Planning changes cause alarm

| 12/07/2010

(CNS): The proposal by government to remove the need for approval by the Legislative Assembly to future changes to the planning regulations has met with considerable opposition. The independent member and the opposition members have all pointed to this particular amendment as being a dangerous move and one which will prevent them supporting the proposed amendments to the current planning law. Arden McLean said the amendment would circumvent the rights of the people and questioned whether it was the first step towards changing the land use in East End in order to facilitate the East End cargo dock.

The East End opposition member said that for five people alone to be responsible for deciding how land is used without consultation with the people was unthinkable and warned that if the law passed with this amendment the first people may know about changes to their neighbourhood would be when a garbage dump appeared by their homes. He said the importance of land use was such that the people who created the planning law had written in the need to consult parliament over any changes to it.

“The original architects of this law knew what they were doing,” McLean told the Legislative Assembly on Monday morning, as he explained that by bringing regulation changes in the planning law to the House they would be public. “I believe the provision was deliberate. There is nothing more important than land use. It is necessary that the people are made aware when there are changes.”

While other laws do have regulations changed in Cabinet, McLean pointed out that planning was the exception because of its wide impact on everyone in the community. He said there was no reason to remove the provision for the planning regulations to be approved by the Legislative Assembly and he wondered at the real motivation.

“I have been reliably informed that this government was going to change the zoning to allow for the cargo dock,” he said, referring to proposals to move the George Town cargo operations to his East End constituency, to which McLean has said he and the people he represents are opposed.

“Is this the first step in trying to circumvent the legislation so no one will know until it has been gazetted?” he asked rhetorically. “That is a very dangerous thing,” McLean added.

He said government could not dictate to people in a democracy and just change people’s way of life without consulting them, and only in Russia would governments do such things. He pointed out the need for people to have a say on such important matters and that was why there was an opposition. “You think opposition is just for opposition sake,” he questioned, pointing out that, while the government may never listen, at least the people get to know what government is proposing when things are discussed in the Legislative Assembly.

He explained that all of the people’s elected representatives had to know when changes to land use were being planned, not just the five Cabinet members.

The East End representative went on to implore the press to tell people what government was planning to do. “The people need to know that theirrepresentatives will be circumvented,” McLean said of clause 12 in the proposed amendment to the current Development and Planning Law.

Leader of the Opposition Kurt Tibbetts said that, while there were many things in the law which he and his colleagues could support, he agreed that unless this proposed amendment was removed the PPM would not support it.

Ezzard Miller, the member for North Side, also said he could not back the law, despite supporting a number of the proposed changes, because of this particular amendment. He also objected to clause 15, which would allow the governor in Cabinet to waive any requirements under the law if it was in the public interest.

Pointing to the need for the public to be informed of any changes to planning regulations, Miller said the use of land could be changed in his district and his constituents may never know until it was too late. He used the example of the current proposed National Conservation Law when he said that his constituents had been trying “to fight off environmental zealots” who could cause land use to be changed rendering land worthless without public knowledge.

The debate on the amendments is set to continue this afternoon.
 

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Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Leave beautiful East End alone!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can we please get 15 new elected members for Parliment?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Blogger 21:09 you MUST BE blood or party.  How in the world this cargo port is going to stimulate the economy? Who’s economy are you talking about? Not the Cayman Islands, maybe D*%# Island!  We don’t need this port in  East End, Frank Sound or North Side, perhaps it can go over in West Bay by Boatswaine, since you guys are harbouring the XXXX Premier over there anyhow.  It would be cheaper to operate the Port from West Bay, that is where all the business is and ALL the stupid Politicans are.  They have that BIG open space that is always empty opposite the Boatswaine Beach Facility, they need to put it to good use and they won’t have to cut down any trees or destroy any more roads.  They can use Boatswaine Beach as the Mega Yatch, Cargo dock and McKeeva Office, but for GOSH sake leave the Eastern District alone please.  You guys WILL DO anything for the love of MONEY$$$$$.  Do this for the people of the Cayman’s Please. Move the Casinos there too, leave the REST OF THE Island prestine for the Tourist.

