Dart removes posts blocking beach access

| 18/04/2011

(CNS): Wooden posts erected along the various access points along the north end of Seven Mile Beach have been removed. The barriers, which were placed there by Dart Reality, were taken down on Friday following a meeting held in West Bay on Thursday evening in which a group of residents had said they would taken them down themselves if the developer didn’t remove them. The posts were placed at the head of track ways along a number entry points to the beachfront on land recently purchased by Dart. Regardless of private ownership of beachfront property, from the high-water mark to the sea the beach belongs to the public, and as a result, access to the beach has been an important factor in preserving the people’s right to use it.

With Easter now only days away, when many people follow the long held tradition of camping out on the beach for the weekend, the appearance of the posts along one of the favourite camping sites had cause real concern. However, the developer, who stated that the posts had been placed there to stop people stealing sand and not from getting access to the beach, announced that the posts had been removed.

"We understand people are concerned about the loss of vehicular access to the beach, especially as we approach the Easter weekend when camping is an island-wide tradition. In response to these concerns, we have removed the posts which were installed at the entrances to beach properties owned by Dart Realty on Seven Mile Beach, and local residents and visitors once again, have full vehicular access to the beaches," Ken Hydes, from Dart’s management team said in the statement .

"The posts were installed simply to prevent ‘stealing sand’ and it was never our intention to restrict public access to the beach. Now that vehicular access has been restored, we hope that the community will come together to stop the mining of sand and protect the beaches.”

He added that all of Dart’s beach properties are available for everyone’s enjoyment over the Easter weekend and at any time as he wished everyone a happy Easter.

It was not clear, however, whether the removal of the posts is a temporary measure to facilitate access for camping over the coming weekend or a more long term move.

Dart has already announced its intention to build a new beach front resort in the area by moving the West Bay Road, which residents believe will permanently close off access to the beach in one of the last remaining stretches of Seven Mile Beach which has not yet been developed.

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  1. HistoryRepeatsItself says:

    Its just the beginning my ppl………….

  2. Anonymous says:

    well played dart…they have great p.r. people….
    throw the west bayers a bone to keep them happy….

  3. Libertarian says:

    ***** No offence to Dart who is merely being a businessman… but just like you look out for you, we must look out for we! I personally blame both the UDP/PPM, previous local governments, and the UK government for not implementing strong laws to protect our people from being restricted from the beaches and natural resources here. I don’t blame Dart at all! The fault is in our local/UK governments failure to enforce the idea that our beaches are not man-made and hence cannot or should never be privately owned, bought or sold.*****

    • Anonymous says:

      We are not restricted from the beaches. There are numerous public beaches on Seven Mile Beach and around the island for us to enjoy. 

      All other land is private, plain and simple.

      There are lots of access walk ways to the beach also to allow people to get to the beach and walk along.

      We don’t have the right to park a car, make a tent, leave the trash and go to the toilet in the bush on Government land or private land.

      Please be thankful that we have been allowed thus far to use these undeveloped spaces. My concern is that now so much anger and bad press has been generated all private land owners will restrict access on to their land.

      That’s what you get when you look a gift horse in the mouth. I guess we only have ourselves to blame. 



    • Anonymous says:

      Somewhere in the past a business decision, whether conflicted or not, was made that in order for investment in beach front property, some private beach needed to go with it.  Vegetation level restriction did not provide this.  Either way legislation was enacted and you cannot go back without exposing the island to more un-winnable litigation.

      I don’t understand the man-made argument as this would mean all land except a few parcels that were artificially created shouldn’t be sold.

