Some Lyford Cay residents up in arms over proposed condominium development

A war is brewing in Lyford Cay over the proposed development of four nine-storey multi-family condominium towers that some Lyford Cay residents vehemently object to, with one of those residents telling the developers’ representatives during a Town Planning Committee on Monday night, “we are going to stop you”.

The project’s detractors say the scope of the development does not fit the character of Lyford Cay. 

The developer proposes to erect four nine-storey towers with two three-bedroom condo units on each floor, on 6.5 acres, with the buildings and amenities sitting on 31,000 square feet of that acreage.

During the Town Planning Committee’s site plan approval meeting for the project, residents contended that the project is suitable for a development such as Albany, but not Lyford Cay.

Alexiou and Associates presented the plan for the project on behalf of the developers, Eastmor Properties Limited.

As recently as last week, Chairman of the Lyford Cay Property Owners Association (LCPOA) Sandra Whitman wrote to Director of the Department of Physical Planning Charles Zonicle to formally object to the development.

Guardian Business was privy to the contents of the letter to Zonicle, which laid out the association’s distaste for the proposed development.

Whitman contends in the letter that the condominium project “represents a gross overdevelopment of the site and more importantly, the community”.

Whitman added: “Property owners in Subdivision No. III purchased in what they understood to be a single-family neighborhood. Initially, in 1986, the Lyford Cay Company reserved one 7.616 acre parcel in the Subdivision No. III plan as for possible multi-family development.

“The Lyford Cay Company ultimately subdivided the “reserved parcel” into six residential single-family lots, all of which were relotted and rezoned by request of the Lyford Cay Company in 2000.

“Additionally, the six lots carved out of the reserved parcel are comparable in size to the neighboring lots which are also designated as single-family residential lots. Such a massive building complex will present significant impacts to these property owners.

“The LCPOA board welcomes suitable development within the community. It is our duty to protect the community from adverse development, to maintain the community expectations for development and to oppose through legal and other available means proposals – including the present one – that will obviously materially and adversely affect the community by exacerbating burdens on traffic challenges, further burden utility services, security and other community services, and substantially and irreparably alter the character of the community.”

The letter also contends that restrictive covenants also exist for the property in question that do not allow for the development of a multi-family structure.

However, representative for the developers, local lawyer and former Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson, defended her client’s right to erect condominiums on the property, contending that the lot’s original use was for multi-family development and that the Town Planning Committee has the teeth to change the articles of restrictive convenants as well as height restrictions on buildings.

She implored the committee to adjudicate its decision on the development based on the act that governs it and not solely by the objections of people in the community and others.

“[Chairman] you are exercising your power, the committee is exercising its power, it must look at the purposes of the (Town Planning) Act. The purposes are set out in section three of this act,” Maynard-Gibson told the committee.

She added: The applicant is confident that you, the Town Planning Committee, would exercise your powers diligently, wisely, and for the common good.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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