  4. peter milburn says:

    To the other members of Cabinet.Stand up and have your say.This is turning into one crazy time in these lovely Cayman Islands.Time to get your copies of"Dont Stop the Carnival"Dont be afraid to be at odds with the Premier.He is taking us down the path of no return.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Democracy is soon to be a thing of the past in The Cayman Islands.  The Government if the day continues to take the power from the people and vest it in the hands of a few.  Effectively bypassing the democratic process.  I am sure the UK and their new approach to dealing with s is having a grand time watching us literally destroy ourselves.

    I wish they had the nerve to put put a stop to what is happening to our country.  The exodus of people will continue until democracy is restored.

    It is time for us to wake up and change what is happening  before it is too late.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Arden, Ezzard, Chuckie, Moses, Eddie Thompson and Woody DaCosta should start a new party and recruit other candidates for the next election….which by the looks of it will have to be before 2013 !

    • Anonymous says:

      Arden, Ezzard, Chuckie, Moses, yes, but ……………….. PLEASE!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

     "…..there was no reason to remove the provision for the planning regulations to be approved by the Legislative Assembly and he wondered at the real motivation." 

    This excerpt from Arden is dead on.  I am neither PPM or UDP therefore my comments are with the bias of neither.  Arden is quite correct, and if this provision is removed there are no longer checks and balances.  If the Premeir is so adamunt about this clause then he needs to explain it to the "people", as it was they that put him there and not him!  If the real reason is the facility in East End this is really sad.  We do not have to continue to live in the past, but it is important that we not forget it!!  East End is truly all that is left.

    I have known the Premeir for pretty much all my life and if it is one thing I can say about him and his character it is that once he has made up his mind (or had someone convince him) he puts on a set of blinders and marches forward.  It does not matter how many stumbling blocks are in front of him or if there is a light shining through to one side to give him a positive guided path.  He will not stop until the mission is complete.  He will always stand up, but he will never admitt when he is wrong even when he knows that he is.  It takes a real man to do this.  Mr. Premeir you would be amazed of the amount of respect you would gain instead of worrying about the few BIG interest you might slightly upset because for once they did not get their way.

    We really do need new blood.  the day of the career politians have come and gone but Cayman still retains the blindfold every four years!

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    The dictator wonders why he is in the spot light in the media and does not like any opposition to his ideas.

    McChavez, wake up and smell the coffee, the people are smarter than you.

    All these changes are all about XXXXX, control, manipulation of the system and its laws and of course self interest.

    Cayman, welcome to the darkest days of our political history.

  9. whodatis says:

    To those claiming that we are under authoritarian rule and or a dictatorship – tell me what western society is not these days? Or at a minimum – kindly point me to a major western nation that still truthfully and actually promotes and embraces the workings of true and unadulterated democracy.

    For example, in the USA the distracting never-ending squabble between Democrats and Republicans is nothing but a sham – and so is the Puppet … excuse me, President.

    There are people, lobbies, entities and forces behind the democratic and elective process within most "democratic" nations today.

    In a capitalistic world there is WAY too much $$$ at stake for these forces to allow a single "elected" clown of the worthless and disregarded electorate to actually run the show.

    Clearly the same is true in Cayman.

    However, unlike most of the other western nations – even though their democracy is a sham, the string pullers still happen to be the citizens / nationals / electing individuals of the respective country!!

    This is NOT the case in Cayman! This is what KILLS me! We have a history of bending over backwards, brown-nosing and elbow-nipping (like an annoyingly hyper Pomeranian) towards and for individuals that have NO voting rights, no love or consideration for the PEOPLE of this country and are only concerned with their own greedy self-interests!

    The situation is so ridiculous that OUTSIDERS are the forces behind our curtains – I would have a lot less to say on the issue if this was not the case.

    Honestly, I do not understand how we as a people can "honor" and "respect" some of our past and current "leaders". I surely do not – I tend to call a spade a spade.

    Many people call me extreme in my political views but I could care less – perhaps the ridiculous situation that we have allowed to be erected around us is an "extreme" one therefore it calls for a touch of extremity.