      • Libertarian says:

        ***** “I don’t understand the man-made argument as this would mean all land except a few parcels that were artificially created shouldn’t be sold.” Exactly! I believe no land should ever be privately owned, except for the circumference of land that borders around ones house or business establishment. And the measurement of that land should be legislated no more than given feet from the structure. And no one should purchaseundeveloped land without signing an agreement of hefty fines imposed of them if they should fail to cultivate the land or develop upon it within a year’s time. In regards to one’s residence, what more privacy would a man need than the privacy of no more than 30 to 40 feet maximum length from his home or establishment? And what goes for one person, should go for all, because we are a very small island with increasing population. Presently, the lands are “enslaved” by wealthy folk or well-off Caymanians who believe the false notion of Capitalism that you can privately own what God has put on earth for everyone. The sea remains free from such faulty ideas because it is not solid or of matter. But our beaches and access to them are being threatened. Am I on the side of the socialist, because like a georgist, I declare that all natural resources and things of nature, untouched by the labor of a man’s hands, brawn, and instruments of his production, belong to us all equally? Simply put, I am a libertarian that believes in absolute liberty, but as well I believe in the “unity” of life – interdependence. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will live to see the day that the governments around the world including this one, will choose to respect such ideals and craft such laws to benefit the living. They would prefer to benefit themselves instead – this is very sad! *****

  4. MER says:

    It is obvious Dart cares and does more for our islands than our own Government! Our MLA’s would have taken months to acknowledge the people’s thoughts much less do something about them!

  5. nauticalone says:

    Good job to all who protested against Dart Realty on this matter!

    And thank you Dart Realty for listening and acting to correct same promptly.

    Additionally Poor job on the part of the Governments (plural) of Cayman of several decades now on not adequately addressing such matters and of no Environmental Law nor effective National Plan….that includes securing adequate beach areas/facilities for the people of Cayman.

    Allowing unplanned shortsighted development of these small islands is breeding Social discontent. Many are not sure even why they are feeling discontent….and disenfranchised….but it is no doubt that we are experiencing much more negative effects today than just a decade or two ago.
    Even with sooooooo much money!

  6. Annoymous says:

     This is the best news every.  When women come together in this community to speak about something as serious as this they should be given the time of day.  I note from the TV news that Mr. Hydes stated that they could go back up again.  But I recall under the laws if a specific area has been used as a public beach access for over 20years and can be determined to be so then the access cannot be blocked.  Personally, I do not see how it’s possible to build on this strip of land.  The Govt. could consider making some amendments in planning to this area to allow it to continue to be used as a beach access.  I disagree that people should be banned from stealing the sand, but then again the Police must also do their jobs as it is illegal to take sand from the beach.  Policing is the issue here, and if the owner is so concerned about the sand being removed then put a guard there to protect this asset that’s causing them such grave concern that they would have to block it’s access.

    So far Dart has been well received in this country, I would strongly suggest to this organization that they do not engage in rocking the boat too often going forward, people won’t stand for it much longer.

    It is also in the works that the Dart organization is planning on taking up a section of the 7mile strip (between Calico Jacks and Tiki Beach to increase the beachfront for the hotel they recently purchased, which our notable Premier has again waived his poison pen to give away so freely without asking his constituents how they feel about this decision.  Again, we cannot keep giving away, and getting nothing in return.  I personally feel that this move of interrupting the 7mile beach road will bring much protest from the people of this country.  If it does go forward, it will be revoked in 2013 if the people have to go to England for assistance.

    I also would recommend to this Govt. that they need to stop the dishing out of so many plans and changes, etc. to the media in their press releases all at once, you are confusing your constituents and that’s only leading to your further demise as a ruling party.

    People are very tired of all the government’s  farfetched planning initiatives and are sitting waiting to make the change in 2013.

    I congratulate this group of citizens your  voice was heard and please continue to raise concerns when it’s necessary.

  7. A shoddy idea... says:

     At least they listened to the concerns of the public. I have to give much respect to that. 

    But still, what were they thinking?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry if anyone disagrees with me, but I feel the need to say a bit on this matter. First of all let me state. YES, I AM CAYMANIAN, and not “no Johnny come lately” either. I can trace my roots back to some of the very first settlers! So there before we start pelting those “who you think you are” rocks, let’s get that established.

    Now on to the meat of the matter. Beach Access! Caymanians, we only have ourselves and our forefathers/ancestors to blame. Because, guess what, we owned the land & we sold it. So it is no longer ours. If I buy a car from CarCity, they can not tell me I can’t drive it in the rain or carry tools in it. It is my car & I chose to do with it as I please, within the law otherwise it becomes a police matter.

