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Parking ‘satisfied’: Wynn penthouse project is go

• Goodman’s Bay 14-storey approved

• As developer identifies off-site parking

• Easement ‘not there’; no limit on height

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The Town Planning Committee’s chairman yesterday confirmed it has approved Wynn Group’s 14-storey Goodman’s Bay penthouses after it “satisfied” long-standing parking concerns.

Keenan Johnson told Tribune Business the developer “came back” to the planning authority with an off-site parking location for both construction workers and full-time employees after this, together with traffic congestion, were identified as the highest-priority issues by nearby residents at the project’s public hearing.

And, given that there are no height restriction on the property, he added that the Committee saw no need “to refuse the project” on that basis or reduce the number of storeys. Mr Johnson said Wynn had also sought to address neighbours’ concerns over noise from the generators it plans to use, while the planning authority’s research suggested a previous easement on the property is “no longer there”

Glyndell Josey, the Town Planning Committee’s secretary, yesterday confirmed that the penthouse project has been given the go-ahead. “This is to inform that the Committee, in their meeting held November 7, 2023, has resolved to grant site plan application approval for the application submitted on behalf of ‘Goldwynn Penthouses’,” she wrote.

“Kindly note that the site plan application approval is subject to the applicant having to satisfy the conditions of the civil design section of the Ministry of Works and satisfying the conditions of the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection (DEPP) of the Ministry of the Environment before commencing development on the site.”

Randy Hart, Wynn Group’s vice-president, did not respond to Tribune Business phone calls or messages before press time last night. However, Mr Johnson said the penthouse project still needs to satisfy the Ministry of Works over the project’s likely impact on Goodman’s Bay traffic flows and obtain a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) from the DEPP.

“We did take into consideration the parking concerns,” Mr Johnson told Tribune Business of Town Planning’s decision. “The applicant came in a little later. We did further inquiries with the applicant relative to those concerns. We asked about construction and pre-construction, and where those persons would park.

“The applicant [Wynn] came back to us and identified off-site parking for construction. They identified a few additional parking spots for the residents who will be occupying those residences. They did satisfy that there’s also the expectation, based on who they are targeting, that at any given time there’s no intent for all parking spots to be used.”

Mr Johnson said this was based on Wynn’s efforts to market, and target, the penthouses at second homeowners who will not all be in residence at the same time. However, it is unclear if the 40 penthouse units will be placed in a rental pool and leased to other users when their owners are not there.

“Taking all these factors into consideration, we decided to approve it,” the Town Planning Committee added. Asked where Wynn’s off-site parking will be located, Mr Johnson said he was unable to recall, but added that it was in the planning regulator’s file.

“They did provide us with drawings of it,” he added. “I would say it’s a few blocks east of the actual development. Parking was the main concern raised at the public hearing. They’ve identified a few additional parking spots for residents in addition to identifying off-site parking for employees and construction workers.

“In selling to second homeowners, at no time will there be full occupancy and occupancy of all parking spots. We took all those things into consideration collectively to approve it. They need to also satisfy Civil Design in terms of traffic. That has to be addressed.”

Mr Hart last week said Wynn had identified three potential off-site parking locations for construction workers and staff as it bids to avoid the “anarchy” that occurred during its first phase project, the Residences at GoldWynn, although he added it was premature to give the locations.

He pledged that the developer was being “very proactive” in finding solutions to the parking congestion that previously sparked multiple complaints, with construction workers and others “parking all over the place” - including in the Goodman’s Bay median that separates traffic flows on that stretch of West Bay Street, and at the public park just west of the project.

Mr Johnson, meanwhile, said the Town Planning Committee was satisfied that Wynn has adequately addressed all other issues. “We took the entire project into consideration, but as it relates to height there are no height restrictions on that property, so we don’t see height as being something to refuse that project,” he added.

“One of the issues that arose from a planning perspective was the location of the generator, which I think Mr [Ed] Hoffer advised at the meeting was a concern in terms of the noise. That’s one of the concerns raised with the applicant. They provided us with some details, which are on the file, as to how they intend to reduce the noise, the generators they intend to use, so they satisfied us that has been addressed.”

