Land Use

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


Ensure that prime agricultural land remains viable for agricultural use

Identify prime agricultural land and retain this land for future agricultural use.

Action Points:
  • Conduct an inventory of prime agricultural land and its current status.
  • Separate the “Agricultural/Residential” Zone into two separate zones, Agricultural and Estate Residential.
  • Ensure existing development rights are preserved for current AG/Res property owners, but provide incentives to steer development away from the prime agricultural land.
  • Ensure that water lenses are protected and made available for agricultural use.

Recognise the need for ancillary land uses in agricultural areas including but not limited to agricultural product processing, agri-tourism and the vending of agricultural merchandise produced on farm.

Action Points:
  • Assess the impact of non-agricultural uses near prime agriculture land in relation to soil quality degradation and ground water quality and recommend measures to prevent further deterioration.
  • Restrict adjacent land uses to the newly classified “Estate Residential” use and ancillary agriculture uses in order to mitigate conflicts between agricultural and residential uses.
  • Ensure that areas for aggregate extraction are not sited on prime agricultural land.

Ensure that provision is made for horticulture

Action Points:
  • Identify prime horticultural land and support nursery growth.
  • DoP to work with the Department of Agriculture, the National Trust and local nurseries to identify prime land and assess long term needs.

Provide safe and comfortable housing options for all income levels while preserving high quality of life standards and a strong sense of “community” within our neighbourhoods.

Increase housing diversity to create safe, vibrant and unique neighbourhoods.

Action Points:
  • Rezone land adjacent to Agriculturally zoned land as “Estate Residential” which would reflect existing allowable densities and uses.
  • Revise regulations to include new Agriculture (AG), Estate Residential (ER), and Single-Family Residential (SFR) zones.

Provide affordable housing that is integrated both physically and socially within the surrounding community.

Action Points:
  • Review the Planning Regulations to allow for smaller lot sizes and higher densities specifically for affordable housing, throughout Grand Cayman.
  • Address the need for an Island-wide affordable housing policy, and associated implementation mechanisms.

Conduct an assessment of current residential unit capacity in order to determine the supply and distribution of residential units.

Action Points:
  • Create a forecast for long-term residential demand, and associated impacts on land use, building form, and tenure options.
  • Review and revise, where necessary, existing residential zoning categories and requirements, including the allowed uses, names of the zoning categories, and design standards therein.

Provide for and regulate home-based businesses.

Action Points:
  • Adopt clear policies that address the regulation of home-based businesses.

Ensure residential subdivision is well designed and protects natural resources.

Residential subdivision design shall embrace Grand Cayman’s natural environment by retaining natural vegetation, key landscape features, and environmentally significant elements while controlling and retaining storm-water runoffs and protecting property from flood damage.

Action Points:
  • Create design standards for new subdivision developments which take into consideration existing landscaping, permeability, variety and connectivity with surrounding developments.
  • Update subdivision requirements to require a master grading plan and drainage plan.
  • Require the submission of a tree, native plant, and habitat survey with all subdivision applications.
  • Require developers to construct sidewalks that are sensitive to topographical and vegetative features prior to final approval of the housing scheme or subdivision.

Ensure adequate supply and distribution of office and commercial properties to meet the demands of residents.

Ensure an adequate supply of commercial land to meet market demand.

Action Points:
  • Conduct a commercial lands inventory in order to ensure an adequate inventory exists to meet the supply, absorption and future demand for commercial lands on Grand Cayman.

Encourage commercial development in district centres that are of a neighbourhood scale while supporting Primary commercial centres in Grand Cayman.

Action Points:
  • Identify suitable land parcels in each district, with consideration given to factors such as infrastructure, surrounding land uses, environmental features and economic conditions.


Allow for mixed-use developments to create all-inclusive liveable communities.

Encourage the creation of vibrant and dense commercial centres by permitting developments that include a mix of land uses on a single site. These combinations should include residential uses above commercial space, ensuring residents have places to live, work and shop while reducing the need to travel.

Action Points:
  • Review the Planning Regulations to allow for true mixed use residential/office/commercial/retail developments in Commercial zones, as long as the residential use remains accessory to a commercial use. Consider necessary design standards to allow residential and commercial uses in close proximity.
  • Identify locations for locally-oriented Neighbourhood Commercial centres that help to contribute to a ‘neighbourhood heart’ that serves as social and commercial crossroads for residents and visitors.
  • Identify urban design guidelines and standards to create high quality, safe and accessible commercial centres and buildings.