    This is the same thing someone has bought a piece of land, and it is theirs to do what they please, within the law of the land. How dare you tell them that they cannot protect their investment. Boo hoo & shame on us that we sold our birth rights and continue to do so. Further more shame on us for being sore losers. This insanity has to stop, HM allows Caymanians full access to the beach up to the high water mark, that is very gracious. however the rest of that land was bought and paid for at a dandy high price and it is no ones right but the government laws of this country to dictate what is done with the land owned. Enjoy the best part – the beach, the water and stop harassing land owners.

    It is ignorance now to believe because you always “done it” that it can still be acceptable to continue because of tradition. No the Law is to be kept as a whole else all may have excuse to break or bend what they want to suite their needs. Furthermore, I can say that I have experienced both sides of this fence and so it qualifies me I dare say to offer an unbiased opinion. I happen to have been fortunate to purchase a rough piece water front property all be it mostly burr grass, iron shore & stones and then moment we invested time (lots of it), money and effort, it was hard for us to enjoy as people (despite private property signs) decided since we fixed the land up that it was good for them to use. I am not talking on the water side to the high water mark, I am talking squatting all over our land and making it in accessible or uncomfortable for our family to enjoy. Trash is left behind, and ANYTHING we want to see again, has to be cemented into the ground or it will be stolen. We have had the place vandalized by children of these unconcerned, inconsiderate individuals. Heaven forbid you say something to try protect your hard earned right, because they will get in your face or return to further destroy. It is heartbreaking to see the ignorance; this is not how it should be. So yes, I know of both sides of the fence.

    So, Caymanian and visitors alike, you have a privilege that is a rarity in a lot of places. That privilege you should be happy for and consider that when ever you use it. When you are allowed access to what is normally totally private property; then please be considerate, clean up, don’t allow your children to destroy or vandalize property. If you found it there leave it there! If it isn’t yours its stealing for you to remove it! Respect that others want some peace and relaxing, and do not necessarily share your taste in music or foul language. How about if I blast opera or Christian music louder that yours? Not nice. We have forgotten basic courtesy and manners as a society and those are two things that helps society to function well.

    It is sad indeed but not Dart’s problem that he owns the land we sold. I am disappointed that the POLICE or GOVERNOR did not have the guts or good governance to stand up and do a press release stating that the police would be on hand to arrest any vandals and thieves who pull up the posts protecting this property, shame on you as well.

    This is not about the haves & the have nots, my family has worked hard made sacrifices, prudent decisions and didn’t waste or throw away opportunities, so that we could have what was our birthright. Even so, you have been allowed to freely enjoy the beaches, (NOT THE PROPERTY SURROUNDING) so go and enjoy and take care of this right in a respectful gracious law abiding manner.

    HAVE A GREAT EASTER @ THE BEACH and play nice people.

    • Jonathan says:

      Dear Sir/Mam,

      It is with interest that I read your post and I congratulate you on attempting to take an objective stance on the topic of conversation. Like yourself, I also have deep roots in Cayman which can be traced back many generations on the paternal side of my family tree. I empathize with you that you put down your hard earned cash to buy seafront (not ocean front because this is not the Caribbean Ocean last time I checked) and have been confronted with folks who do not respect the land. This is one thing which we have seen a lot of here and it is a problem, whether those who would trash a beach or anywhere else are from here or not the end result is the same and just as ugly. Also I agree that when one buys a piece of land it becomes their own and that right is one of the things which have added to the social harmony which we used to have a lot more of here. It does not, should not and ultimately will not however grant carte blanche to do whatever in the hell one wants to do no matter how destructive, idiotic and otherwise impractical it may be and that is the rub. Places where the purchase of land can be basically taken away with the whims of political patronage and lost in the melee have paid a price because it is a source of instability which can end up in range wars and the like. I would wish that a sense of deceny and common sense could prevail on all of this scenario but the way in which it has been set up and implicated has created a lot of grumbling on both sides of this fence, and rightly so because in the gold rush mentality which has been our recent history these things have been purposefully ignored as a symptom of the sickness called unbridled greed. Whenever this subject has reared it’s head in the past the common reaction has been to stick one’s head in the sand and hope that the problem goes away, which it will not.

