Dart Tower Announcement Causes Debate Over Planning & Zoning Strategy

Article Snapshot

  • Dart has plans to build an “iconic” skyscraper in Camana Bay, but only if a change in planning and zoning strategy is approved.
  • According to Dart, the skyscraper will rival some of the most famous buildings in the world and will become a must-see tourist attraction.
  • Jackie Doak, president of Dart Real Estate, states “Removing the current height restrictions creates opportunity for further economic growth with buildings that have a reduced footprint and increased setbacks.”
  • Linda Clark, representative for Sustainable Cayman, predicts a great deal of pushback over the possibility of increased building heights.
  • Clark states “A balance must be met between the social, economic and natural environments, to equal the benefit of current and future generations.”
  • Premier Alden McLaughlin has petitioned for a national debate to discuss changing building height restrictions.
  • The public will be able to voice their opinion on the issue as the new planning and zoning strategy is developed.

Will Seven Mile Beach soon be lined with skyscrapers? As officials scramble to complete a new Development Plan to address the ongoing economic growth of Cayman, the Dart group is pressing for a change in planning and zoning strategy.

Darts Sky-High Plans

Dart recently announced plans for a new “iconic” skyscraper to be built in Camana Bay – one that would supposedly rival some of the most famous buildings in the world. Jackie Doak, president of Dart Real Estate, believes that flexibility on building heights will become a necessity given the value and demand for land along Seven Mile Beach. Doak argues that “Removing the current height restrictions creates opportunity for further economic growth with buildings that have a reduced footprint and increased setbacks.” She also hopes to see a “bold approach,” rather than a mere slight increase in legal building heights.

Considering Cayman

With the demand for property at an all-time high, there are countless factors to consider when facing the challenges associated with increased development. Linda Clark, representative for Sustainable Cayman, predicts a great deal of pushback over the possibility of increased building heights. While skyscrapers could lead to a variety of economic benefits, Cayman’s people and its environment could face significant repercussions.

“On an island of only 76 square miles, we must remember that public areas, such as the beaches, are shared by residents and visitors alike,” she said. “A balance must be met between the social, economic and natural environments, to equal the benefit of current and future generations.”

Public Debate

Premier Alden McLaughlin has petitioned for a national debate to discuss planning and zoning strategy. While some believe that taller buildings would allow for a more lucrative tourism sector, others argue that a change in regulation would destroy what’s left of Cayman’s quaint, Caribbean feel.

According to Richard Mileham of the Planning Department, the public will have a big say in determining the future infrastructure of the island. One can only hope that all parties can come together to create the best outcome for Cayman.