Concern Over Shelly Bay Development Plan

January 25, 2016

There are “concerning issues” regarding the development plans for Shelly Bay Beach and Park, and the public is urged to take a look at these plans and the full list of proposals that are waiting in the wings and evaluate their impact for free public use of Shelly Bay Beach and Park.

This is according to area resident Cheryl-Ann Griffin, who said, “We must not allow a private enterprise to encroach on public land and restrict public access to one of the few remaining safe, comfortable, fun and natural environments for the general public to enjoy.”

Ms Griffin said, “There is a plan at The Planning Department, submitted by The Shelly Bay Beach House that reads, partially, as follows: The proposal for parking for a 100 seat restaurant includes – to the immediate east, 16 cars and 18 bike and alterations to the existing layby to immediate west to accommodate 7 cars. It includes a 4 foot high fence to separate this parking area from the playground, lighting and landscaping.

“In perusing these plans, it was discovered that the actual planned parking area will run from the existing locked access gate, along the playground area and to the east behind the existing bus stop.

“The plans also include usurping the grassy area that is exactly east, next to the building as a ‘games area’.

“Everyone knows that the grassy areas at Shelly Bay Beach are well used by the public and that any restrictions of the area is a restriction of freedom of use. Establishing a parking lot in this grassy area will pose a serious safety hazard to children in the area.

“Nowhere in the island will you find a public parking lot abutting a childrens’ playground. Building a four foot wall between causes more danger as children will only adventurously climb on and over it.

“Historically, when the Shelly Bay Playground was established, it was decided, for safety reasons that there was to be no motor traffic in the area. The parking lot, as we know it , was built for that reason.

“The main gate has been closed and locked ever since, to stop dangerous traffic flow, with access only by the Parks Department for maintenance.

“SBBH is a private enterprise and they are well aware that community members do not agree with their parking plan, but are choosing to bully ahead anyway. They see the ‘convenience’ of their patrons as more important than the safety of especially children, but even the many adults and the elderly who freely travel across those areas for picnics, camping and celebrations.

“They see the value in their pockets as more important that the enjoyable and pleasant family and community atmosphere that most of the island observe as they pass by, especially in the warmer months.

“It is also proposed to give Shelly Bay Beach House control of the access gate, with only their patrons able to enter. This is a possibly illegal proposal as SBBH should not have the right or responsibility to deny access to anyone.

“No-one is in disagreement with the development of Shelly Bay Beach House and its ‘family friendly ’restaurant. No-one is in disagreement with efforts to enhance tourism.

“But why can’t its patrons walk from the existing, possibly enlarged parking lot, along the existing nicely paved walkway, to the restaurant, as the rest of us walk to the beach and grassy picnic area. It’s no different from walking from other beach parking lots like Mickey’s or Princess’ former Whaler Inn or Horseshoe Bay.

“Not all tourists want to come to a contrived and manufactured environment either. Some, especially families, would like to visit Shelly Bay Beach in its natural state, with the possibility of buying a snack and renting an umbrella .

“And, truthfully, most tourists will come in tour buses, which do not stay, but unload and load at the existing parking on the west of the building ….without risking the safety and enjoyment of the children on the playground and the picnickers on the grassy areas.

“Shelly Bay Beach House runs the risk of seriously damaging its reputation with the Hamilton Parish community. It is demonstrating that their business is more important than the people.

“We also don’t understand where they have the right to make a decision about their private use of public land and then proceed to do as they wish. Those green areas belong to the public to use for their enjoyment and must remain so.

“There are other very concerning issues regarding the development plans for Shelly Bay Beach and Park. The public is urged to take a look at these plans and the full list of proposals that are waiting in the wings and evaluate their impact for free public use of Shelly Bay Beach and Park.

“We must not allow a private enterprise to encroach on public land and restrict public access to one of the few remaining safe, comfortable, fun and natural environments for the general public to enjoy.”

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  1. Edward says:

    Time for a public meeting on this, “The People’s Land” also where is the BEST group on this issue and the Parks Commission on this issue, have they met and Rubber Stampted this proposal?