      Most of the people in Cayman who used to go to and enjoy the beach stopped doing so a long time ago for the most part because what used to be a peaceful and relaxing experience often results in some fracas involving an overzealous landowner or security guard or whatever and this loss of harmony is directly related to the elitist, snobbish and obnoxious attitude often directed at folks who are simply going to a beach where their grandparents used to take them. On the other side of the coin you have those who through ignorance or idiocy or simply not giving a damn would ruin itfor others by their crass behaviour and leave garbage and destruction in their wake. The rest of us are simply left to deal with the crossfire and most of us have simply walked away and chalked it up as another casualty in the loss of quality of life which we used to have..

      What we have here is a developer who is taking over, piece by piece, a massive chunk of the only real resource of enterprise Cayman has and it is overtly obvious to anyone looking. A monopoly on the scale we are witnessing, whether it be retail, hospitality, construction, liquor, service industry etc. and conglomerately it is a bad thing and it is serving to disavow the rights of Caymanians on a daily basis. The consequences of this are a skewed economic situation and a lot of the malcontent brewing here does come from righteous indignation. That being said, it does not mean that anyone who has been robbed then has some right to go and rob another but if we are going to, in the hope of finding real solutions, engage in objective conversation then all of the cards have to be put on the table. One thing which is undeniable in whole is that the relationship between Mr. Dart and our current Premier has been, regardless of the well funded propanda, deleterious to us all from the standpoint that the balance is out of whack and for many of us objectivity is no longer even attainable because of toeing some party line, being directly involved, or allowing short term greed to destroy tommorow. Look at all of the empty, deserted and derelict gold rush ghost towns there are and please pay heed to the implict lesson therein. The all too secretive alliance between these two parties, I am sure, has and will be proven to be a hinderance and not a help to the health of this country when the big picture comes into play. I would suggest that you ask a few Argentenians how they feel about Mr. Dart and his business ethics regarding their recent bankruptcy for a starting point.

      There are so many good ideas and oppurtunities which have been squandered and lost because of the predatory and wasteful practices of those whose vision does not seem to extend beyond their own nose and whose sense of feeling does not extend beyond their hand fondling the wallet in their pocket. None of us are now or will be perfect but this situation at hand is serving to highlight an incongruous imbalance of power and influence and the consequences which follow, and this is only the very tip of said toxic iceberg. I too wish you well and I hope for you a blessed, peaceful and enjoyable Easter and I hope that we can all begin to see the forest through the trees. As for those who would prefer to simply level the forest in it’s entirety they are deserving of a well placed and accurate strike from a very hard boot. I would suggest that everyone watch the movie “Club Paradise” as we could all use a break from this perpetual horsepucky with the chuckle that said comedic satire certainly delivers. May God bless the Cayman Islands, we need it now more than ever.

  9. Libertarian says:

    ***** Dart is just like any business man who intends to invest and leave a positive legacy in the Cayman Islands. I am sure that the differences between Dart and the people of these islands can be worked out. Camana Bay has worked in everybody’s favor. There has been no restrictions or access denied to the public. On the other hand, yes… we need laws that are mindful of the solemn fact that all “natural resources” such like the sea, the beach, the sunlight, and yes undeveloped lands where owners have no intention of developing, are God-made, untouched, and hence should be “equally accessible” to all people. Now of course, anything that is man-made, whether created through innovation or has been altered by the sweat of man’s brow, his labor, belongs to him because a part of him remains in whatever he put his hands or focus his energy on like his house, car, or cultivated land. Such things by law, should always be considered as “private property” – that which one can buy and sell, and that which can be stolen. But in regards to natural resources, untouched by the labor of a man’s hand or altered via production of some sort, the LAW SHOULD HAVE PROVISIONS IN PLACE to ensure that such things like the beach should not be considered as “private property.” One can reason, how can the sun be considered privately owned? Same goes with the beach that has been around before any rich eutrepreneur came here. As a libertarian, it may sound socialist to say such things, but if you studied the writing of the renown John Locke in reference to liberty and private property, you will see that he taught that private was a combination of one’s labor plus natural resource. The natural resource in itself was never considered “private property.” Still this is the downfall of modern capitalism – it dislikes socialist views so much that it allows through legislation, the private property to entail hundreds of acres of lands and coasts in the United States to rich or wealthy folk, and these lands can not possibly in used by one wealthy person unless that person decides to do something in terms of cultivation or production with the natural resource. Capitalism / Government as well, today has also made no provisions against them from blocking the people from access to important reserves. This will be an age long issue. Our beaches are a part of us and we all need to remember protectionist laws no matter how much people may not like them, are there for a reason. Again, I hope everything works out well, a win-win situation for Dart and all Caymanians. Some of the people here criticizing Dart are the same ones who enjoy Camana Bay at their leasure time. I believe Dart understands the people’s concerns in terms of their natural reserves and don’t think he would be so foolish to disregard them. I do believe though that Government should have more laws in place and mindful that some of our laws on the books are short of protecting the locals from wealthy elites who want to come and invest in property here. ***** Libertarian

