Over one thousand people object to Emerald Sound

| 27/01/2010

(CNS): Berna Cummins, who has been spearheading the opposition to the proposed Emerald Sound development in South Sound, handed over a petition of more than 1,100 signatures of people objecting to it to the Planning Department. The signatures came from both those people living within the 1500 foot radius, which the department is obligated to consider, as well as others living in the wider neighbourhood and the wider community who are concerned about the environmental impact and the precedent it could set. Haroon Pandohie, the acting director, received the petition.

The main objection to the development has focused on the intention of the developer to constructa channel through the current South Sound Road from the ocean through to the main site of the proposed development by Bel Air Drive.

The meeting to consider the application made by RS Estates is likely to take place before the end of January, and Cummins and the others opposing the development hope the petition will back up the objections made by those living in the immediate vicinity and stop what many people think is a dangerous proposal.

Cummins said recently that the development poses a threat to the entire Cayman Islands and not just those living close by, as she and others believe this development could open the flood gates (literally) for similar projects. “I have not spoken to one individual other than Burns Conolly that is in favour of this planning application,” Cummins told CNS.

During a recent public meeting about the development a number of Cayman’s most experienced mariners voiced their opposition as they said it was a dangerous idea to cut a channel through the road. Burns Conolly, who is the architect on the particular project, said that all precautions have been taken in addressing the previous complaints associated with this development and the main complaints about potential drainage problems.

Anyone who wishes to follow and offer support to the campaign to stop the project can contact Berna Cummins berna@candw.ky

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  1. SMS says:

    is there somewhere we can view the plans? apart from planning or burns connely’s office?

    CNS: I’ll post a link to them shortly – check later the bottom of the RHS column.

  2. Anonymous says:

     Does anyone know who the owner or shareholders are of the development company?  I recall that it is called RC Estates Ltd.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous at 07:50 – So what do you want? A medal for petitioning against the floating bar and whining about this project? The floating bar was GRANTED a liquor license so GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON!!

    • Sweet Rebellion says:

      "Get over it and move on!" I like this philosophy of yours.

      When planning approves a project that will destroy acres of precious mangrove or iron wood forest…we should just get over it and move on.

      When government goes ahead with the oil refinery in East End we should just get over it and move on.

      When our north sound is destroyed by pollution and over-development we should just get over it and move on.

      When our island of soft fresh breezes and verdent trees so fair becomes an island of concrete and trash, we should just get over it an move on.

      When the education system doesn’t give our children what they need and crime increases every year we should just get over it and move on.

      When obesity plagues our classrooms we should just get over it and move on.

      When has this attitude every accomplished anything in this world?

      Maybe Mandela should have taken on your motto, or Ghandi…Mother Theresa shouldn’t have wasted time and sacrificed her life for thelepers of Calcutta she should have just gotten over it and moved on…

      All the people in the world that have stood up for anything, whether it be slavery, genocide, global warming, endagered species, human rights,…they are true heroes in this world no matter if they failed or succeded in their quest.  So like I said, show some respect to the people who want to make a difference in Cayman and take a stand.

  4. Mozzie Fodder says:

    What about the water main that runs along the shore of South Sound? The canal will go straight through it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Unna petitioning again?? At least all of the fuss about the floating bar has died out. Phew! Thank Goodness! So wha else unna want protest bout now? We’re waiting….

    • Anonymous says:

      Your attitude…is really disgusting.  People standing up for what they believe in and actually doing something about it is admirable and is exactly the kind of attitude we should be encouraging.  Especially in the youth, who should have a say and an opinion about things happening in their country. I’m a young Caymanian who protested against the floating bar….and that isn’t over yet…petitions are still being sent out and objections are still being written.

      Even if you don’t agree…you should at least show some respect.  It’s people with your kind of attitude…who sit anddo nothing but ridicule people who have the courage to fight for something.  Show some respect at least. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone looked at the signatures? 95% can’t even vote… Most are expats!

    …And didn’t Camana Bay have 3000 objectors?
    We’re lucky that they didn’t turned down, Cayman needs something nice like that in South Sound area too (of course the old farts in that area would disagree…)

    South Sound is the only other place other than the North Sound that has been dredged, why is it now so fragile?

    If this were to get approved how long would it be before a unit would be available for occupancy? I’ve been looking to move my family for a while and think this looks quite appealing from what I’ve heard of it.

    • Macman says:

      I too think it would be a good idea for YOU to move. How about right into the middle of South Sound? without a boat, life jacket or anything else that might support you and your stupid ideas.

    • Anonymous says:

      South Sound needs something nice? I guess nature is not considered nice any longer!

       Look at Caymana Bay, it looks just like any other high end development anywhere in South Florida, and I don’t see any tourist flocking to it. Why does South Sound need something nice?  Looking back over the last few years, it has been evident that tourism has not exactly flourished given the fact that several hotels closed down, Botswain Beach can’t seem to make a dollar, the butterfly farm had to close, several restaurants went under, so why do you think something else "nice" is needed?

      Also, could you explain why nobody else is entitled to have an opinion and only Caymanians can?

      You seem to be one of those who thinks development = good = money. You should heed the advise by so many tourists who have come here for years, stating that Cayman has lost everything that originally attracted them to the Island.

    • Anonymous says:

      You would be a fool to move your family there but go ahead, when your house gets washed away due to flooding, don't come crying.  P.S. Dredging the sound and is completly different from dredging inland canals. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is small enough as is.


    We don’t need to be cutting more holes through it.


    There is a lot of undeveloped canal front land. If you want canal front land go buy some of this land and leave South Sound beautiful as is.


