East End facing major change

| 04/12/2012

burning veg pic.jpg(CNS): The owner of the land surrounding the site of the planned Cayman Health City has submitted a major planning application of his own for a 132 acre master-planned community next to the hospital in High Rock, East End. The PAD application made by City Services, which is owned by Joseph Imparato, will include “hotels, multiple residential areas, commercial buildings, retail outlets and restaurants and civic buildings such as schools, recreational facilities and places of worship”, according to a press release.  If it goes ahead, the development, coupled with the Shetty project, will bring major changes to Grand Cayman’s least developed area of coast line.

Imparato had originally sought to build a controversial commercial seaport on the land, which saw significant opposition across the entire island before a decision was made to sell part of the site to Dr Devi Shetty. This proposed project is not directly connected to the hospital but is being described as supporting infrastructure.

The plans were submitted on Thursday, 29 November, but several months ago the owner began clearing the site around the hospital, stripping away a considerable amount of local flora and burning the vegetation.  While the team undertaking the hospital development in the area have stated that no environmental impact assessment will be undertaken on the first phase of the Shetty project, it is not clear if City Services will be doing an EIA on that site.

inside pic imparato site.jpgDespite the onslaught on the trees, shrub and what was described by the Department of Environment as “primary habitat”, the developer is claiming green credentials for the development. In the release Imparato stated that the design of City Services’ master plannedcommunity reflects careful attention to the density, height and scaling and draws on “the character of the site”, with the tallest and densest development located in the centre farthest away from the main coastal road.

The project will have green spaces and community areas and, according to the release, the PAD application reflects five times the amount of community space required by law. The current planning law requires that 5% of the development be allocated for community space but the City Services application includes some 25% of the area, or nearly 33 acres, instead of the required 6.5 acres, designated as community space, which will be used for parklands, a community playground, a seafront Boulevard along Seaview Road and natural green and water buffers to the adjoining land owners.

"We asked our architects to be mindful of the adjacent properties and to create proper setbacks and buffers which can be seen on the perimeter of the site plan,” Imparato said.
The master plan also proposes the use of Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) as another way to maintain the development’s environmentally conscience design by utilizing a renewable source of energy to provide air conditioning and power to the project, the developer indicated in the release.

Imparato stated that the project lends itself to potential partnerships and joint ventures for the hotels, residential communities, retail and restaurants. “We look forward to working with local companies and investors who want to get involved,” he said.

Describing himself as a long term resident and developer, Imparato said he was committed to the Cayman Islands and was optimistic that with fiscal discipline and careful, long term investments, the economy would recover. “As a developer, I always see the glass as half full and never half empty," he added.

The plans, which were submitted with a fee of $66,000 and do not request any duty waivers or other concessions, are available for review and inspection at the planning department.

“This PAD application represents the largest of several projects we currently have underway,” Imparato said. City Services is currently constructing Caribbean Plaza on West Bay Road, Dolphin Point Condos in West Bay, Rum Point Club Condominiums in Cayman Kai, and refurbishments of the old Caymania Building in George Town and Trafalgar place on West Bay Road.

“We currently have a lot of work either already underway or soon to start in the New Year," he stated.  “Subject to the necessary approvals, we will get people back to work in early 2013 as we start the site preparation and preliminary roads infrastructure work at High Rock.”

See more details of the proposed project below.

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Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It's no secret that a 2000 bed hospital development is going ahead.  Joe owns that nearby land, is putting his own money at risk to develop something to bolster that project and provide work for Caymanians, and has also invited other Caymanian people to participate as investors.  Isn't this exactly the type of financial commitment the people of East End have been praying for?

  2. Anonymous says:

    My question is: Where are the environmentalists who were SOOO vocal when it came to the so-called Ironwood forest in GT?? XXXX

     

     Were you only championing for your own lands? Why not assist these East End objectors now?

  3. Anonymous says:

    THis is needed ,so why is everyone saying no..Remember when Norberg Thompson was going to put the condo's in Pease Bay, the people from that area, voted no. now they are a dying community. He built it in East End now the people have to go their to work.

    Is this project going the same way.I hope not.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s his land. Maybe you rather the dump go there?

