Lear jet and go buy a dozen bar of soap overseas when what's earn locally is spent locally.

    so give the small man a break too and let the wealthy pay. Haven't we learnt our lessons yet from the previous concessions give away i.e. Ritz Carlton?

  5. Anonymou says:

    The hens are busy clucking on CNS once again.

    This road has been planned for decades with no money set aside for it's construction so the obstructionists can try to block it and perhaps lead the country back to grass huts.

    The environment can be protected and the road can be built as they are not mutually exclusive.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Did you naysayers look at the map ? All the land owners will be losing aprox. 1-6 acres of land for the road. Do you naysayers know what that land looks like on their southern boundaries? Its swamp heavy swamp not like the pretty wetland by Gina's house or Dart's new land where the new road goes through. The court does not need idle frustration to stop a road that has been delayed for 35 years. We need new projects to go through that will bring in more revenue. Don't you agree? 

    Oh what the hell save the forest screw the last of paradise. People are going to lose more jobs you're right go get your sign. Civil service needs to downsize anyway. They not hiring anybody, theres not going to be any construction jobs. There going to hire people from all over the world instead of hiring people from here. Plus they won't have to pay minimum wage. They can get people from Central America to work for a quarter of the salary . They will probably get the fill from out of the country too. Trucks will come from other countries and bulldozers too. All that costruction golf course and houses to be built and sold. What the hell just tell ironwood and Shetty "forget bout it". We made a mistake I'm sure there are blue iguanas and plants that are there in those bushes like the ghost orchids. Lets protest that too. 

    What about the Botanical park aren't those plants not from here? You know the pretty side of the park with all those beautiful colors. I know that there are medicinal plants by that east end house but further up the road they have some plants that are not from here. We should get rid of those plants because they maybe causing indigenous plants just a couple of feet away to die. Let us not forget the road that goes to the Botanical gardens and the roads in the park .

    People just don't understand there is at least one thousand people who enjoy walking through the Mastic trail per year as tourists. Imagine how much money they spend on the Mastic trail as opposed to golphers and patients who will be using the new hotel that will be built there? Eating in their rest.,driving rental cars or taxis and busses. You can really see how the Mastic trail or that heavy black mangrove swamp will really bring in the revenue. Imagine the suntan oil and bug spray that they will buy . Oh well yes the golphers will have to buy some too. 

    But the golf course will cutdown some trees like the links and the Brittania golf courses. But they will still be green with all that grass . One tourist eco professor told me that grass produces more oxygen then tall canopy trees, imagine that . Yep that won't be good at all. 

    But if they do take that 5 acres near the southern boundary of that one piece close to Mastic, rest assured more carbon dioxide will be coming out of every vehicle that passes by . I heard thats not good for plants ? Gee what a true disaster

  7. Anonymous says:

    If the road goes south of the Mastic (National Trust) property, which should be protected, then whose land would it go through?  Who is the private owner of the land south of that?  Could it be that they don't want it going through their land?  Could it be that they also have some control over the politics of it all?  We really need to check to see all of these things before we speculate and come up wrong.

     

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    There is no need for the road beyond Bodden Town from a traffic point of view – it looks like a road who's purpose is to open up the interior for development.

     

  9. Anonymous says:

    Alden is become more and more disappointing by the day.

  10. Anonymous says:

    oh no it can't……. oh yes it can….oh no……etc

    just another day in wonderland….

  11. Anonymous says:

    What value for money? How do we know how much the road should cost and how much duty do we give up. Isn't this the same government that complained about the previous guys giving concessions?

     

    This so called reallottment of Customs Duties is the same thing as a concession. Dart got customs duties off for an amount to pay for the new road and then there is a proposal to divert hotel tax to pay for a new landfill and the whole place was up in arms supposedly because he was benefitting.

     

    These are making the benefit to their project a condition of the development and that's ok? Obviously the problem was simply because it was the former government led bt Mac.

  12. Anonymous says:

    We do not need this road!

     

    Collect those 40 million dollars in duty and put them to use where they are really needed – the Dump, the port, the education system, the prison ….

     

    We do not need anymore roads!

     

    We already got more road that we got anything else.

     

    Its not like its going to cut down the commute time by that much. Further won't most of these tourists prefer the scenic drive along the coast rather than the highway through the interior?

     

     

  13. Anonymous says:

    Where are our four ladies now …this is surely more worthy of fighting for than a view which could not even be guaranteed …???

