July 30, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Why hasn’t the CPA acted on the removal of the ‘eyesore?

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colin-wilsonweb2The controversial Ticket Office with Trellis, Restroom Facility, Storage Building, Tour Operator Sales Area and Mobile Food Truck Staging Area on Block OPY Parcel 190 (F14-0221) (P14-1007 (CS) has been turned down by the Cayman Islands Appeals Board.

The planning application by local businessman, Kel Thompson, was also originally turned down by the Cayman Islands Central Planning Authority (CPA) in January but then allowed with some minor alterations.

This called for many protests by the general public as the development is on the waterfront and one of the few open spaces where tourists stop and view the wonderful ocean scenery we all enjoy and make them want to return.

Chris Johnson received notification via his lawyer announcing the decision that simply

“I have been directed to advise on behalf of the Chair, that the Tribunal unanimously agreed that the appeal be allowed. Please also be advised that costs is under consideration and they will revert once a decision has been made either way”.

He also said, “I am particularly pleased that commonsense has prevailed and that both the Appeals Tribunal and the office of the Attorney General felt that the appeal should be allowed. Passersby must have noticed how ludicrous the development of this site has been and the manner in which the construction took place with complete disregard for the safety of pedestrians. The CPA should be reprimanded for allowing Mr Thompson to build the septic tank hole without proper fencing as is done on other construction sites. The setbacks were ignored on all four sides especially the septic tank located only a few yards from the sea. Furthermore the CPA took little or no notice of the recommendation of the Department of Environment and the Traffic Department. Building the car park was totally against the Planning Rules and not subject to the board’s discretion, which prompts me to ponder as to whether the board and management are familiar with the law. It is unfortunate that Sharon Roulstone resigned from the board as I have no doubt she was keeping them in check.

I presume that a cease and desist order will now follow with a D8 in hot pursuit. Then the Government should consider a landscaped sidewalk and encourage the North Church Street boardwalk concept promulgated by my son, Robert Johnson.”

The above was published by us on October 4th 2016 but the eyesore is not only still there and work on completing it has carried on.

This in defiance of a ruling by a judge.

And the CPA has done absolutely nothing in stopping the work. Why?

Is it one law for a prominent Caymanian businessman who has close friendship and other ties to members of the CPA and a completely different one for the rest of the general public including the Paper Caymanian variety. I say Paper Caymanian as this was the terminology used by the mother of the developer in a letter to the Cayman Compass when he dared to complain about it.

The Paper Caymanian, Chris Johnson, had this to say to me today about it:

“Month ago Thompson had his planning permission revoked.

“Since then he finished a car park built illegally when the CPA who has no discretion waived the setback. He continued to build the fence and building and is now starting on the gazebo.

“Verbal and written complaints have been filed with the CPA. No action has been forthcoming.

“Cayman laws are drafted to protect the island and its residents. Yet the powers at be are ineffective and do not care a shit. We brag about transparency and our modern laws. Yet no one enforces them. Paper Caymanians are trodden on whilst they have the interest of Caymanians at heart.

“It is amazing the number of born Caymanians as well as residents that have supported me but fighting the bureaucrats alone is formidable. Until we get our act in order and implement some serious regulation enforcement we will always be acknowledged as a banana republic.

“Of course fighting the forces of evil and darkness comes naturally to me so it will come as no surprise for me to tell you that the skirmishes are over and the battle has commenced. No prisoners will be taken.”

Fighting talk but the question still remains why hasn’t the CPA acted on the removal of the ‘eyesore?

To date there has been absolute silence on the matter.

And beautifying George Town is obviously not on their agenda.

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