Ensure adequate long-term supply of industrial land within existing industrial zones as well as creating light-industrial opportunities in outlying districts for local needs.

Ensure an adequate supply of industrial land to meet market demand.

Action Points:
  • An Industrial Lands Inventory should be conducted in order to ensure an adequate supply to meet the demand and absorption rates for industrial land on Grand Cayman.
  • Identify suitable sites for future industrial areas through land use analysis and density regulations taking into consideration the build-out-scenario.

Encourage industrial uses to locate in industrial areas and restrict the infringement of retail, office, and residential uses into these areas.

Action Points:
  • Amend regulations prohibiting new residential development within industrial zones.
  • Amend regulations limiting new commercial development within industrial zones to those that are an accessory use to industrial activity, or those services oriented towards industrial users (lunch restaurants, hardware, etc.).

Allow for locally serving Light Industrial areas throughout the Island.

Action Points:
  • Identify suitable land parcels in each district to be zoned Light Industrial, with consideration given to factors such as  infrastructure, surrounding land uses, environmental features, and economic conditions.

Ensure industrial property has minimal impact on adjacent non-industrial uses and natural resources.

Action Points:
  • Improve design standards to minimise noise, runoff, lighting, odour and emissions through improved design standards.
  • Address land transport impacts between the George Town port and the Industrial Park.

Designate land throughout the Island to ensure adequately distributed institutional facilities in all districts.

Provide a range of institutional zoning options that can accommodate current and future institutional development on the Island.

Action Points:
  • Conduct an assessment of all Civic buildings and uses, such as public meeting halls, parks and cemeteries and determine the Island’s future demands for these facilities.
  • Conduct an assessment of all existing education sites and determine the Island’s future demands for these facilities.
  • Conduct an assessment of all Institutional uses such as hospitals, prisons, police and fire stations, civic centres, shelters, etc., and determine the Island’s future demands for these facilities.

Ensure sustainable, diverse, and appropriately scaled hotel and resort developments.

Guide the future development of high-density tourist accommodation and facilities into identified suitable locations.

Action Points:
  • Develop a long range plan and vision for the high-density tourism areas to protect product quality and guide the development of tourist accommodation and facilities.
  • Create design standards and urban design guidelines that define, encourage and emphasize locally compatible development.
  • Review and revise the design, height, and setback requirements to ensure that future development is compatible with the Island’s historical architectural characteristics.
  • Consult the Department of Tourism and other relevant agencies on all applications for tourist accommodation.

Create opportunities for new hotel and tourist related activities on other parts of the Island for the traveler who does not want high-density vacation opportunities.

Action Points:
  • Review and revise, if necessary, existing land-use laws and regulations for the Hotel Tourism and Beach Resort zones to allow for appropriately scaled development across the island.
  • Explore and identify necessary regulation changes that encourage alternative tourism opportunities such as nature-tourism, agri-tourism and heritage tourism.
  • Explore the feasibility and need of creating a Neighbourhood Tourism Zone for small-scale hotel operations.
  • Create design standards and urban design guidelines that reflect the unique characteristics of lower-density tourism areas.
  • Revise regulations for the height and setback requirements for the Eastern Districts.

Provide a mechanism for quality master planned mixed-use developments.

With appropriate planning and design standards, allow for high-quality master-planned developments that are compatible with the surrounding areas and have adequate infrastructure within the development.

Action Points:
  • Create the appropriate regulatory mechanism to allow for Planned Area Developments (PAD).
  • DoP to identify standards to determine where PADs may be appropriate and the potential land uses that they may include, and revise regulations accordingly.
  •  Consider reviewing the threshold of 40 acres for the creation of a PAD for possible reduction to encourage growth in certain areas and the reduction of commutes.

Preserve both publicly and privately owned open spaces for public enjoyment and protect them from any form of development.

Provide zoning classifications that incorporate the Island’s active and passive open space facilities.

Action Points:
  • Prepare an inventory / map of all existing Public and Community Open spaces.
  • Update the Zoning Map to include rezoning of all these sites.
  • Amend the Planning and Development Regulations to include all existing Land for Public Purpose (LPP) and other open space into one of the open space zone classifications.
  • Update the subdivision process to include a streamlined rezoning process for Open Space dedication.