    We MUST  shake off the COLONIAL mindset that plagues us as a people – it only serves as a tremendous disadvantage to our psychological development. (Btw, no other positive developments for us a people can be achieved without us getting our minds right as a starting point.)

    Cayman, EVERYONE ELSE benefits from us wallowing in this stagnant mindset. From the oiliest and slimiest snake in the "developmental grass" to the innocent and pawn-like imported "slave laborer".

    Always bear in mind that we are a country born out of the typical Caribbean legacy. Not many outsiders truly love, respect, and wish us well outside of their takings, "sharing" and control of the situation.

    $$$ has a way of making an illusion appear as a reality – let the $$$ turn to ¢¢¢ and we’ll really see what time it is.

    *Lastly, to you Caymanian individuals that make up the boards and committees of the relevant organizations – I do trust that you can feel the tremendous "side-eye" coming your way via your computer screen right now! How do you feel? Are you proud of yourself? Was it worth the perks? Look the interested party dead in the eye and then yourself in the mirror – bet you can’t do it! Disgusting and shameful!*

    P.S. Consider the corn thrown …

  10. whodatis says:

    Dear Supporters of these changes,

    Have any of you supporters EVER traveled beyond the shores of the Cayman Islands?

    Have ANY of you EVER read a book or report on the inevitable result of over-development?!

    Can you people not UNDERSTAND and APPRECIATE the FUTURE appeal of an untouched and pristine coastline / region / area of a tropical paradise?!

    Have you EVER lived in a concrete jungle for an extended period of time only to return to your home of NATURAL BEAUTY and smile as you drive through the eastern districts acting as "tour guide" for your enchanted accompanying guests from said concrete jungle!? (I have!)

    Do you not understand that NO amount of short-term MONEY could EVER compare to the long term benefits that would be derived from the alternative to what is planned?

    Do you not UNDERSTAND that our TOURISTS LOVE to come and see Cayman "as is" (which is rapidly becoming "as was")?! What so many of us consider to be progressive development is actually run-of-the-mill western capitalism – something that practically ALL of our visitors are quite tired of witnessing in their respective countries.

    I LOVE my country but I HATE the attitude, shortsightedness, puppetry, greed and spineless nature of our SUPPOSED leaders!

    In a nutshell, we are being led by IGNORANCE. I will NEVER consciously agree to IGNORANCE blurring my better judgment.

    Get a clue people – wake up, before its too late.

    whodatis

    *Our leaders are making us look so stupid to the rest of the enlightened world. We have been here before people – remember the shoreline land grab back in the day? How many Caymanians lost out on (hundreds of) millions of value as a result of ignorance and shortsightedness. The year is 2010 people!

    2010!!!

    Are we SERIOUSLY this REGRESSIVE at this point in time?!*

  11. Say Aint So says:

    I have read some of the threads and most sound political or the posters missed most of the benificial suggested amendments. No Bill is perfect and will always  be faced with criticism. I too dont agree with all aspects of this Bill, however has anyone considered the plight of some of our Caymanians that have been given the runaround over the years in the Planning Dept and were unable to develop their property and spent time and money and found themselfs drowning in red tape ultimetly giving up in the end.

  12. Dictator says:

    McChavez will not stop till he has removed all laws and regulations and he will be free to do as he wants, without consequences.

    Please Ezzard and the Opposition don’t let this man get away with this, try and organize a coup like he did in 2001, if not we will be under the arm of a Dictator!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I trust you meant  a no-confidence vote? (Coups in the sense of something done outside of the constitution do not work; because they do not follow the best process we know-democracy. Though imperfect, it is the best way we know).

      So, we shall watch what the PPM do or don’t do and what the NEW UDP members do or don’t do, and JUDGE THEM APPROPRIATELY AT THE CONSTITUTIONALLY APPOINTED TIME.

       

    • anonymous says:

      Yes

      2001 is proof that the system does work if we let it.

      He needs to step down and let someone else lead. Our society is much too tender to accommodate the harsh leadership of a dictator.

