25 January 2019

The Draft National Planning Framework... Provocative or Overreach?

There are some interesting amendments proposed under the new Draft National Planning Framework...

  • Two new residential zones to be created- Estate Residential, Single Family Residential (which will exclude duplexes, multi-family residences)
  • General and Neighbourhood Commercial zones to include higher residential component in GT areas
  • Non-industrial land uses are to be prohibited in Industrial Zones to ensure land availability for future industrial use
  • New Airport Industrial Zone intended for logistics and related tech industries
  • Light Industrial Zones to be created in each District (presumably outside of GT area)
  • Existing Institutional Zone to be broken out into Institutional, Education and Civic Zones
  • New Neighbourhood Tourism Zone to be created- similar to Hotel Tourism but less dense, more diffuse, integrated with existing zone usage
  • Review setback and height requirements for Eastern Districts
  • Break out Land for Public Purpose into two zones- Public Open Space (Crown) and Community Open Space (Private)
  • Off-shore development (Coastal Works Licences) to be moved to CPA control- Coastal Zone to be established with its usage defined, possibly with several sub-Zones matching landside zones or usage
  • New Natural Resource Protection Overlay to be introduced- intended not to affect underlying usage, but may have additional compliance or mitigation requirements
  • Historic Overlay Zone expanded to Heritage Preservation Overlay with enhanced designation of historic /archealogical structures /artifacts of interest- includes definitions of allowable uses, gives designation control to the National Trust and may also protect views and vistas
  • New Land Subject to Acquisition Overlay intended to integrate Section 3 Roads Law boundary plans, public lands (beaches etc), National Conservation Council-designated protected areas, sanctuaries, nature reserves etc earmarked or identified for acquisition by Cayman Island Government
  • New Area Plans designation intended to focus on precincts such as Seven Mile Beach and to define at a more micro-level, short- and long-term development strategies, usage requirements etc- SMB Tourism Corridor Area Plan to be the first Area Plan to be created
  • Site Design Minimum Standards to be created and enforced- requirement for better and more consistent design of developments
  • Comprehensive Site /Building Design Guideline policy to be derived and implemented
  • Increased levels of sustainability in site and building design to be determined and implemented

14 July 2013

Mediation as Way to Conflict Resolution

What is mediation?
Quite simply it is a way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. If both parties in a dispute agree to mediation then a trained and accredited mediator, who is always an impartial third party, guides the parties to a settlement on which they both agree. The mediator does not impose a decision or attempt to judge the merits of the case.

What are the benefits?
Global the results are similar: around 60-80% of cases agree to settle at Mediation. Thus the saving to parties in cost, time and the ability to continue relationships between parties due to the process being confidential are the main benefits.

The mediation process is about looking forward to finding a settlement that both parties create together and avoid the consequences of litigation. Mediation resolves disputes quickly, usually within a day, and can be arranged in days or weeks. Mediation is significantly less expensive than litigation - because months or years of litigation are avoided, as are the consequent fees of lawyers and experts. Parties may of course (and generally do) have legal or other advisors present during the mediation if they wish.

Mediation is voluntary; any party may withdraw at any time. The Mediation can take place at any time - it is not limited to ordinary working days or hours. If it suits the parties to negotiate over a weekend, then that is when it happens.

How to find qualified mediators in Cayman?
The Cayman Island Arbitrator & Mediators Association is the local profession body which registers who is qualified to practice in Cayman Islands. Most mediators have a legal background but there are several in Cayman that are other professions.

How much does Mediation Cost?
Fees vary between firms so ask for a quote beforehand.  SEL Consulting has two rates one for small claims i.e. under CI$ 20,000  -  CI$ 450.00 per party with CI$ 150/hr for overtime. This provides for 2 hour preparation per party and 2 hours mediation and for claims over CI$ 20,000 up to CI$ 100,000 -  CI$ 600.00 per party with CI$150/hr for overtime. This provides for 2 hour preparation per party and 4 hours mediation. For mediations are over CI$100,000 – as this will require more preparation time and although will around the same sort of time. The cost of the venue and refreshments are excluded from the fee. All Mediation fees are paid up front to maintain neutrality.

