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Ensure the long-term protection of the Island’s mangrove buffer from development pressure.

Implement appropriate planning tools to help protect the mangroves from future development.

Action Points:
  • Review and amend the Planning and Development Regulations to ensure there are the proper tools in place to preserve the Island’s coastal mangroves.
  • Review the adequacy of the existing Mangrove Buffer zoning boundaries, with consideration given to buffer width, to ensure adequate protection of these valuable storm buffers and ecological resource.

Ensure that development taking place in, on or over Crown Lands below the high water mark are in accordance with national planning policy

Implement appropriate planning tools to guide development in coastal waters.

Action Points:
  • Identify considerations, principles and policies to guide development in Coastal Zones
  • Explore options for possible Coastal Zone boundaries, such as
    • uniform designation around Grand Cayman, or
    • separate zones which reflect adjacent land-side land uses.
  • Update the zoning map to include a Coastal Zone
  • Review and amend the Planning and Development regulations to ensure there are proper tools in place to preserve the Island’s coastline and waters
  • Create design standards for coastal works
  • Clarify the submission requirements, consultation arrangements and process for issuing permits for Coastal Zone applications

Provide a mechanism for the preservation and protection of key habitats, sensitive landscapes and vulnerable ecological areas.

Identify the Islands unique natural resources.

Action Points:
  • Create a Natural Resource Preservation Overlay (NRPO) and    identify the properties that are included in this Overlay, such as the Barkers area, the Central Mangrove Wetland, Lower Valley Forest, Salt Creek Mangroves, the Mastic Reserve and any other ecologically important lands.

Ensure that development is sensitive to natural resources and protects important natural and ecological features.

Action Points:
  • Identify any features of these properties that should be recommended for protection from development.
  • Where development is permitted, ensure that proposals within the NRPO are evaluated against appropriate environmental review standards and processes.
  • Adopt development standards for any development within the Natural Resource Preservation Overlay, and address issues including but not limited to foundation construction techniques, road construction, site grading, drainage, and solid and liquid waste disposal.

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.

Protect the Island’s natural resources which directly and indirectly contribute to the general public welfare.

Minimise the impact of major developments on the environment.

Action Points:
  • Ensure that major developments are evaluated against appropriate environmental review standards and processes.

Preserve or mitigate for the loss of important vegetation.

Action Points:
  • Develop a comprehensive tree survey of all trees that contribute to the character of specified areas or are of historical importance and develop rules and guidelines for the protection of these trees.
  • A tree, native plant, and habitat survey should be undertaken and submitted with all subdivision applications.
  • Create an adopt-a-tree program to allow additional planting in public spaces.
  • Review, strengthen, and revise, where necessary, the current native tree preservation law.

Minimise the impact on natural ecosystems and biologically diverse areas found within development sites.

Action Points:
  • Establish design requirements and mitigation measures to promote the protection of ecosystems, biologically diverse land, and natural habitats.
  • Develop and adopt mitigation policies for developments that destroy, reduce, or diminish the quality of natural habitats.
  • A site habitat survey should be submitted with all applications for new development which meets specific thresholds.

Minimise the impact of development on surface or ground water quality.

Action Points:
  • Examine current wastewater options with a view to ensuring suitable options that protect the quality of ground water.
  • Prohibit aggregate excavation above or adjacent to a fresh water lens in order to avoid contaminant intrusion.
  • A detailed stormwater management plan should be submitted with all applications above or adjacent a freshwater lens.
  • Encourage porous surfaces particularly for parking lots, in order to reduce surface run off.

Ensure clean air for residents and ensure that domestic policies and regulations are consistent with UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement and other relevant commitments.

Action Points:
  • Develop standards for air quality in consultation with DoEH and DoE.

Recognise the interconnection between land and sea in all decision making on coastal development, particularly adjacent to marine parks.

Ensure that development on the coast and particularly near to marine protected areas would minimise impacts (i.e. surface run off).

Action Points:
  • Minimise impacts on aquatic resources including but not limited to the coral reef system, by addressing the indirect marine impacts of landbased development (i.e. sedimentation, nutrient loading), and the direct impact of marine dredging and excavation.
  • Develop site design standards to reduce the flow of sediment and fertilizer into coastal waters.

Provide increased protection for the remnant mangrove on Cayman’s coastline.

Action Points:
  • Review and amend, if necessary, provisions regulating development, filling, or removing of mangroves.
  • Review and revise if necessary, the current setbacks from the Mangrove Buffer Zone.

Identify and implement remedies to prevent beach erosion, especially where development has encroached below the original vegetation line.

Action Points:
  • Define clear setbacks and public accesses to beaches for coastal development sites based on the line of natural vegetation and revise the existing planning regulations, if necessary.
  • Update the Planning Regulations to accommodate new standards.

Ensure developments along coastal areas are designed with appropriate hazard management strategies.

Action Points:
  • Establish coastal zone flood maps, incorporating storm surge modeling and hydrographic information.

Ensure that new projects minimise any negative impact on the environment.

Create Sustainable Construction Guidelines to help developers reduce waste.

Action Points:
  • Ensure that the site layout and building design take full advantage of passive solar energy and natural ventilation, whilst avoiding excessive solar gain. Buildings should also utilise other energy efficiency measures and attempt to utilise sustainable energy generation.
  • Reduce planning/infrastructure fees for developers using energy saving tools.
  • Encourage the incorporation of alternative energy sources in building design such as wind turbines, solar panels, etc.
  • Provide incentives such as reducing duty on certain materials relating to sustainable design and construction.