    • Anonymous says:

      west bay is their district… you should be asking where are Bodden Towners, Frank Sound and North Siders?  we are too passive and that is why lawmakers feel like they can get away with anything!

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Our four ladies? I assume they are where they have always been but, unlike you, I applaud them for their efforts on our behalf.  They may have lost but at least they had the guts to get up and take a stand for what they believe in!  Is this your time now to take a stand?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Didn't the Government just pass the National Conservation Law?

    The Cayman Islands have a large number of truly incredible indigenous flora and fauna. Sure, it may just look like 'bush', or an annoying lizard or snake, but when you start to learn just how many of these things are found nowhere else on Earth, they become something really special. 

    And definitely worth preserving for the future.

  15. Anonymous says:

    They just want that road built ASAP so their name can go on that plaque. NT should force them to wait. If it was my land I would stop it too! PPM seem more concerned about grand openings and big name developments than any other matter recently faced by us. Shameful neglect of your country men. Their priorites are all screwed up. And it is acts like this that make a country revolt. Arden, Ezzard and Mckeeva what is it that we have to do to reclaim our island? I for one never supported the North/East boyz together. But after the fight I see they putting up for us now, I feel proud to call them my representatives. Unity! OMOV!

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden needs this project to compete with Big Mac's accomplishment of the Health City Cayman Islands. What else can Alden say he has done for us other than put the country in debt and comin g back into office to grow that debt. True colors are showing my friends and if you cant see them, then you are color blind.

      • Anonymous says:

        Health City is NOT McKeeva's accomplishment. He just happened to be in power when Shetty came knocking. Same with this project and Alden.

        • Anonymous says:

          You still failed to prove your point. Obviously if Mac was in power it was him why the Health city project went through. If Mac opposed it, there would have been no ground breaking. Just like Alden and this road. If he want to change where it runs through he can change it. He IS THE PREMIER right?

    • Anonymous says:
       
  16. Anonymous says:

    In the absence of physical impediments, the road can go anywhere.

    Clearly there are certain "interests" who want it to come out north of the Botanic Park instead of by the Fire Station/Clifton Hunter High School which would make rather more sense.

    I wonder who these "interests" could be? Given all the excitement, clearly it is not just the developer.

    The AuditorGeneral would do well to investigate the land ownership along the gazetted route.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Another reason why we need to know who are the real persons behind the companies who own these vast amounts of Grand Cayman lands.

      Yes, we need to know the real beneficial ownes ot these lands – is it the invisible Master of All in the Cayman Islands?

      Is it HE who is really instructng government what to do?

      Not good people, not good at all.,

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm….this road was gazetted many years ago.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let me guess…… During the previous PPM administration?

      • A little research ? says:

        Hmmmm. If this road WAS gazetted years ago:

        1) the landowners knew that and should be rewarded for any $$$ gain

        2) the National Trust knew if too and should have planned ahead

        With a little jounalisitic research (CNS) this matter could be put to rest.  The same way that Gov Harbour Road was gazetted 15 years before being build.  Plan ahead folks.

         

      • Anonymous says:

        And your point?  For your information, the National Trust opposed this exactly from when it was gazetted. in any event it does not change the fact that it can go further south to avoid the Mastic Trail area.

      • Bai says:

        This excuse is tired and, frankly, lazy. Merely because something has been 'gazetted' or legislated does not mean that it is right. If that were the case, half the things people come on here and debate about would not matter.

    • TrutSaya says:

      I think they should form a committee to dicuss the possibility of discussing about changing the road. Then form another committee to review the decison that was reached on the conclusion of the first commitee. Then they can form a review committee for the whole process of the first and second committee's conclusion. Then we will be ready for the next election.

      • Anonymous says:

        i think we will need to form a committee discuss this forming of committes. in fact we need some consultants.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ohhh yes, excellent idea to investigate land ownership and include names of relates as well as the names of some of the players in this.

    • Anonymous says:
       
       
  17. Anonymous says:

    What a crock! Build the damn road already!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Screw that useless Trail and the NCL, I don't have time for this…..Alden

  19. Anonymous says:

    This makes no sense the CIGs reluctance to reroute the road just a little bit. I'm sure the developer of Ironwood who's footing the upfront money could care less if it's a little south. It seems like Alden just doesn't want to be bothered with making a change..

    • Anonymous says:



      Mr. Moffit the Ironwood developer is NOT putting upfront money to build the road.

      He is going to pay duty like the rest of us commoners.

      He just got government to commit to put the money towards building the road.