    • wahoo says:

      Sorry to tell you but this has been common knowledge for a long time. Did anyone tell Ms. Griffin? Wayne Furbert brought this up and dropped it when nobody came to his “town hall”. Shelly Bay has never had a successful business venture so WTF R U worrying about?

    • Widget says:

      I went to the town hall meeting last night and was sick to the pit of my guts.

      I went to the Shelly Bay Beach meeting a year ago at the beach the Wayne Furbert and Mr. Burgess had. Both Furbert and Burgess bellies up to Mr. Stienhoff like he had Just won a zillion dollars. NOW their throwing Mr. Stienhoff under the bus. Talk about two faced and to boot they said we are not going to allow this government to do this to our community. For Gods sake man we are two plus billion dollars in debt, how did we get there and what government put us there? i

      For heavens sake why don’t you (Furbert and Burgess) arrange a meeting with Mr. Stienhoff and work out a deal that will make everyone happy instead of hyping up the community with your usual politricking .

  2. claudio says:

    And then we wonder why our tourism product is weak and why we cannot get investment?

    Seems like they are against any type of development that does not include members of their circle. Manufactured outrage.

    • mixitup says:

      Let me guess… a non Bermudian speaking here^^…
      Listen I could care less about shelly bay, I’m a country boy and have been spoiled with beaches….But I do know what shelly bay means to the people of Crawl/Bay/Flatts.. That is one of the only beaches of any significance on the northshore.. Let them enjoy it as it is.

      • Zevon says:

        Well I’m Bermudian and I agree with him.

        You all whine there’s no tourists. You all whine there’s nothing attracting tourists. You all whine there’s no investment.
        Well here’s an investment that will attract tourists, and probably locals as well.

        • jono says:

          How will this attract tourists to the beach? It was recently voted ‘Best in Bermuda’. Why change a winning recipe? The parking lot issue shows that this is less about tourists and more about locals (because remember: tourists don’t have cars).

    • Grizz says:

      @ Claudio “They” and “their circle”. Ok, you are another jack a**! Did you really just say that?! It’s a public beach moron, why does it have to just affect a certain bunch off people! All “TYPES” of people go to Shelly Bay, especially to take their children to the playground; Their concerns shouldn’t be heard because ONCE AGAIN, RICH PEOPLE WANT TO TAKE OVER SOMETHING TO MAKE MONEY – AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE! I am in agreement that something needs to be done about tourism BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF ‘MY PEOPLE’ or ‘MY COUNTRY’. I am not an accidental Bermudian and this is truly disturbing

  3. Coffee says:

    Land Grab .

  4. Edward Case says:

    Somebody wants to put a million bucks into a beach concession and Bermudians complain. This truly is another world.

    • Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

      Read the article. We are objecting to a parking lot being put right next to a childrens’ playground and the taking away of a popular well-used picnic area.We feel that the parking lot is unsafe and unneccessary. We feel that taking the green space is inconsiderate and unethical and possibly illegal. We are not objecting to Mr, Steinhoff’s restaurant and we definitely are not trying to ruin the tourist industry. The Shelly Bay Beach and Park are already very successful. Many tourists already come to Shelly Bay Beach. Why do you think Mr. Steinhoff wants to appopriate this success for his own personal financial benefit?
      Shelly Bay Beach won The Best of Bermuda Awards for beaches last year. Look at the reviews…visitors commented on the safe, calm water, the family and community atmosphere, the safe playground, the grassy areas and mangrove swamp and the large park. Noone complained that the parking lot was too far away or that we needed a parking lot close to where their children were playing…as a matter of fact just the opposite: they enjoyed sitting in the grassy areas while their children played on the playground. So read properly..WE do NOT want a parking lot next to our children’s play area. WE do NOT want to LOSE our picnic area.

      • Edward Case says:

        Yes it is so unreasonable that they would want a car park near to the restaurant. Car owners should be made to walk the distance from where cars park now. Who the hell do those car owners think they are. In fact they should be made to walk from flatts to teach them a lesson!

        • Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

          Some of these same potential patrons walk to the beach and playground. Some of these potential patrons run up and down the island several times a week. Some of these potential patrons walk from Princess parking lot to 1609 or Marcus’. Some of these potential patrons walk from Bullshead to their jobs. Tourists in Bermuda dont drive cars. They are dropped off at the western side of SBBH by tour buses or taxis.

