Dilbert Marina flooding fears

| 02/05/2014

(CNS): A homeowner on Cayman Brac whose property lies on the  banks of the Saltwater Pond fears that if the proposal to develop the pond into a marina goes ahead, this may cause flooding in the surrounding land, including his own property. In a letter sent to a number of local and British politicians and officials, Robert “Peter” Bradshaw says the “unintended consequences for a project of this magnitude should not be taken lightly”. Noting that the developer, Cleveland Dilbert, who owns the adjacent Alexander Hotel, is “aggressively lobbying for this project to be endorsed”, Bradshaw calls for “a much neededdebate to clearly define national policy for future development of Crown Lands”.

The letter, which is co-signed by Carlton Ebanks, the owner of the Coral Isle Club, located next to the proposed channel to the marina, was sent to Environment Minister Wayne Panton and the two district representatives, House Speaker Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, as well as Department of Environment Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie and Planning Director Haroon Pandohie, and copied to the UK’s Overseas Territories Minister Mark Simmonds and the Foreign and Commonwealth Environmental Audit Committee.

Bradshaw writes that government is “under pressure of public opinion to grant a green light to the proposed marina project” but says he has “personal, serious and valid concerns”, primarily the flooding threat to the neighbouring low lying areas, including his own home.

“My objection stems from the proposal presented to government for consideration of a coastal works license as there is severe scarcity of supporting engineering and scientific data, bearing in mind the geographical location, to whether or not the intended works will withstand severe weather including hurricanes of whatever category the island may experience. This is not a matter of if but when,” Bradshaw writes.

He says the proposed one hundred foot breach of the existing storm ridge that protects the low lying area around Saltwater Pond “along with the removal of the buffering habitat, namely the reef, will increase the vulnerability of this coastal area, stretching from the proposed channel to the western end of the island.”

This was clearly stated by the Department of Environment in its report on the project, Bradshaw notes and points to the marine life that will be damaged or destroyed, which will impact the dive industry. “Such thoughtless surgery to enable this type of project, present or future, calls for a national policy with a skilled and powerful legally backed system of coastal zone management,” he states.

“The unintended consequences for a project of this magnitude should not be taken lightly, considering the DOE report; therefore, I humbly ask, as the developer is aggressively lobbying for this project to be endorsed, that he should be made to comply in earnest with the statutory requirements from the relevant government departments,” the letter says. “What economic benefits it brings, along with the unintended consequences, should give rise to a much needed debate to clearly define national policy for future development of Crown Lands.”

He says that developers are “interested primarily in the accounting benefits” but he is “solely interested in the detrimental impact to my family and way of life, which could be compromised.” Disputing claims that the project will increase the value of his property, he asks, “What value will it have if it is alwaysunder constant threat of rising sea levels, severe weather and not to mention the insurance factor if such threats come into play?”

Listing more of his concerns, he asks, “Who will maintain such coastal works in perpetuity; will it be the government or the developer? Will the developer be able to complete such a project financially and meet the statutory requirements? Who will be responsible for the liabilities incurred by any unintended consequences?”

Bradshaw also questions whether the approval of this coastal works licence will set a precedent of future crown property development “after the advice from their technocrats is totally ignored”.

He says the developer “has yet to allay my fears and concerns” and says the onus is on Dilbert “to refute the assessment of the DOE in documentform and produce his EIA, bathymetric surveys, engineering drawings and other supporting information for public viewing”.

Related CNS articles:

Three marina plans for Brac

DoE: Dilbert marina 'flawed'

Brac hotel closing in April

Pond smell could get worse
 

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Category: Science and Nature

Comments (25)

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  1. anonymous says:

    Many of you folks obviously have not seen the drawigns…there is a boulder groin reaching from the shore out to the reef….the cut is to the southwest of the land opening….prevailing waves will not simply go into the marina and flood anything. The waves would have to come from the southwest then take a sharp left turn at the shoreline to actually enter the marina….can't happen. While I beleive it needs to be considered carefully the comments below are pure nonsense…please, please get the facts before you post your rubbish on CNS.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Typical.  When government gets involved in anything it means government directly or indirectly picking winners and losers.  Not on the beach, next to a pond that stinks half the year and trip advisor/social media with people sharing this info  means this Dilbert project is a loser and never had a chance from the beginning.  Now with government involvement, it looks like the project will become a winner and the people with property, homes etc nearby will become the losers.

  3. Otherview says:

    Should we Caymanians be worried about the lack of comment from our former

    Leader of Government Business (now known as Premier of The Cayman Islands) Mr. Kirk Tibbets, and now  he is the current Minister of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure?

    It would seem that he should have the most  to say, regading this Cayman Brac marina development, as it effects all the aspects of his Ministry.  Mr. Tibbetts has made direct, published, comments regarding the new development effecting our precious Selina Reserve and the proposed new highway and golf course.  "The Ministry is committed to finding a less destructive route around the current areas known as the Salina Reserve and The Colliers  Wilderness Reserve which the National Trust has under it's protection." and  "To minimize damage or destruction of any sensatve ecosystems along the proposed corridor ………"

    See "Road compromise reached"  28/04/2014

    See web site below:

    caymannewsservice.com/sites/default/files/Extension%20to%20East%20West%20Arterial%20(1).pdf

    Why has our distinguished Minister of PLAHI not voiced his opinion regarding the breaching of the protective reef or been vocal with a comment regarding the proposed Dilbert marina?

    This may be due to his former partnership in business with the Dilberts in their liquor stores and the million dollars Mr. Tibbetts made when DART bought the business from Dilbert.