  5. Jarrett Nicholson says:

    He is determined to destroy East End one way or another. Certainly he’s got enough money stashed away to sit back a relax, guess he wants east end to look like 7 mile beach.
    Maybe you should start fishing Joe give you something to do instead of destroying nature.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If Joseph Imparato can't get what he wants one way he will certainly find another. Now we move from East End Seaport to a 132 acre massive development. Is East Enders going to sit back and NOT GET anything to reap from the hospital???? What happened to the little bed and breakfast operations that the East End people could make money from?. Who is  medical tourism GOING TO BENEFIT????? ONLY a select few again.. What the hell is going on with our leaders?? Are they all in bed with Joseph Imparato???? I would really like to know the fascination Joseph Imparato has with wanting to ruin East End..Stay the hell away…We don't want you in East End, stay on Seven Mile Beach.

     

    For me, May can't come soon enough. XXXXX Big Mac instead of you getting a doctrine degree they should beat you with a cow cod…for giving away those 3000 status grants. GET OUT and it can't come soon enough so that we can try and save our island before it is too late.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Big Mac certainly ruined or island by giving away 3000 status grants, because the majority of the receivers are living on the poverty line.  Which country is opening their arms to poor people,  Look for people of worth and not those who are at the Children and Family Services door seeking help.  The first people to receive help should be your very own people, here it is the reverse.

      • Anonymous says:

        My guess is, the Govt will soon find a large sum of cash to "donate" to some overseas organisation – all the while our own are hurting and "there is no money this year to assist those persons".

  7. Anonymous says:

     

    No species (including human) will survive in environment if environment itself is destroyed.  There are ways to built without totally destroying everything on its way. It could have been an example of very thoughtful approach to the project with max preservation in mind. In turn, it just continues to demonstrate that people are lost their “sapient” part and are being a cancer on this planet.

  8. Hammer says:

    What we have here is a speculator who washed ashore early on in Cayman's grand economic boom, did well beyond his wildest dreams off a single lucky investment (in a government licenced money minting monopoly) and believes that everything he touches must unavoidably turn to gold.

    He will lose his shirt on this one, but the sad thing is that East End will lose its old growth top cover at the same time.

     

    • Apropos says:

      Someone said it.

    • Anonymous says:

      My understanding is the Mr Imparato came to Cayman in the early 80's with enough money already in his pocket, fell in love with the island and found ways to improve it. Oh how selfish of him!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Concrete Jungle!  Oh well, just pave paradise and put more buildings and parking lots!!

  10. EYW says:

    I do not understand the thought process of some people. Mr. Imparato owns this land, it is his land and last time I checked this meant he could build on it if he so wished. When people own their residential house lots and decide not to paint their house and fill their yard up with junk to the point that it resembles something "third world" you can't tell them what to do, they own it. 

    I think this development will be a quality project and benefit the island. We need to quit our complaining and the small, loud few need to stop holding up progress. 
     

    • Anonymous says:

      10;11

       

      Could'nt agree with you more.

      Where have these idiots sprang from? they object to everything. I know we have amongst us, Caymanians who do not like foreigners…even though they have gotten rich off their investments and developments.

      We also have amongst us rich people that came and built their castles, and do not want to see a blade of grass touched.

      Then we have the ones trying to get into politics, instead of them telling their people what wealth they can bring to the communities,  they tear down everything the present government  encougae and  support.

      Then we have the idiots that hold assembly under the coconut trees,  gossip, slander and condem everthing we stand for.

    • NeoSurvivor says:

      I understand your point, and that is one side of the argument;  here is the other:

       

      I own land.   When I wanted to build a simple fence, I was required to submit the specs to planning for approval, because it is taller than 42 inches.   When I wanted to build a shed, I had to submit (and pay fees) to planning.   I don't mind, because even though both projects impacted nobody except myself, that is the procedure that is required by law.  

       

      If I wanted to build a hotel on my property, should I just start clearing land, safe in the knowledge that I had already cozied up to the government and things would go my way, or should I follow the legal procedure and await planning approval and environmental impact assessment?    