          • Grizz says:

            Get him Ms. Griffin! Let him know the deal. He must think he is talking to someone dumb. Let’s not tell him just how educated you really are! I like how you shut down his foolishness!

          • Happy Onion says:

            I could see reducing the car park to half its size to allow those that are elderly & disabled to park next to the restaurant & also closer access to the beach. Most of the time the green space area is only used during public holidays & occasionally on weekends . . . It is not used 24/7 in the summer by locals. Hence, there needs to be a compromise as tourists are the ones that are using the beach all year round on nice days, such as today when I drove by.

            • Strike fund says:

              During public holidays, the green space itself is often used as a car park!!

      • Zevon says:

        Nimby.

      • Disgusted says:

        Ms Griffin you know very well that the tenant met with you at the Public meeting and these concerns were addressed and that none of what you state regarding access being denied is true. It will remain a public beach with free access. I think you’re being disingenuous about what your real issue is concerning the revitalization of this park.

        • Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

          Words from the planning proposal at The Department of Planning – ‘SIGNAGE AND STAFF WILL BE USED TO CONTROL THE PARKING AREAS> THE GATE WILL BE OPEN ONLY DURING OPERATING HOURS’I could give you names and dates, but I won’t. Before you call me disingenuous-Go and look for yourself!

          • Cha says:

            Only the parking lot will be used for the restaurant and restricted, not the beach. I live in the area and half the time people illegally park their cars on that green space next to their tents anyway. So with a fence separating the parking lot/road it will be safer for children playing in the park than it is now. Especially considering those camping probably have had a couple bumpers before they drive their cars on the grass to leave anyway. The idea of a fence creating more danger for children is completely laughable. I suppose all the schools on the island should remove the fences that surround them so that the will be safer.

            This location was also suggested by the ministers and parks who have pulled a 180 now that it has become an issue. Spineless politicians throwing an honest businessman under the bus. This island can be ridiculous.

      • Mr. JiF says:

        The not so funny blind truth is that this car park is being put there for the sole purpose of distancing the general public from the new establishment … Picnic area!!? Not next to my business, oh yeh but we do need a car park … lol

  5. Family Man says:

    It’s amazing what you can find with the help of Google:

    A landlady has been ordered to pay $10,000 after she took money off prospective tenants before locking them out and holding their belongings to ransom.

    In a written judgment on the case, magistrate Magistrate Ed King slammed … for her “reprehensible and monstrous actions”.

    He said … had unjustly enriched herself at the tenants’ expense

    • Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

      HA Ha Family Man. Did that make you feel good? Too bad the follow-up about how that was a wrongfully reported story was not printed! Too bad you missed the apology. Too bad that I still tenants with whom I get along well. Keep digging. Maybe it will make an unsafe parking lot safe. Maybe it will make everyone not care that their picnic areas are in threat of being taken away.

    • Zevon says:

      Ah, the case of the “monstrous” landlady. Very interesting.

      • stunned... says:

        WTH does a story about a landlady have to do with the salient points of this objection…jc…smdh

  6. MB says:

    The problem is this is entirely the wrong beach for this type of thing. there are plenty of right beaches to throw a million at, but we have been asleep at the wheel for decades thus tourism is in the $h&t.

    She is right, it goes too far for what is a local beach – and small at that. What they plan to do is overkill. Why can’t we just have a rustic beach bar and cafe, why does it have to be over the top control of the whole area that is frequented by community groups, water sports enthusiasts and kids all summer.

    (@claudio-you add nothing to the conversation)

    • claudio says:

      The problem is that Government is too broke to fix up the building and develop the area hence why it probably went to tender.

      How many viable businesses have succeeded at the beach house in recent times that was able to upgrade the facility to a high standard?

      The parking issue, until I see the whole scheme I will reserve comment. Regarding the picnic area – isn’t there a huge field? I.e Shelly Bay field? So rather than enhance an area – this whole thing about privatizing the beach is BS because no beach in Bermuda is private, the access may be private but if you have a boat or can swing to a beach no one can kick you off.