      We can not allow him to continue like this.

      NO CONFIDENCE VOTE PLEASE !

      or a people’s petition signed with as many signatures as possible

  13. Anonymous says:

    Arden keep representing the people!  You are doing a great job!

    • Anonymous says:

      I  really hope that one day Arden will become the Premier, he is well deserved of this position. Since poor uncle Jim is gone I have never seen anyone around with guts like him except for Arden and Ezzard. I agree with Arden , there is a reason or some reasons for this, dont you see whose Portfolio this comes under?

  14. C. Charles Adams OBE JP says:

    Perchance late this evening I read your release "Planning changes cause alarm" first with disbelief then with horror.

    The proposal to allow Cabinet to change planning regulations without reference to the Legislative Assembly must be stopped.  As a result of a slight accident I am unable to register my objections but will write to express them as soon as I am able.

    Whatever else I regard the Premier as a patriot and hope he is not the author of these proposed retrograde amendments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Charles Adams, OBE JP. A man of character that I have known for >30 years. A true gentleman who has truly EARNED the right to be a Justice of the Peace in the Cayman Islands and a model for all who would come to our shores to make the Cayman Islands their home.

      Note: Mr. Adams has no need (and in my opinion, probably never even considered it) to appear anonymous, as he is confident in his positive contributions to our islands and knows that his opinion will not be judged as soley politically because his character speaks for itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      When a gentleman of the calibre and integrity of Mr. Adams speaks in such a frank fashion we ought to listen. He is one of those former expats who truly loves these Islands and has embraced it as his home and so I no longer consider him expat. There are few, if any, that know more about Planning than he.  

  15. Anonymous says:

    What’s the name for the type of Government that takes power away from the people’s representatives and attempts to instill laws without public debate?

     

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    We need this cargo dock to get this economy going. The PPM and Ezzard are simply trying to prevent economic recovery.

    • whodatis says:

      Please elaborate – I sincerely want to hear the argument in support of this cargo dock in order to get a better grasp of this stand-off.

      (Btw, I did give you a thumbs-down – just so you know where I stand on the issue at the moment.)

      I anxiously await your reply – maybe you can convince me otherwise.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know what ship "Anonymous" arrived on.  It must have been the SS Dictatorship, captained by the questionable "McChavez".  I had always went into McDonalds and ordered 1 big Mac and 3 small fries, now it appears they will be eating us.  Why the idea of a cargo dock in the East End of the island. Just the mere layout of the land should deter that.  All prevailing winds blow from that direction. Has McChavez forgotten what Hurricane Ivan did to that end of the island?  For over a month after the all clear had been given, you could not drive from Bodden Town directly to East End.  Fortunately one could drive through North Side and come mdown the "Queen’s Highway" to a certain point in the district of East End, but after that point, the road was all washed out underneath and collapsing.  Is this where our rocket scientists of Cabinet really want to put a cargo point?  Come on Caymanians, we have a runaway locomotive tearing down our tracks, help us stop him.

    • Anonymous says:

      How preposterous. Why on earth would these very patriotic MLAs be trying to prevent economic recovery of these Islands?!

      We do not NEED a new cargo port at all. Our population has declined and this appears set to continue. And even we did it should certainly not be in pristine East End which has no natural port and this will only wreak havoc on the environment.

      The same point that can be invested in a new cargo port could be invested in something which will really benefit these Islands.   

  17. Anonymous says:

    It makes no sense complaining about the radical plans of Mckeeva Bush because he does not listen. I am sooooooooooooo fed up with all the cXXp that Mckeeva Bush is doing & proposes, &of course I believe that he is a dictator because he does as he wants, but the truth is that he does it, we suffer, we complain, & nothing happens. It’s like water off a ducks back, he just continues to act like the dictator he is & does what he wants. I admire Arden McLean & I support his opposition to yet one more bit of stupidness by Mckeeva Bush, but we can say all we want & complain all we want, but Mckeeva Bush will just continue on his destructive best. We get what we asked for! We deserve the pain we now feel because if we can’t learn we must feel. One thing we can be sure of is that Mckeeva Bush is not feeling it, he is not suffering, he is living the good life & does not care about us. We deserve to suffer!