       

      Hey, it's MY land, right?   100 feet of that land is on the sea;  maybe I want to build an experimental wave energy generator — an ugly, but "green" series of connecting tubes with neodymium magnets and metal cones.   Who cares if it mars the ironshore or just happens to heat up the local SSTs 2 degrees?  I know best, right, because it's my land, and what's good for me is good for everybody.  

  11. Anonymous says:

    Really hope that this will go forward. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    This article is seriously funny. Seriously.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Surprise surprise – the usual slate of standard complaints leveled at any development or really any sort of change undertaken on the island.    I appreciate that you are very hard done by and the world doesn't do nearly enough for you but don't you people get tired of writing the same complaints over and over? 

    I switched off the Rooster this year and my new year's resolution is to stop scrolling down to read the negativity spewed by these crabs in a bucket. 

    • Anonymous says:

      9.39. You are missing the point, which is the nasty way Mr Imperato does things here. A very large area  of old growth forest has been destroyed by circumventing the Planning Department and conveniently avoiding the  demands of the proposed conservation law. He dodged the Orchid Society and the National Trust, who were  never notified as far as I know. In short, the entire ecosystem has been destroyed in an irresponsible and unimaginative way that would be unthinkable in most other advanced societies.

       

      Just to say it's Joe Imperato's  land,  so therefore he can do what he likes with it, is absurd. He owns it, yes, but he is also the steward of this land until he dies, at which point all future generations will have to live with his "improvements."  That's why we have a Planning Department, so I for example can't put a leather-tanning factory alongside a slaughterhouse on Seven Mile Beach.  There are too many exploiters and too few stewards of the land these days.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Not a fan of Imparato but your article is biased and sneaky. Cayman's least developed area of coastline? Give me a break.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is why we need a conservation law pass ASAP.  Developers also need planning approval to excavate and clear virgin land FYI.  No big surprise there tho.  People get away with murder here let along destorying our natural ecosystems.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians have been clearing and developing clear virgin land here for how long?  Caymanians are also responsible for the mountain of garbage that grows each day.  Maybe if you all got off your overly large butts and clean up YOURacts other people would start to take you seriously.

      • Anonymous says:

        I like how you gathered two things Ididn't even mention in my first post 

        1) That I am Caymanian

        2) I have an overly large butt

        For your information, yes I am a Caymanian, and no my butt is not large (I do exercise).  All I am saying from my post it is well past the times when we were blindly clearing bush to pave way for development blindly.  No thanks to you to start pointing fingers.  We have few precious natural resources left on our small 26 mile long island.  Clearing land and building a home is one thing, but a giant "condos/parking lots/business structures" should require a full environmental assessment before large developments are approved.  Noone wants to visit a Caribbean island and see nothing but a concrete jungle.  It is 2012.  We should all be a little smarter and take care of our natrual surroundings before we go about bulldozing everything.  Who knows if what the developer is proposing will even be successful and bring in jobs and attractions.

        What about you get off your narrow butt and do something else other than making generalizations towards peopleon the internet.

  16. Green Hornet says:

    What happened to the respective notices to the adjoining land owners? I still don’t understand how the chairman of CPA is the one and same who owns the largest building supplies store on the island? I would think this is a conflict of interest? Where is Gina Petrie Ebanks? I thought the parrots are near extinction? Where is the department of agriculture and the agriculture society? Mr. Woods, mrs. Petrie Ebanks, mr. Estwick, mr. Arden McLaughlin I implore you all to get off your laurels and do something! Enough is enough…..we should leave something for the next generations,

    • Anonymous says:

      They are where all your poiticians/heroes are.  lost in themselves.  If you are still looking toward Caymanians saving cayman prepare yourself for dissapointmment.