    • Edward Case says:

      Perhaps we should ban tourists completely but insist they still send us their money.

    • Legalgal says:

      This is perfect for locals and tourists. Imagine a “crab shack” cafe on the beach where you can enjoy a glass of something while the kids play safely. (Dfintiely don’t ruin their with another car park). Just what hat beach needs. But please no party-fest Tobacco Bay place.

      A shame Rustico didn’t take this on.

    • Cow Polly says:

      MB – the previous rustic beach bar and café failed as did the previous one to that. The only restaurants we have along that stretch of road are Rusticos (who have recently moved because of the lack of parking) and Swizzle Inn – not you’re up market type of restaurant. Having dinner at that restaurant in the evening with the sunset will be beautiful. A healthy lunch (something more than hotdogs or hamburgers) and a swim at Shelly Bay will be something to enjoy also. So why don’t we all work together. There are lots of picnic areas around Shelly Bay and to be honest that one by the road is dangerous for families with young children. Putting a car park there will prevent a child from running out into the road. Meanwhile those who used to put their tents up there can find a spot on the other side of the beach and everyone will be happy.

  7. Wtfhaha says:

    How about putting the playground back where it use to be years ago,and then we can have parking next to the beach house. I don’t see any business thriving with no parking.

    • claudio says:

      People rather see businesses fail and the building become derelict before entertaining change. Then complain

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      You know how we like to park right outside the door of the business we are going into. How are 16 spaces going to be enough when they will be taken up by regular beach goers who won’t want to drag their stuff the extra few feet.

      • Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

        If this parking lot is allowed, how can SBBH stop beachgoers and persons bringing their children to the playground from using it. They can’t. It’s public space. Right back to where we started.

        • 32n64w says:

          So now you agree this parking space won’t prevent public access?

  8. Lois Frederick says:

    I fully support Mr Steinhoff and his plans for Shelly Bay. To make his venture work, he needs certain things in place, like the new car park. Bermuda needs this kind of beach development and I am sure when it is finished all will be happy to use frequent it. Yes, change is often hard to accept and this beach area has been the same for decades and we will all have to adjust slightly – to a much improved beach facility. The kind of hysteria that I heard on the talk show last week, just shows how distorted events can get, with the host apparently quite happy for it to continue until someone else might clarify. Many callers were feeding into the notion that yet another beach was being taken away from the public. At least Wayne F didn’t continue that fallacy. Anyone having the vision and conviction, to be spending a million dollars towards Bermuda’s tourism product, should have our full support.

  9. Proposed plans says:

    Bernews or Cheryl-Ann Griffin are you able to obtain a copy of the plans for the public to review on this site. That would be a great help! Also, trying to figure out why Government don’t have their plans online for review.

  10. Hoolieh says:

    As usually…the big mouths are the ones that don’t put their money up, want as much as they can for free, block progress and then complain about lack of jobs!

    Which way would you like it?

    Put up your own money!

    Too few beach locations in Bermuda provide little that is attractive for the discerning tourist. Not even our best beach, Horseshoe Bay.

    How can we attract tourist back to our island, when our “perceived” needs precede what tourist probably like; an attractive well-done restaurant near/on the beach.

    To have that, the restaurant needs to viable!

    Smiths

    • Cheryl-Ann Griffin says:

      Which way would you like to provide the discerning tourist with an attraction at Shelly Bay? They love the beach already- Best of Bermuda Award for Beaches 2015.

      ONE MORE TIME! NO ONE IS OBJECTING TO AN ATTRACTIVE WELL-DONE RESTAURANT NEAR/ON THE BEACH!

      For Safety reasons, established 20 odd years ago, We DO NOT want a parking lot that abutts the childrens’playground.
      For Community and Safety Reasons, We would like to maintain the green picnic areas that are well-used by residents and tourists for picnicking, camping, relaxing,watching their children play and celebrations.

      • Sincerious says:

        Well unless I am missing something “We” appears to be Ms Griffin , Wayne Furbert and Derrick Burgess. I am not aware of any outpouring of distain/concern from the public at large to date. Maybe this is the start or maybe it is just that – three people not agreeing with something – not earthshattering.
        The number of objections will be a clue as long as they are not the form letter type and we will need to see the system work through the various stages.

