Friday, March 30, 2012



I noticed this morning Friday, that palmetto stakes had been set out, further down the beach to hang the the fabric on to contain the sand, when the dredge pumps it ashore. So they must be intending to go forward eventually soon, with more beach reclamation? The dredge is not here though yet. Must be busy elsewhere on government work?

The Caye Caulker Town Council seems to have lost control of the malecon, or public scenic beach area. There are a number of new buildings going up on this public scenic, photogenic by the water side new beach.

Lester´s Rainbow restaurant bar and grill, was built about 25 years ago, over the water on posts and he paid to have the beach reclaimed and filled out to it. So one would suppose he would be grandfathered in? Frenchies was built on a pier over the water and has been in business about 35 years there. So that would be grandfathered in also. But newer constructions are going on this public scenic beach. Los Alos something restaurant and bar, a beautiful place, one story, has now built a second story above that, on the public beach obstructing the view of white sand, emerald water and coconut trees. I don´t know how they got away with building a two story building on the public beach? They certainly can neither own, or lease the beach which is public land. Another new one is called Jolly Roger bar. Very recently built and expanding. There are a number of stalls, which are portable for handicrafts, conch shells, vegetable stand and so forth along the beach, on the East side of Front Street. One ex- town councillor told me a story of how they used to put up wooden cabin type stalls, for LOBSTER FEST WEEKEND and decided to leave them up and rent them out to make the village council some money. That was several elections ago. He said, at the next election, he asked if they were collecting rents at the Village Council and they were liard and said yes, everything was paid up. He said, when the next Council got in, they found NOBODY had paid rent for two years and there was a backlog owing of $20,000. The new council had to write it off as bad debt. Some of those old stalls or cabins still have people in them running businesses on the beach. There is even a wooden public toilet by the water on the beach, while private property owners were forced to take theirs down decades ago. Property owners along Front Street that should now have scenic views and photogenic beach in front of their high income expensive properties are now blocked by unsightly shanty town structures. One can understand buildings on piers, associated with fishing tours, or commercial guide boats, but on the scenic beach itself? Doesn´t make sense. One disgruntled old councillor said, that town councillors that get into office for Caye Caulker are giving permission for their relatives to build on the scenic public beach.
I believe somebody should send some of these new younger leaders in the Caye Caulker Town Council to Puerto Rico, or Nice in France, or someplace where the beaches are kept public, open and attractive. They need to learn that they have an attractive tourist package in a clean wide sandy beach with many coconut trees and no structures on it. Still, they are elected to control the beach, if they lose their economic benefits, they will only have themselves to blame. Not my place anymore. I no longer live there. Some day it will be extremely hard for a future island Town Council to have a bulldozer go through and clear every construction off. Islanders are usually soft hearted and would find it hard to do. Everybody has to eat, but the proper place for business is across Front Street, or on side streets elsewhere in the town. If a beach is reclaimed down around the South Point of the island, I would expect the southern end of the island past the airstrip to explode with new business development, skyscrapers and time share condos.
Rainy season in June. Agriculture Department need several hundreds of coconut trees for planting on this reclaimed beach. They need about four rows of coconut trees wide between front street and the water line. Takes about 6 years to get dwarf coconuts to grow tall enough to be attractive for tourism. Trees also stop the squatters from moving in and building shacks. Caye Caulker has growing pains, and this is just one of them.

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