October 19, 2021

The Editor Speaks: When our laws are a joke

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When it comes to building laws I am afraid to say it is who you know and not what the laws says.

I have preached enough on the dispute between Christopher Johnson and developer Kel Thompson who has got away with complete disregard for the building law with the approval of The Central Planning Authority (CPA). Even when Johnson got the Court of Law to agree with him and rule in his favour it made no difference whatsoever. Thompson’s building and car park on the waterfront is here to stay.

Take the letter that Mary Thompson (mother of Kel Thompson) wrote to the media last year implying Caymanians can do what they want and Paper Caymanians (Christopher Johnson) should shut up and be thankful they are allowed here.

She is right. That’s how it is.

Now we have another developer Joe Imparato tearing up the ironshore along a stretch of coast in North Side. The CPA, at least this time, agreed no permission was given and have issued an enforcement notice to stop.

It’s a mite too late as the ironshore has gone.

The Department of Environment have no teeth (not even false ones) to enforce their recommendations to the CPA and when ironshore has been removed what will the penalty be?

At most a slap on the wrist. Maybe a small fine but no threats or actions or imprisonment.

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller has taken to task both the director of planning and the chief officer in the ministry responsible for the lack of enforcement regarding local planning laws being disregarded. He said this in his position of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and asked why there are no consequences taken against developers who disregard the building laws?

If the heavy equipment operators themselves could be fined, prosecuted and their equipment confiscated if they carry on this work without asking to see copies of the necessary permissions, this disregard for the law would cease immediately.

We won’t tolerate ship’s anchors smashing up our precious coral but so is the ironshore. It provides stability to our shores especially when hurricanes approach.

Imparato has even placed fences across easements for fire access.

He might be laughing because he knows our building laws are a joke. Isn’t it time the joke is on him and all the other developers who flout the law?

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  1. Chris Johnson says

    To bring all upto date the appeal against the Thompson Mickey Mouse project will be heard in October and hopefully the building will be knocked down. Meanwhile the rope fence he built down to the waters edge which precluded all from walking on the ironshore has been recently removed as he had no planning permission.
    People like him and Imperato are fully cognisant of the building regulations but think they are above the law as do the heavy equipment operators. More people need to speak out to keep developers honest whilst the CPA need awaken from their perennial slumbers and take enforcement action more frequently. Ezzard is dead right in his comments and deserves support.

  2. Mikey primak says

    I’d be willing to bet that everyone’s complaining will end for a while now that hurricane Irma has spoken.

  3. John R. Cawthron, Sr. says

    There is no hope for enforcement of any of Cayman’s laws as long as Cayman’s elected and appointed officials continue to accept bribes from individuals and business interests wanting to operate above the law. This system (bribes) has long been prevalent in Mexico and most South American countries and many Caribbean Islands.Caymanian citizens are responsible for electing government officials who then appoint many other government employees and officials. The problems you have discussed will not go away until honest, ethical Caymanians are elected to government.

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