CPA To Hear Application For Over 250 Residential Lots Near East West Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

According to the agenda for a meeting of the Central Planning Authority (“CPA”) to be held on April 3, 2024, the CPA will consider Casabella Development Ltd.’s application for a subdivision consisting of over 250 residential lots on the east side of Frank Sound Road in the vicinity of the Jacques Scott liquor store.

Since the proposed lots will have access to the East-West Arterial, the design of which will likely be finalised only after the implications of the environmental impact assessment are considered, the National Roads Authority (“NRA”) initially commented that “The applicant should contribute to the construction cost of the lane in each direction on the future East-West Arterial corridor for an alternative means of access to the development.”

The NRA added that they required “a comprehensive phasing plan of the project” and additional access points to the development.

Regarding the potential for flooding, the NRA said:

Stormwater control should be considered as an integral component of any subdivision or site development.

It is the responsibility of the developer to ensure that the quantity of stormwater runoff is reduced and prevent uncontrolled runoff flow to buildings and large impervious surfaces that could cause flooding resulting in rim environmental impact forming a bleeding area for mosquitos.

A comprehensive drainage plan needs to be provided by the applicant for the entire project.

Following these initial comments, it is understood that the applicant made amendments and provided the below phasing plan.

Upon review of the phasing plan, the NRA said:

The NRA has no objections or concerns regarding the above revised proposed two hundred and fifty-three (253) lot subdivision, 2 LPP lots, and 1 road lot; the applicant has satisfied NRA concerns;

• A phasing plan;

• Introduced internal intersections with at least 150′ of length;

• Adding a turning lane, and

• Including a comprehensive traffic calming plan.

Regarding other agencies, the Department of Environment (DoE) noted that “The application site is largely man-modified, although the proposed subdivision contains areas of seasonally flooded mangrove forest and woodland, along with a small portion of primary dry forest and dry shrubland (refer to Figure 2).”

The DoE added:

The site is extremely low lying, averaging around +3ft Mean Sea Level.

The wetland habitat at the center of the proposed subdivision is becoming extremely scarce and there are certain areas which are open water.

The DoE continued:

When development of individual lots comes forward, the majority of the lot would likely need to be filled.

At the time of writing this review, the source of the fill had not been identified in the application for planning permission.

We recommend that the need for this many subdivision lots be considered along with any artificial demand for fill that it is likely to create.

We highly recommend that applicant considers the implementation of a phasing plan, with specific and measurable build out triggers included. This would also allow the wetland habitat to continue to provide ecosystem services until development is imminent.

DoE also provided its recommendations to the CPA.

They said:

If the Central Planning Authority or Planning Department is minded to grant planning permission for the proposed subdivision, the DoE recommends the inclusion of the following condition:

1. There shall be no land clearing, excavation, filling or development of the resultant residential or LPP parcels without planning permission for such works being granted.

2. Any clearing or filling of the proposed subdivision shall be carried out only in accordance with the approved phasing plan and shall be reserved until appropriate phasing triggers have been met.

Adding to the environmental concerns, the Water Authority noted that “This development is located over the North Side freshwater lens or within the 500m buffer zone of the lens.”

“To protect the freshwater lens, the Water Authority requests that stormwater drainage wells are drilled to a depth of 80 ft instead of the standard depth of 100ft as required by the NRA,” the Water Authority added.

In addition to agency comments, there is one objector to the development.

The objector said:

I have not received written notice of the subject development plan above.

I have only seen one drawing of the proposed subdivision.

I have some concerns, most notably with the legally-recorded reciprocal vehicular rights of way between 58A/151 and 58A/152, to permit access to my commercial plaza, once the traffic circle is built for the east-west arterial.”

The objector added:

The National Road Authority, in the original subdivision of the properties, required a reciprocal 30ft vehicular right of way as between these two lots (151 and 152).

The road ingress/egress to Frank Sound Road is too close to the (gazetted) traffic circle so as to be safe to turn into or out of the southbound land of Frank Sound Road.

I would like to object until such time as I have notice from planning explaining how both the zoning impacts and the vehicular rights of way are preserved.

The proposed plan will be discussed at the next CPA meeting, which will be held on April 3, 2024, at 10 am in Conference Room 1038, 1st Floor, Government Administration Building, 133 Elgin Avenue, George Town.