      • Teacher says:

        I agree with you totally accept in the summer months people park on the green area by the playground all the time. I have had to leave with a group of students because I was not comfortable with all the cars pulling into the playground area through the open gate off the road. This has happened more than once as I frequent the beach with summer camp children. This generally happens when a group is picnicking or having a family celebration because they do not want to carry their things from the car park. I have complained about this to the department of parks that the gate should be locked. Yet, for the last 3 years it happens time and time again. They actually told me they open it for people. Cars on the grass 10 feet from the play structure….So no I don’t want traffic on the play area either but it is happening now…at least this way their would be a fence and maybe then no one would drive onto the area by the play ground because they couldn’t . Just a thought?

        • Spit Bouy says:

          Teacher,

          Makes a mockery of the safety claims re the proposed parking lot doesn’t it. I have also witnessed this but I guess if it’s their cars then it’s alright.

      • 32n64w says:

        But the proposed parking space will be surrounded with fencing and shrubbery to prevent kids wandering into a trafficked area. Sounds like a safer option than what currently exists.

        • Spit Bouy says:

          32n64w,

          Exactly. How about they move the playground up to the grassy area above the existing play area & beach, no one uses that much outside of summer camping etc… It could be situated to the western end, cut back the trees so that there is better access & views of the beach.

          This area is elevated & to the North side of the beach & anyone who has small children in the play ground would have a god view of their other kids that may have opted to go play on the beach. unlike the situation now as you cannot see over the berm.

          Surely it isn’t safe to have a playground adjacent to a busy main road either, that’s far worse than a parking lot abutting a playground area.

    • Grizz says:

      So if you DON’T have money to fix the problem, you should just sit back and let any ole thing happen! There’s that privilege complex popping up! You don’t have to be rich to have a vision or see when sh*t ain’t right!

  11. Wha says:

    Just leave the parking lot where it is… That’s why we Bermudians are so fat. Do we really have to park right in front of the restaurant’s door????

    • Bullseye says:

      Exactly. what’s wrong with the walk? It’s not far. Is it just for delivery access?

  12. Widget says:

    My concern is the traffic and the speed in which people come along the Shelly Bay stretch. Sooner or later their will be an accident from cars driving in and out of the proposed parking area. Outside of that, move the playground to another area.

    • Izzypop says:

      What nonsense are you ranting. Apparently you don’t use the area when there is functions or cup match.

  13. beam me up sparky says:

    Is that the Royal “We” you are using ?

  14. sunny says:

    HMMMM, Honey! its called Progress

  15. mmm says:

    If the government owns the shelly bay beach and playground and the adjacent field, then they should work with the people, we have 4,000 out of work, and we have returning college students. They found 77 million for Americas Cup, so why not find 2 mill ion and grow that particular area. Let,s give our young people an opportunity, invite them, teach them, walk with them, share with them, encourage them. There are people on financial assis tance, people on probation, who can be very, very care-fully vetted and monitored, who can be a part of the 50 people needed On another note we need to encourage our people to enjoy this recreation area as is with adequate facilities and a good restaurant, well kept.

  16. There is a gate at the beach now…shouldn’t be it has to have ambulance access.!.that whole design looks chincy and half baked….has no one got the design of a nice restaurant down yet?Function and design must be merged with beauty…and it should be stately and landscaped…attractive and cozy…a place to be and a place to be seen in…not a hoj poj with grocery store doors and windows with crass signage …

    • Izzypop says:

      And he was going to do just that. Make it nicety. More greenery

  17. bdaman441 says:

    People are missing the point(S) and C Griffin has made many valid ones. The playground and grassy area is regularly used by families…there are plans to strip that away….that shouldn’t happen. Many other restaurants in Bermuda require parking some distance away and you walk to the venue, so this would not be out of order….people walked from the Aquarium to Rustico’s former location without complaint so why not here.

    Tourists do not drive! So they are not being affected by this. This is not a case of someone raising a concern without merit…have you read the concerns in full?? And as mentioned above, Parking just off of Shelly Bay stretch doesn’t come across as the safest thing.