    Do not ruin South Sound like 7 Mile has been ruined.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ll be pleased to sell them my canal front land… It’s not doing much…

  8. noname says:

    1,100 signatures on an island of 50,000 people is very significant. Its a petition, not a vote or referendum.  Further, for the most part, very large sections of that 50k people will not feel able to sign petitions (work permit holders (app 25k), government employees (app 6k), children/teenagers (app 7k).  To have collected 1100 signatures in less than 2 weeks reflects very strong opposition within the community to the development. 


    • anonymous says:

      “felt very strong”??? most did not even read the petition..they were just asked one question….I watched it happened at ALT Thompson hardware shop where you could hardly get in without being asked to sign. By the way, isn’t that the Chairman of the CPAs business?? can you say conflict??

      • Anonymous says:

        So because someone was at the door asking (not telling) you to sign the petition, are you implying that some of them that did sign it felt pressured, and did not know fully what it was that they were signing?

        If yes, You know what that reminds me of? on election day when some of the candidtaes were accused of handing out cards, telling people ‘who to vote for’. I’m sorry, but I cannot, for the life of me, can see how anyone can be so stupid or maybe a more appropriate word to use is confused. Im sure that you like many others have walked into a supermarket and seen people asking for donantions. I’ve seen people just stroll right by them and pretend like they did not hear them. Not everyone that is asked for something gives it. When I go to the store I dont to walk around meeting and greeting people, I know what I have to get, and I go striaght to where I can find it!

        Alot of people voted in favor of the new constitution, and did not know what it was about fully. My point is that people sign things everyday without reading it, it may not be wise, but it happens. So what’s yours??

        Yes- people feel very strong about the development in South Sound, I seen them on the news speaking out against it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha, funny thing is it seems that work permit holders, government employees, kids & visitors scribbled their name on the petition/s.

  9. Peter Milburn says:

    Its a shame that some of you out there just dont get it re this development.No one is objecting to the main development inland its the cutting through of the road to what end?Just to satisfy a few people that will buy a lot and have a boat and want access to the sea?Its a precedent setting situation that will open up other areas to the same planning permission.Whats going to be next?Lets cut a canal through the west bay road so that the mega yachts can pop over to s/ray city and  have a drink while they count their $’s?

          Its wrong from the enviromental point of view as the water inside this area will flow out into the sound and further damage our fragile soft corals and hard coral reefs.This development has to be slightly higher by a couple of feet at least to enable the water to flow freely so when heavy rains occur instead of draining away normally it will rush out into that end of south sound(red bay).You can see that very well if you go to the couple of outlets put in under the road to alliviate the flooding further down but one cannot compare the two re areas of water that will be pushed out to sea.The burm(spell?) is put in place to protect the adjoining properties so any excess water will find the easiest way out.

            I guess the bridge will become a popular area with folks fishing especially at nite.Will be intersting to see how many more rescues the marine police will have to do with the boat owners.

    • durrrr says:

      What is it we ‘don’t get’?

      "Its a precedent setting situation that will open up other areas to the same planning permission." – wrong. The precedents are the canals in the North Sound, and I am yet to see a shred of evidence that any of those canals have damaged the environment.

      "Whats going to be next?Lets cut a canal through the west bay road so that the mega yachts can pop over to s/ray city and  have a drink while they count their $’s?" – this is complete nonsense. What has a canal in South Sound got to do with cutting a hole in Seven Mile Beach?

      "Its wrong from the enviromental point of view as the water inside this area will flow out into the sound and further damage our fragile soft corals and hard coral reefs." – the swamp-water already flows under the road into the sea. If anything the canal and development will be an improvement, as there will be less run-off than there currently is.


      "I guess the bridge will become a popular area with folks fishing especially at nite." – are you anti-fishing too?


      "Will be intersting to see how many more rescues the marine police will have to do with the boat owners." – this is the best ‘objection’ I’ve seen yet. A single new canal will result in more boating accidents! Genius!


      The objections to this development are so weak, it will be a real shame if the vocal minority prevail.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree 110% with Peter as do most Caymanians other than the promoting architects and others closely associated.

        • durrrr says:

          "most Caymanians"? do you have any evidence of this? the only figure I have seen is that less than 2% of the population signed the petitions, and a lot of them were expats… so maybe 7-800 Caymanians oppose this, tops.


          A South Sounder, who is neither an architect or ‘closely associated’, but likes the idea of owning a house on a canal in South Sound

      • O'Really says:

        You are the vocal minority and it will indeed be a shame if you prevail.  

  10. anonymous says:

    The number of petitions are really irrelevant…what is important is the reasons for objecting.

    So far I have heard both sides and I must admit, the developer’s technical arguments on this seem sound as they appear to have really done their homework this time. The objectors seem more concerned that it is different and on speculation. Neither will really cut it at Planning.

    Although I hate to see any one digging offshore, given the fact that so much dredging was done in the sound before and it did no lasting harm, I do not think that little bit would have any effect at all. It is okay for those wealthy folks that have made it to object but regular Caymanians need the investment right now.

  11. durrrr says:

    So, even assuming that all "1,100 signatures" are unique, and are all made by residents of Cayman (and these assumptions are of course by no means guaranteed, as any fool anywhere in the world can "sign" an online petition), less than 2% of Cayman’s population object to this development. I think that says it all.

    • O'Really says:

      Far from saying it all, here are a few things it doesn’t say.

      It doesn’t say whether the other 98% knew there was a petition, had access to a computer, agreed or disagreed with the petition, were completely apathetic, meant to get around to it but didn’t; the list of things it doesn’t say is endless.

      The only meaningful conclusion is that 1,100 people cared enough about South Sound to oppose the development. 

      • Amen says:

        Hear hear.  I will support the project when they bring a petition with 1100 signitures IN FAVOR OF IT!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Excellent! Perhaps another petition will start circulating opposing all of the crazy immigration changes that are being proposed many of which will affect Caymanians negatively.