Click to see the solutions PlanCayman will implement to carry out our goals

Design elements are the details that help define the feel of a particular building, street, region, or community. Some of these elements go relatively unnoticed, such as street furniture. Other items often become the landmark of a community, such as a famous sign, statue or architectural landmark.


Ensure the adequacy of existing setback requirements.

Review existing setback standards for all development types and accessory uses

Action Points:
  • Review and revise, if necessary, the existing setback requirements in the Planning Regulations.
  • Review setback requirements for all land use categories to ensure they adequately address the Island’s functional and aesthetic needs, including the preservation of view corridors.
  • Review and update setback requirements for accessory uses such as fences, hedges, landscape strips, etc.
  • Update setback requirements addressing balconies, arcades and facade articulation.

Ensure aesthetically appealing, compatible and functional design for major developments.

Improve site design requirements in relation to aesthetics, accessibility, connectivity, and orientation of structures.

Action Points:
  • Clarify and update site design requirements for each primary land use
  • Develop site design criterion for multi-family residential, commercial/retail, hotel/tourism, and industrial developments.
  • In addition to the review of setback and landscape requirements, also address other site design aspects in the guidelines, including but not limited to:
    • Building and parking layout; Circulation, access and vehicle ROW; Building materials; Location of accessory structures; Drainage and utility location; and Loading areas and buffering.
  • Consider introducing ‘self assessment’ criteria for applicants to check that all Site Design issues have been adequately addressed
  • Incorporate the Site Design Guidelines into a Grand Cayman Comprehensive Design Guidelines document.

Adopt landscape standards to guide the review process and submittal requirements of landscape plans for new development projects.

Provide Island-wide landscape standards for public and private spaces.

Action Points:
  • Create and adopt an Island-wide landscape design standard document.
  • Adopt regulations requiring landscape plans to be submitted as part of the original application for planning permission.
  • Adopt an Island-wide plant list of approved landscape trees, plants, shrubs, and ground cover for new developments to be incorporated into the approved landscape standards.
  • Adopt standards that encourage the preservation and / or relocation of healthy existing vegetation on development sites.
  • Incorporate the Landscape Guidelines into the Grand Cayman Comprehensive Design Guidelines document.

Develop building design guidelines that incorporate ‘green’ techniques as well as the Island’s traditional architectural style.

Establish minimum design requirements that ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses and help define an appropriate and acceptable minimum design standard.

Action Points:
  • Create architectural guidelines and design standards that define, encourage and emphasize features that are compatible with the Island’s traditional architecture.
  • Address standards for “franchise” architecture to incorporate local design characteristics into franchise developments.
  • Develop guidelines with consultation from local architects to ensure adequate flexibility to allow for individual creativity.
  • Design Guidelines should address items such as aesthetics, functionality, energy efficiency, and compatibility with surrounding uses (functionally and aesthetically).
  • Encourage through incentives the application of energy efficient standards such as LEED and Energy Star, where these exceed the minimum building code requirements in the Cayman Islands.
  • Incorporate these guidelines into a Grand Cayman Comprehensive Design Guidelines document.

Define specific building design requirements for different land use categories.

Action Points:
  • Adopt different building Design Guidelines for different uses and locations.
  • Develop guidelines for multi-family residential, commercial/retail, and industrial buildings.
  • Where appropriate, develop special building design guidelines for designated special planning areas. These may include areas such as central George Town, Seven Mile Beach, and the East End tourism district, among others.

Ensure a high quality public realm that provides a safe, attractive and inclusive environment.

Establish guidelines for the provision of a high quality and consistent public realm that enhances the spaces between buildings.

Action Points:
  • Develop guidelines for enhancements to the public realm with consideration to various design aspects including, but not limited to:
    • Streetscape (sidewalks, pedestrian routes and streets); Lighting; Paving and surface materials; Street furniture; Soft landscaping and trees; and Safety, security, wellbeing and accessibility
  • Encourage developers to consider the relationship of a scheme to the public realm and, if appropriate, make a contribution to the enhancement of the public realm immediately adjoining the development site.

Establish principles for the design and siting of walls and fences in Grand Cayman

Ensure that walls and fences in Grand Cayman are designed and constructed in line with established guidelines.

Action Points:
  • Review and complete Wall & Fence Guidelines document.
  • Allow for variations to the guidance in certain situations.
  • Incorporate the Wall and Fence Guidelines into a Grand Cayman Comprehensive Design Guidelines document.

Develop sign regulations that effectively identify the Island’s businesses while limiting the negative impact on the overall aesthetic quality of the Island.

Develop a tool for use by CPA, government agencies, and property/business owners that clearly and consistently defines the Island’s sign requirements.

Action Points:
  • Review and update existing Sign Guidelines that are applicable to all private and public signs except for government road and way finding signage.
  • Incorporate these sign regulations into a Grand Cayman Comprehensive Design Guidelines document.
  • Upon completion of the Sign Regulations, develop enforcement measures to deal with illegal signs and clarify the rights for pre-existing signs that would be “grandfathered” under the new design requirements.
  • Develop enforcement measures that expedite the removal of illegal signs that were installed after adoption of the new regulations

Encourage a uniform wayfinding signage programme for the Island.

Provide a standard wayfinding signage programme for both local and tourist destinations.

Action Points:
  • Develop a wayfinding signage programme that standardises the Island’s wayfinding signs.
  • The standard directional signage programme should provide both pedestrian and vehicular scale signage.
  • Directional signage shall incorporate a unique design that contributes to a unique “branding” of the Island. This can be done with a combination of colours, logos, and/or shapes.
  • Examine opportunities for private sector sponsorship opportunities to help fund signage programme while keeping signs tactful.
  • Incorporate the wayfinding signage programme into a Grand Cayman Comprehensive Design Guidelines document.
  • Allow for variations to the directional signage programmes for unique districts.
  • Where applicable, special districts may incorporate minor variations to the wayfinding signage programme to highlight the uniqueness and boundaries of that specific district.
  • These special signs and districts may be identified during the development of the original wayfinding signage programme adoption, or may be amended at a future date.

Promote Public Art and design amenities within public spaces and in privately owned developments.

Enhance the overall aesthetic quality and local “flavour” and culture by incorporating a variety of art projects on both public spaces as well as private developments.

Action Points:
  • Implement a programme for design, installation, maintenance, and funding of public art projects.
  • Adopt a comprehensive programme for the addition of art work at identified locations, encouraging “landmark” type projects.
  • Encourage local-level customizations of design themes celebrating the uniqueness of specific areas of the Island.
  • Encourage local art in hotels and other similar buildings through DoT promotion of gallery openings, marketing, etc.
  • Encourage an expansion of locally developed art displays.
  • Encourage local art programmes and displaying of local art through fundraisers, grants to local artisans, or the development of art programmes for the Island’s youth.

Develop a comprehensive Design Guidelines document that enhances the built environment.

Compile all Community Design requirements in one comprehensive, user friendly document.

Action Points:
  • Upon completion of the action items in this section of the Development Plan, compile all design guidelines, policies, and regulations into one comprehensive document for use by the staff, public, and development community.

Educate and inform development community and public of new design requirements.

Action Points:
  • Create a public awareness programme for implementation and distribution of new site design standards.
  • Utilise the Planning Department website ( to aid in the education and distribution of the Comprehensive Design Guidelines.