    I get annoyed by ‘greenies’ who complain at every proposed development but in this instance they are not only proposing to develop land and take away green space, it is space that is actually used and enjoyed by families on a regular basis.

    And for the proposed restaurant, if a parking lot is the reason that the establishment fails….then there are bigger problems with the product!

    This should not be allowed to happen.

    • Izzypop says:

      A lot of the concerns are nonsense. Made up to hype people up. The man although taking some of the area for parking was going to make it look nicer. More greenery Clean the beach. Build bathroom at his expense for the public to use.

  18. Jealous says:

    I’m sure if Ms. Griffin was set to profit from this venture she wouldn’t raise any concerns. She’s jealous that someone decided to develop a profitable business in her parish without her taking a cut.

  19. Eyes wide open says:

    “There are none so blind as those that will not see.”

    We will all soon be tourists in our own land. The OBA aren’t as blatant as the PLP were – acting like the government coffers were their own personal piggy bank. No, they are much craftier than that. They’re selling off pieces of Bermuda – a little at a time – to (not even) the highest bidder. All you fools that can’t (or won’t) see the writing on the wall, will be the first ones complaining in 5-10 years about having to leave because they can no longer afford to live here. Go ahead and hit the dislike button. Doesn’t make it any less true.

  20. Triangle Drifter says:

    As has been said a few times already, if the business is not seen to be viable nothing will happen.

    The building will continue to deteriorate. Really looks nice now doesn’t it. There will be no restrooms. Thats OK, the bushes work fine don’t they. Cars will continue to park randomly all over. That works great too.

  21. Izzypop says:

    Always complaining. He wants to do something with that eyesore of a building. Instead of damning the man to hell why don’t a select few of you speak to Mr Steinhoff and voice your concerns. As reasonable people would. He sounds like a reasonable man. You all make it sound like he is taking all the grass. And beach . Work on this together. And if you all are so concerned about the park and beach why is it always so much trash dumped by users of the area.

    • Anon Ymous says:

      KBB, who were at Shelley Bay doing a cleanup at the weekend, might vouch for that last part!

  22. the truth will set you free says:

    Predatory capitalism at its finest. In the USA same thing taken place it is called gentrification. Their love for money is greater than their love for humanity. Here are (2) Scriptures regarding those with power and money: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The love of money is at the root of all evil. These (2) scriptures reveal their cold hearts.

  23. Curious says:

    There is a way forward that invites all emerging concerns to be heard, considered and debated – leading to a decision that can potentially work for everyone.

    My suggestion is to invite some of our talented landscape architects to make additional design suggestions. They are trained to assist with creative solutions to complex issues such as the safety of our children, family recreation patterns, developing beach services and parking for the cafe.

    Architects are skilled listeners and this type of complexity, strong emotion and party politics needs to shift towards a solution.

  24. Imjustsaying says:

    For those Bermudians that believe it is okay to take a public beach and make it private shame on you. This beach is a great beach from families. There are a lot of events that take place at Shelly Bay beach. Im so sick of people not educating themselves on the cons of this proposal. Something that is ours will be taken from us because someone sees profit. Government needs to invest more in this beach reach out to the community to fix up the beach. But who knows Government might have ties in this by neglecting the beach it would make it seem like the beach needs rescuing by being private. Bermuda needs to get more like Barbados. It’s against the law to make beaches in Barbados private.

    • Listen 4 once says:

      But it isn’t being made private.

      Whoever told you that is lying.

      The developer has stated several times over that the land remains public and as such he has no right to charge anyone admission to the beach.

      People seriously need to stop listening to the nonsense being spewed by some.

      THE BEACH WILL NOT EVER BECOME PRIVATE!

      • Spit Bouy says:

        Listen 4 once,

        Unfortunately reality doesn’t suit some folks narrative. It has to be a conspiracy against Bermudians, It has to be about someone else getting something etc… But it won a best of Bda award LOL. Antiquated & crumbling facilities etc… The beach is great but if the last 30 years of our failing tourism product has taught us anything it’s that scenery is not all that’s needed.

        This place has repeatedly had businesses open & close yet I doubt if any of the naysayers have taken a chance to open a business there and keep it just as it is; if that’s what they prefer it. But woe betide someone else try.