  18. Anonymous says:

    If every change to every law has to go to the legislature where it is beat to death and agrued over on a district by district basis then why have i.e. a director of planning?  Why not just have all of the decisions made in the LA?   This point seems moot since the opposition will be voted down anyway.  Another cheaper idea may be to just get rid of the legislators and hold a refferndum every time something has to be done.  Sorry now I am being facetious.  But there has to be a point where the people that are employed to make decisions can be trusted to make them with the best interest of "the people" in mind.  This would leave plenty of time in the house for argument over less important things.

     

    • Afraid to Strap on a Pair Also says:

      "people employed to make decisions can be trusted to make them with the best interest of "the people" in mind."  Please run it by "the people" first.  Mac and "the people" seem to have widely divergent views on what is best for "the people." 

  19. NorthSideSue says:

    This is one more step away from democracy on theway to banana republic.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why the need to reduce the polling distance from 1500 feet to 1000 feet?  What’s the rational behind that? 

    • I See you says:

      Ever thought that the rational behind reducing the polling distrance from 1500 feet to 1000 is that the developer owns all the land directly or indirectly which falls within the 1000 feet radius and thus there can be no objections to the development.

  21. UDP says:

     Yet again, another example of the UDP wanting to bypass the democratic process. The next election can’t come soon enough. And if Bush remains the leader of UDP, you know they will be sunk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Far be it for me to dispute your hope for the sinking of the " P.S. (Poor Ship?) Mac.

      However, everyone counted him out previously and now he is back with more demons than before.

      So, unless a new and better alternative than even Mr. Tibbetts, Mr. McLaughlin, Mr. McLean, Mr. Kirkconnell, (and certainly Mr. Miller) are offerred, we’ll GET WHAT WE DESERVE AGAIN!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Fight dem Mr Arden, they are so greedy for money so they can have more to waste that some of dem will do anything. Dey better be planning on dem Hurricanes that might destroy every thing this year. They go to Church but dey na fraid a God.Dey sing in Church too "oh be carefull little hands what you do" but they dont know the meaning of it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Official corruption will be the first noticeable outcome of this ill conceived idea.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I still believe that Mack is taking instructions from certain members, and now he is getting all the blame. I thought that he would stand on his two feet much taller than this, but I am sure that he could not be the one to come up with all this crap.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Cayman beware!!! MacDinejad is starting to change laws to gain absolute power control.

    Governor it’s time to wake up from your nap on 7 Mile Beach. Please do not let this dictator ruin Cayman!!!

  26. Tracy from Swamp says:

    Bla, bla, bla, bla.  Caymanian Legislators/opposition  and its people followers dont have any teeth. Pure gum.  Bla, bla, bla,bla. Stop talking and do like they did in the old days gone buy.  March!!  we had men and women then, not now.  Only bla,bla, bla.

  27. Ray says:

    Thanks to the opposition/independent representatives for bringing this proposal to our attention. This seems like a very, very strange proposal for such an important commodity. Hopefully common sense will prevail.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Also of concern is moving the polling distance down to 1000 feet instead of 1500 feet.

  29. Anonymous says:

    The cargo dock is going to move, end of story. As you can see, it won’t even be a debatable decision.

    You have to realize that the privatization of Georgetown Port will come with usage restrictions, you’ll have a beautiful new cruise ship berthing facility but cargo won’t be allowed.

    So with the inability to ferry cargo, you’ll need to find another port. I’d imagine that will need to be completed prior to the construction of the new berthing facility.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      :"A WISE MAN WILL FEAR GO"  So let us be careful what we wish for.  Remember, the hand of God is mightier than the sword, and  I do feel that mighty hand is about to move in to save the people of Cayman, because Lord, we are getting more than we can bear.  But your promise is true that we would not get more than we could bear, (so now it is our waiting time.)

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is the type of Govt. we have allowed to come to power by being "professionally passive".