Mr Hoffer, whose property will border Wynn’s penthouses on the eastern boundary, was among the project’s most opponents at the Town Planning hearing and is likely to appeal the Committee’s decision to the Planning and Subdivision Appeals Board. He has already successfully overturned one approval based on the Town Planning Committee failing to follow the statutory public consultation process.

Mr Hoffer also argued at the hearing that the penthouses are building over an easement, or right of way, that gives the public access to Goodman’s Bay beach. He added that it was shown on the conveyance for his property, but Mr Hart countered that Wynn was in possession of a legal opinion that stated it was terminated, or extinguished, many years ago.

Mr Johnson, confirming that the Town Planning Committee has examined Wynn’s legal opinion, as well as conducting its own research into the easement controversy, said it saw no reason for the issue to “hold up” approval.

“They did provide us with a legal opinion that we essentially relied on as well to confirm that particular road or easement is no longer there,” he told Tribune Business. “We looked at the opinion, we looked at the previous drawings, and looked at the title documents related to that land. We don’t have any real concerns that will hold us up from approving it from our perspective.”

However, Dr Hubert Minnis, the former prime minister, has previously contradicted Wynn and backed Mr Hoffer’s assertions that the development threatens to “suck up” an easement that runs alongside the side of his house and property next door.

Dr Minnis told this newspaper that easements and rights-of-way cannot be extinguished in the fashion spoken about by Wynn. He called for a national programme to ensure that all easements are unblocked and Bahamians enjoy unimpeded access to public beaches.

“I know the easement is next to the Greek house. I know that is Hoffer. The Ministry of Works should have a map of that,” the ex-prime minister said. “There’s an easement for public access. That easement is still there. An easement cannot be terminated. Those were designed and placed there for the benefit of the Bahamian people so that they can have access to the beaches.”

Comments

AnObserver 8 months, 1 week ago

Isn't Goodman's Bay still full of their employee's cars? How can they get permission to build something that will require more parking, when they are already overflowing?

propane66 8 months, 1 week ago

Yes just like Sandal's parking in the post office car park in cable beach.....you would think Sandal's would at least fill in the pot holes in that car park....disgraceful.....

bahamianson 8 months, 1 week ago

Ok , who got paid off. Follow the money and fire someone. They had a.bad accident in front of that place this week. The public suffers for their inconvenience.

ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

Makes no sense. You tell a Bahamian employee, dont park in those spots close to the building, noones monitoring them but they're for the general public. Your parking is 200ft away, park and walk. See how that works. Worse yet, you try to tell a rich entitled white foreigner that they cant park near the building, you'll get a call passed down from Chester Cooper just like the immigration officer rounding up the illegal Chinese immigrants. "Leave dem people alone". Followed by early retirement. Town Planning is fully aware that this new "plan" has changed nothing. Further to agree that Bahsmians no longer have access to the beach via a road specifically designed to give Bahamians access to the beach is sacrilege

ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

"They did satisfy that there’s also the expectation, based on who they are targeting, that at any given time there’s no intent for all parking spots to be used.”

That's not a plan. Nobody gets approval for a tenancy on the grounds that only 25% of the owners "should" be here at one time. Theres no greater frustration than battling for parking especially if this where you pay to live. If they find a unencumbered spot, anywhere, they'll take it and that to your "offsite" plan

Suppose there's localized virus spread in their country and they all want to escape to the islands at the same time? What's the plan for the day the entire building has 100% occupancy? #visionlesstownNonplanning. This why Downtown and Pinewood have ~3ft of water after 30mins of rain and the bridge constantly smells like a sewer

AnObserver 8 months, 1 week ago

I was just at Goodman's Bay, and observed Goldwynn employees getting in their cars and driving off. Since Goldwynn is using public parking for their employees, next time I go to Goodman's Bay to use the beach, I'm just going to park in front of their gate. They've set a precedent that it is perfectly ok to do so.

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