Sam Small - SEL Consulting

28 March 2013

CASE Constitution and Professional Code of Conduct

Cayman Architects Surveyors and Engineers at a March 27th EGM approved the Association’s first Professional Code of Conduct and ratified its Constitution. The CASE constitution was many years in the making with key developers including Mr. Andrew Gibb former CASE secretary and Dr. John Harvey CASE Treasurer with input from the 2012 CASE Council especially Mr. Paul Key and Mrs. Jacqueline Bleicher.

The CASE Constitution sets out guidance for the administration of the Society. CASE objectives, including the promotion of the various professional disciplines represented and the continuing professional development of members in accordance with best practice, are also highlighted in the constitution as are the Professional Code of Conduct and the work of standing and special committees, particularly the Disciplinary Committee which enforces the new professional code of conduct.

The CASE Professional Code of Conduct elaborates on 13 standards to be upheld by CASE members including honesty and integrity, competence, honest promotion of member services, the faithful and conscientious execution of member work, the building of good working relationships and cooperation with the Disciplinary Committee. The document has been compiled and adapted from the Canadian Engineers' Code of Conduct, the CIIA Code of Practice, the ARB Code of Conduct and the RIBA Code of Conduct. Care has been taken to ensure that the various clauses do not conflict with other international codes of conduct members may already subscribe to.

The CASE Code of Conduct is intended to be a living document with regular review and update cycles so that as CASE progresses as an entity, the Code of Conduct is able to adapt to the situations that may arise in this jurisdiction. The CASE Professional Code of Conduct was developed by Mrs.  Jacqueline Bleicher with input from Mr. Paul Key and Dr. John Harvey.

29 November 2012

Savvy Clients?

Some months ago, a builder complained to us that "the worst thing that ever happened to the building business is the internet, because now my customers know more about my job than I do".

At the time, we were not sure how to respond, other than to suggest that he might want to find a computer and try it for himself, but the underlying lesson in his lament is the undeniable message that the traditional relationship between the building professional and the client has, for better or worse, been forever changed.

We are not suggesting that this is necessarily a bad thing. Most of us have already realized that there were simply not enough hours in the day for us to even attempt to stay current on all the new products and systems that were continuously surfacing. Nor were we going to be able to keep up with evolving building science, cutting-edge technologies or the latest design innovations without a lot of help. Somewhat to our surprise then is that much of this help comes directly from our customers. We learned that they are not encumbered by the same conservative biases, legacy relationships and inherent resistance to change that held back so many of us in the design and construction industry.

No, when a customer or client embraced an idea it was not with a "why" but with a "why not" attitude. As a result, we had our minds opened to scores of possibilities that could have never discovered on our own, and the results were obvious in our projects and in our market success. The beneficiaries were not only our clients and customers, but also ourselves. The curiosity and desire for new ideas that came from them made it possible for us to continue to look forward to new projects and never tire of the challenges of the business.

That builder had one part of it right. The internet has had a huge impact on the business of building and the shelter industry overall. But we think he was way off in thinking of it as a bad thing- we've seen a new confidence and assertiveness emerge as home buyers and clients become increasingly informed and involved in the process.

There are new 'specifiers' in the mix. And no matter what professional role you fill, it will serve you well to encourage and support them, because they are your business partners now.

With acknowledgements to Ron Jones, Co-Founder and President of Green Builder® Media

1 August 2012

Welcome!

Welcome to the CASE Forum!

The Society is a voluntary gathering of Cayman Islands design and construction industry professionals who share a passion for the Cayman Islands built environment and the contribution they make to it every day.

The Society is committed to the advocacy of our interests in the wider Caymanian community as well as those concerns and issued centred on our professional lives, and is alert to the subtle changes that define our work and affect our day-to-day operations.

This Forum is intended in an informal way, to provide a commentary on current issues that impact on our industry as well as intelligence on future trends that inform the economic and political environment of the Cayman development and construction industry.

Comments and snippets of information are always welcome from you the Membership, and we invite you to submit them as well as your good advice, to casecayman at googlemail dot com.

CASE Council