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure how you figure, "Camana Bay has worked in everybody’s favor," can you expand on that? Has it made the island more prosperous, reduced poverty and unemployment, increased educational standards or cut down crime and corruption? Doesn’t look like it to me.

      I think the people who stood up against Dart did a damn good job and more power to them in the future.  

      • Anonymous says:

        As a Caymanian working in retail at Camana Bay (for a Caymanian owner), I can tell you that  the tourists are enjoying AND spending money at Camana Bay which does tend to work in the favor of the island.  And as a mother of two young children I can tell you that my children are thrilled when they get a trip to Camana Bay.  In my opinion Camana Bay does offer some fantastic opportunities for the community which we did not have before: fountain play, island play, state of the art cinema, story time for children and countless community events.  I can’t speak for everyone but it certainly works in my favor.   

      • Anonymous says:

        OMG! Are you serious?

        Think about the amount of duty paid on all materials for this project!

        Think about the additional labour needed to build it and maintain it ! 

        Think about the school (CIS) and the Dart Foundation that supports many local charities and Caymanian heritage foundations!

        Think about it what we would have without their investment and support.

        In short, just think – before you make a such a sweeping statement. 

      • Satirony says:

        12.55. You’re so right to ask those skeptical questions. It is truly amazing how Dart has spent 500 million over ten years to build Camana Bay, without creating a single job for anyone.  And to do this without solving the crime problem and preventing corruption at the same time! It’s truly a miracle and a national disgrace! As for the school he built, I hear it’s really to train Cayman parrots to speak Russian. I’ve also been told that those hundreds of people enjoying Camana Bay every night, are just stooges, there to make it all look good. You’re right, he should just sell up, take his money elsewhere, and invest it where he can’t do us any more harm. Also, I really miss the litter and junk everywhere. Camana Bay is so depressingly clean!


    • player3 says:

      Agree with what you say, but I won’t say its a capitalist downfall. You’re a libertarian! You should know that it is governments and their stupid laws that are made for those who are well off – not for the majority poor and middle class

  10. Anonymous says:

    Barriers placed to prevent "stealing sand", what pathetic and insulting justification. Mr. Hydes, were you told to say that or was it your suggestion to put forth that lame excuse. You would have done better just to leave it at preventing vehicular access to the property.

    Good try at making the beach another private owners club though.

    • Pending says:

      He would have been better off saying that they were erected to stop the get away vehicles from all the Calico’s robberies using these areas to hide while their friends go down the beach to wait in darkness and rob passers by.

    • The Royal says:

       Hit a nerve?  Not too surprised many don’t see stealing sand as stealing.  A good part of the problem in Cayman is the tolal lack of  understanding as to why there are laws and why they pertain to everyone.  In Cayman there is the laws for expats  and the guidelines for Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        I was always told Caymanians were allowed 1 yard of sand from the beach every year, I think it was to do with the old sand yards.

        So before you say they are stealing are you sure they are?

        BTW I have nothing to back up this claim other than memory of an old conversation, anyone else know?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Good, we need to stand up together and be counted on more issues to take our country back.