    I would understand if The Minister of  PLAHI were to recuse himself from a vote and comment due to this obvious conflict , but he should disclose this conflict.

    I greatly respect Minister Tibbets and his knowledge,  experience, and dedication to the sensible advancement of this country. (Guess who is really running the show)

    "The more human society tries to control water, through large, inane, projects, the more water 

    will control human societies."

    • Anonymous says:

      It is amazing that Kurt has been an MLA for the last 20 years and some people still think his name is Kirk. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bradshaw, where is your scientific analysis to support your claims.

    Grand Cayman has been allowed to be carved up with many quarries, inland canals and marina basins and has sufferred many hurricanes. Inland foding is going to occur both with or without a open channel and a marina, but just a ittle faster, however you will still flood if you are that low.

    Can we ask why did you develop your property so low in elevation to risk flooding in the first place when history and seasurge or floodng is so well documented from these storms.

    Open your mind and think about the overall economy andwhat a safe and protected harbour will do for the island compared to having none. I is not about you it is about the country and all Caymanians,specally Bracers.

    • Anonymous says:

      In trying to negate the comments of Bradshaw, you seem to have strengthened his argument by stating:

       

      "Grand Cayman has been allowed to be carved up with many quarries, inland canals and marina basins and has sufferred many hurricanes. Inland foding is going to occur both with or without a open channel and a marina, but just a ittle faster, however you will still flood if you are that low.

      Can we ask why did you develop your property so low in elevation to risk flooding in the first place when history and seasurge or floodng is so well documented from these storms."

       

      I am sure Bradshaw is not the only low lying property to be affected.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The whole project stinks on lots of levels.

  6. pmilburn says:

    Leave well enough alone.Mess with Mother Nature and she WILL bite you real hard.I agree that the Brac needs a Marina but NOT at this propsed location.Too much can and will go wrong if this shoreline is tampered with.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You all just don't get it. This is just politics. If the Dilberts do not get this marina then the other marina won't fly either and then a certain person won't get his property sold nor will he get his real estate commission either.

  8. Michel says:

    Of course it will lead to floodind and possibly erosion. I’m sorry but plain common sense tells me that it’s not the place nor would eliminate All of the smell. The Brac needs a Marina but not there. God Bless.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same thing will happen all the way up to the LP highway if the canal and marina are built in South Sound.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cynical analysis:  The Dilberts are only interested in making money for themselves and to hell with the rest of the world and what they may think.  The marina is getting done.

    Realistic analysis:  The Dilberts are only interested in making money for themselves and to hell with the rest of the world and what they may think.  The marina is getting done.

    Optimistic analysis:  The Dilberts are only interested in making money for themselves and to hell with the rest of the world and what they may think.  The marina is getting done.

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful and great letter, Peter Bradshaw and Carlton Ebanks!   May the machinations of man (to destroy the salt pond in front of your house, Peter and your business, Carlton) not take place.  Only the machinations of Nature – hurricanes and flooding – should happen to CaymanBrac's "Stink Pond", that has been a landmark since the Year Dot.  Signed, a Resident of the South Side, West End, a stone's throw from your homestead and business and The Alexander Hotel.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Finally, someone has seen the light.  Not only will Bradshaw's premises be flooded during a storm, but it is very likely that the premises east and west will also be swalled with water during a storm surge.  I also admire his braveness to voice his concern.

     

  12. 4Cayman says:

    Thank you mr. Bradshaw and mr. Ebanks. At least common sense prevails!

    • Anonymous says:

      common sense is noted… whether or not it prevails with the greedy, sold-out MLA's is a whole other bucket of crabs!

  13. The Thinker says:

    I think you have some valid points, Mr. Bradshaw and Mr, Ebanks.   Cutting through the storm ridge will expose people to storm surge from a hurricane, not to mention flooding of the airport…… and maybe the Alexander Hotel. 

  14. Knot S Smart says:

    Dem Brackers doth protest too much…

  15. Anonymous says:

    What I find very curious about the Dilbert marina is that there has been no mention of a "business case study". The Government is effectively proposing to allocate its own assets and property to facilitate a private development scheme and apparently without any formal or technical analysis of the economic viability of the project.

    Surely it cannot be possible for the Government to participate in a project like this without obtaining expert advice on whether it is based on realistic economic numbers.

    Or is the Government simply saying that it should be built on the whimsical notion that 'if we help them build it they will come"?

     

    • This is a private sector request says:

      This is a private sector request.  The Dilbert's have been told that they must do an environmental impact study before any final approvals are given.  The results of the EIA will guide whatever happens with this project. Government is not a partner in this. But I do know that if it is built it will be used. 

      • Anonymous says:

        "Government is not a partner in this." How do you arrive at this conclusion? The pond belongs to Government. The fill in the pond belongs to Government. The shoreline below high water mark belongs to Government. The seabed belongs to Government. The reef belongs to Government. The Developer owns none of the property and material that he is proposing to excavate and dredge. He is basically being given a free ride by Government and in circumstances where there is to be no proper economic or environmental assessment before the damage is done. Moses and company should hang their heads in shame on this deal.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess the thumbs down are from incurable optimists!

       

  16. Anonymous says:

    Of course flooding will occur once the cut thru the marine parks. Thisproject will be a environmental disaster with only greed and politics to blame for it.

  17. Len Layman says:

    I agree with Mr. Bradshaw and Mr. Ebanks on this.  I am not saying the project should not happen, just that it needs to be scientifically sound, not just politically sound, before the go ahead is given.  This means an in depth (no pun intended)  impartial study of the proposal and its effects prior to any work starting.