By Diane Phillips
A proposal is before the Department of Physical Planning to build a resort complex to be called The View Love Beach on a 7.4-acre site on Love Beach.
While not opposed to a commercial development on that strip - which already includes Compass Point resort and two other restaurants across the street, Aquafire and Studio Café - to me the proposed project is too large and out of proportion for the area and should be scaled down.
To understand the importance of scaling back the proposed development, look at Love Beach as a community, appreciate its historic formation and the chance residents took when they bought and built there.
In many ways, the early residents of Love Beach were pioneers. They bought large plots of land “way out there”, not in an exclusive gated community like Lyford Cay but in a place where they could build somewhat modestly, enjoy the land around them, the beach at their front door and raise their families where, because there was so little reflection of city lights, you could still see the stars at night. The area had an out island feel to it. Over time, new condos crept up.
As neighbouring Old Fort Bay became the Lyford Cay for the younger set, Love Beach became a more desirable residential location, espepcially for professionals. Still, much of what made it a distinctive, non-gated community remained, the large lots with a single residence, average cars or SUVs, an anti-designer feel on an open stretch of highway.
The last commercial development was Compass Point, which opened in 1995 with its now world-famous brightly-coloured roofs adorning equally brightly-coloured one-storey buildings.
According to its website, Compass Point “reflects the vision of our founder, Chris Blackwell, who wanted to combine the intimacy of a small property with a traditional simple country home residence common to his native country of Jamaica”.
The website openly recognises encroaching development but states Compass Point has “preserved the natural setting where you will experience the sound of the ocean, the tropical breezes, and at night, the silence typical of a location away from civilisation”.
That is the type of development that suits Love Beach and which its residents - who voiced their strong opposition to the new project at a March 13 Town Hall meeting - would welcome.
Instead, what they are fighting with the proposed View is a resort complex with the capacity to handle hundreds of guests between a four-storey hotel with 40 guest rooms, two, four-storey buildings with time share units, a four-storey building with 16 condos, a four-storey restaurant facility with bar/lounge, ten overwater bungalows and service buildings. The developer is a company called Mylor reportedly consisting of a combination of Chinese and Austrian ownership.
Scale The View Love Beach back significantly to one and two-storey residential-like buildings, and residents and yours truly are far more likely to say, go ahead with Godspeed.
You know there’s a day for that
On April 18 if you high five someone you will be right in time for National High Five Day. I have no idea how – or even why - you would create a national holiday dedicated to a mid-air palm meet and greet but someone has managed to do it. In fact, it turns out someone knows how to make just about anything under the sun a cause for celebration.
Hallmark holidays I get. Celebrating moms, dads, grandmas and grandpops, religious holidays. Those are excuses for cards, flowers, even rings and things, but what are you supposed to do when it is Grilled Cheese Day which, by the way, is coming up very soon on April 12.
Given that April begins with April Fool’s Day, it’s not surprising the rest of the month is rife with reasons to pause and remember.
Some of the holidays are well worth marking, like Autism Awareness (April 2) which also happens to be Equal Rights Day so you have a choice of which worthy cause to support or do both.
Raise a mug to National Beer Day on April 7 and if you are Polish, you can party hard on National Dyngus Day April 29.
April isn’t the only month to play host to days you never dreamed would make national honours.
June 21 is National Flip Flop Day which also happens to be National Selfie Day so clearly you are expected to take the funniest photos of your feet at leisure.
A week later, June 27 is a triple hitter, National Handshake Day, National Sunglasses Day and National Ice Cream Cake Day so the industrious among us can don sunglasses, eat and greet without squinting, devouring ice cream cake with one hand and shaking someone’s paw with the other.
Speaking of food, jump to October and on the first you can drink all the coffee and eat all the legumes you want – it’s both National Coffee Day and National Vegetarian Day. October is like the Whole Foods of the Year month.
The 16th is World Food Day, the 22nd is National Nut Day and the 28th is National Chocolate Day.
I guess what all those days means is as simple as this – there’s a reason to celebrate every day on earth. Wishing you a happy one.