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.

Ensure the safety and compatibly of aircraft and the users within the airport approach.

Ensure adequate development restrictions in the approach and departure corridors for Owen Roberts International Airport.

Action Points:
  • Provide for airport-specific safety and security issues in the Owen Roberts International Airport area, such as building height, lighting controls, roofing material glare, and perimeter security requirements.
  • Adopt appropriate planning laws and regulations to create the Airport Approach Overlay.
  • Identify those land uses that should be prohibited or restricted within the Airport Approach Overlay due to safety, noise, and   public welfare concerns such as schools, hospitals, and fuel storage.

Preserve and protect the Island’s historical heritage sites and structures

Ensure the long-term protection of the Island’s unique historic areas that help define the history of the Island.

Action Points:
  • Identify areas in Grand Cayman with particular architectural and historic interest where there is a special character and identifiable sense of place.
  • Rename the existing Historic Overlay Zone to “Heritage Preservation Overlay” (HPO) to better reflect the intent of protecting not only the historical structures, but also other heritage elements of the Island.
  • Modify and expand the scope of the HPO in order to protect the integrity of the Island’s heritage sites and structures for future generations.
  • Create a description of allowable uses within the zone, acceptable alterations to heritage structures, and acceptable uses on the remainder of subject parcels.
  • Identify any views and vistas that should be protected.
  • Incorporate a heritage review into all development applications within the Heritage Preservation Overlay with input from appropriate agencies such as the National Trust and National Museum.

Ensure the long-term protection of individual historic buildings, sites and properties throughout Grand Cayman.

Action Points:
  • Expand the application of the Heritage Preservation Overlay, ensuring that it addresses National Trust designated properties, as well as other heritage sights throughout Grand Cayman.
  • Identify buildings worthy of preservation due to their historic, architectural, traditional or other interest.
  • Identify acceptable alterations and extensions to historic buildings.

For Government land acquisitions to occur in a manner that is equitable and transparent to all concerned parties.

Provide the Government with an adequate tool for the acquisition of property that benefits the entire community, while protecting the rights of private property owners.

Action Points:
  • Establish a LSAO and develop regulations and standards for the Overlay to be applied.
  • Determine and map appropriate areas subject to LSAO as a separate schedule to the Development Plan map, and establish protocols to amend this schedule.
  • Include an extensive research and public participation effort when determining land to be included in LSAO.
  • Revise and clarify land acquisition procedures, policies, and laws.

Provide the proper planning tools to ensure the Seven Mile Beach Tourism Corridor remains vibrant both socially and economically

Properly plan for land-use and infrastructure in the Seven Mile Beach Tourism Corridor for the short and long-range future.

Action Points:
  • Prepare a comprehensive inventory of the Seven Mile Beach Area, including but not limited to:
    • Land Uses and Densities; Occupancy Rates; Parking; Circulation and Parking; Pedestrian facilities; Bus and taxi facilities; Wayfinding and business signage; Design Standards/Guidelines; Open Space; Active street fronts; View corridors; Historic sites and resources; Infrastructure; and New planning applications or building permits.
  • Conduct a public outreach programme with property/business owners, tourism representatives, government departments, and the public to identify short and long range improvements for the Seven Mile Beach Tourism Corridor.
  • Carry out a capacity modeling exercise to determine potential growth within Seven Mile Beach, based on current and alternative land use zoning.
  • Develop a Seven Mile Beach Tourism Corridor Area Plan which includes policies, action items and a phasing plan.
  • Draft plan shall be presented to stakeholders, government departments, and public for review and comment.
  • Upon approval the Seven Mile Beach Tourism Corridor Area Plan will supersede all other related policies and regulations related to land use for this area, unless specifically noted in the Plan.

Ensure that development in all areas of Grand Cayman is carried out in accordance with a long-term vision and agreed development principles.

Prepare detailed Plans for all areas in Grand Cayman

Action Points:
  • Agree boundaries for future Area Plans.
  • Follow the broad template of the Seven Mile Beach Tourism Corridor Area Plan for each future Area Plan, such as:
    • Prepare comprehensive inventory of the area;
    • Conduct public outreach with relevant stakeholders;
    • Carry out capacity modelling exercises;
    • Present draft Area Plan for public review; and
    • Adopt Area Plan to provide future land-use and infrastructure guidance.