    • Red Flag says:

      I don't know where Arden McLaughlin or Mr. Woods or Mr. Eastwick are but I do know where Gine Ebanks-Petrie is.  She is in the frontlines, fighting from the trenches to save what is left of this beautiful island.  If she had the authority to do more than research and report the state of the environment to the minister (Mac's own), she and her department would have done more on alot of issues.  Issuses like the clearing of mangroves, applications to dredge channels and marinas in South Sound, explaining to local fishermen that the depletion of fish stocks are, in part, from their own overfishing.  While trying to expand the marine parks to try and replenish fish and coral stocks only the have the PRIME MINISTER completely negate all the hard work and research that had gone into that project, she may be excused for having missed the clearing going on on the other end of the island.  I can't believe she has not thrown up her hands and quit. I can assure you, she and her staff will not be pleased with the way planning goes on around here but as you pointed out, the owner of the largest building supply business is he head of the Planning Authority.  Conflict?  DOE would do more and wants to do more, but the one thing they have to have in abundance and do not have is PUBLIC SUPPORT.  Get behind them and help them have a voice in government decisions. They are not unreasonable tree huggers.  It will not be misspent effort.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Give me a break. Nice article. This is a lifeline of foreign money being invested into these islands and all people (and the media) do is complain…

    Why don’t we just go bankrupt and then everyone can go ba k to where they came from and Cayman can go back to the third world?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Don't worry East Enders, Joe won't build anything, he will just dig the foundations and leave the trenches for others to complete the buildings just like the hole he was going to dig for the port and leave for the country to complete the port infastructure and development.

    • Anonymousie says:

      So what! It's his land and he can do what he wants with it. Why do you think you have any say as to what an owner does with their on land? 

  19. Anonymous says:

    While Iunderstand there is much buzz and glee over these developments taking place, I must ask wheher a tru impact study has been done. As we mow down the trees, and alter the terrain, regardless whether it is pure cliff or not, we are forever changing the ecologial make up and eco-services that were provided by the ecosystem, that was there.

    As many of us can't see pass our bank accounts, we neglect to realize that there are implications to be paid down the road, as we forever alter the ecosystem around us. Sure, i for development, but if we are not mindful in our approach, development will be pointless if there is a collapse in the biodiversity around us.

    Don'believe me? study what happened on Easter Island centuries ago, before Captain Cooke got there.

    I'm willing to be that we don't have the slightest idea how much moisture is sent up by the vegitation on the east side of the island; that is then deposited back to the ground on the west side of the island. What steps are being takenby the developers, who are rapping the natural environment for economic profit? Will they have to offset some of th carbon footprint? Or we not worried about that?

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Islands are a joke, not to mention the leadership.  Greed and money are the order of the day.   I see self destruction what a sad day and sight that will be.  It can't come soon enough.  Far too many greedy people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whose greedy? The developers or all the posters on this site ?

      • Anonymous says:

        And you need to go back to the hole you crawled out from.  I can't understand why your kind are here if you think so little of the island and its people.  

    • Anonymous says:

      As a Caymanian, let me say the hypocrisy here is that Caymanian land owners clear dozens of virgin acres all the time yet we Caymanians say nothing. Look around at how many expansive residential communities have been cleared and subdivided but not sold destroying significant habitats in the process. This subdividing, clearing and preparing lots for sale is often to protect and grandfather in their rights to develop the land. Is there an EIA required of them?

  20. Anonymous says:

    We got high hopes – high hopes – high in the pie apple sky hopes…

    ; )

  21. Anonymous says:

    So why was the pristine forest on scenic coastline demolished before a plan was even submitted? Was any concerned organization consulted by Mr Imperato before the bulldozers crunched their way through the trees and the limestone karst? Why was the Planning Department deprived of the opportunity of demanding that patches of forest be kept within  the proposed development?  

     

    This aggressive  way of avoiding all environmantal responsibility in Cayman is sickening, and makes any decent-minded person very angry. If you sell a Cayman orchid or parrot overseas, you risk a fine of $10,000. If you destroy 100 acres of forest along with the entire ecosystem, then nothing happens. It's was the same nonsense when Dick Christiansen, bless his soul, was discovered for years to have been mining rock from Crown Land, while at he same time  risking  exposure of the water lens, which apparently he penetrated at one location. He received an insultingly small  fine of $6,000, I seem to remember.  Enough said.

    • Anonymousie says:

       

       

      I am pretty sure as an owner you have the right to do whatever you'd like to on your OWN PERSONAL land. Did you get planning permission to build that shed or dig that hole in your back yard…? I didn't think so. 

      I see this as a great opportunity to bring tourists to EE and give struggling people jobs. Oh wait, I am opened minded and speaking to a bunch of closed minded cavemen. Sorry, forgot. Go back to your little holes.