       
      • Anonymous says:

        So what was all the duty concessions that were talked about in the deal. Obviously Government is not going maximize what they can get from duty by granting that so if CIG has to put the money upfront where is the benefit in this deal? Maybe i am not understanding the full aspect of the deal… but then again who does? CIG is as contradicting as an atheist in chirch.

      • Anonymous says:
        The report said for the life of the project;not sure if that means until the project is built out or just when this would end.
         
    • Anonymous says:

      You are not the first person to post that the developer is paying for this road and that is NOT true!  The Government (ie you and I) are paying for this road out of stamp duties "projected" to be collected from this project.

      the developer is NOT paying upfront for this road.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, the developer is paying the upfront costs to build the road and hoping to recoup that money through Duty concessions.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, you clown. The fact that govt. is not collecting the  import duties will obviously not pay for the road. That is an entirely separate cost which the developer will have to bear up front.

  20. Anonymous says:

    That's the thing with theoretical roads, they can be theoretically diverted, or theoretically vaporized with the wave of a wand…until they are real that is.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, just like the invisible man called Dart.

      National Trust fight early becaue you see what happeed in the West Bay Road case, the Judge said that a case should have been brought against Dart and the Governmen while the closing of the road was under negotiation – when it was a theoritical road closing. 

      Had the case been taken to Court at that time the same Judge would have sad that Court cases are based on fact, not shifting negotiations proposing to close part of the West Bay Road, between Dart and the Government they could not even get the measurement correct 2,.500 feet became 4,290 feet.

      Fight National Trust, Fight.

    • mr. crabbs says:

      theoretically you are correct me thinks

  21. Anonymous says:

    Another day another set of lies by Premier Aldin and the Regressives. How can we trust them when everything is a departure from the campaign promises and the manifesto? We tired of political spin by a government proving itself to be untrustworthy with each passing day. They remind me of udp more every week.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, and McKeeva loves comments like these because they will evolve into pro UDP comments over the next couple of years.

       

      There is a reasonable chance that McKeeva will be the next premier.

       

      Ping pong politics. Sigh.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop trying to make this about McKeeva!  Alden and his boys lied to the people!  Where are those die hard OMOV supporters now that were on the radio and everywhere talking about it?  Don't hear a peep out of some certain twins these days!

    • Cronyism and greed at its worst!! says:

      The announcement at the CEO conference took everyone by surprise.  HUGE development approved (really, we never heard a whisper before that day?). Also, CNS I dare you. -and please team up with all other journalists on island- to audit the pack of lies list that 159 people were placed with the NWDA.  That statistic was pulled from the Moon.  (I sincerely doubt if the broken IT system even registered 100 people since June.). 

      Roads and statisitcs… Wow, this new (same old) Govt has gone "full on" to lie to us.  

    • Anonymous says:
       
       
  22. Anonymous says:

    Of course it CAN go south.  But greed means they do not want it to go south.

  23. anonymous says:

    Is the National Trust going to give me work and pay me??? If not, stand aside and lets get this road built. Simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why blame the National Trust for your inflexibility in the job market when there are so many other jobs available?  Is Grand Cayman meant to eventually turn into one large road, to make up for the fact that all you can do it work building roads? 

      • Anonymous says:

        One should add that looking the present set of roads, he is not too good at even his only skill

    • Anonymous says:

      you are so short sighted, nearly blind that you are not seeing the reason why the National Trust protects natural things to protect our Cayman Islands to keep it attractive so tourists will want to visit so that those persons working in tourism will have a job forever

      all you seem to be looking out for is yourself and only for a short time.

      but then maybe i should take back all what i said above because maybe your comment is another Dart comment.

    • Anonymous says:

      You did notice that they didn't say 'don't build the road', they just said ',move it a bit'. What's your beef? the road isn't bein built now so what's the problem building it right. Or are you just anti-Trust?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, you are simple.

  24. cow itch.. says:

    "Inalienable" you hear dat!  that means you have to visit the queen and get her to visit kurt tibbitts bar and see if you can persuade her  :))>)

  25. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering when National Trust was going to speak out. They seem weak on the issue because they have to go up against government.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true, it takes a lot of courage for anyone to speak out against government when they side with developers to do things harmful to the Cayman Islands.  All you have to do is look at the West Bay Road how Dart took the road and government and the court is protecting him.

      • Anonymous says:

        The difference is that this one has Eastenders and Northsiders in the mix and we will riot if we have to! Check our history about taking a stand ..

        • Anonymous says:

          Yea a stand against progress!!

        • Anonymous says: