2018 Plan finds housing stock grows 40 acres
Bermuda has lost almost 40 acres of tourism-zoned land due to the conversion of vacation properties to homes.
A review of the draft Bermuda Plan found that condominium development at hotels and the conversion of former hotels and guesthouses to apartments had cut into the land designated for tourism.
The review said that 483 homes stood on tourism land by 2016, with seven per cent of them created in the previous ten years.
The review added: “Although a number of tourism establishments had already been converted to residential uses when the Bermuda Plan 2008 was being drafted, the Ministry of Tourism at that time only supported the rezoning of one tourism zoned property to a residential zoning.
“In the new Bermuda Plan, the 13 tourism properties which are zoned as tourism in the Bermuda Plan 2008 will be rezoned either fully or partially to a residential zoning to reflect their current use.”
The report listed Sandsong Villas and The Breakers and Sea Cliffs in Warwick, the Wharf, Harbour Gardens, Loughlands, Salt Kettle guesthouse and White Sands in Paget and Palmetto Gardens in Smith’s and Somerset Bridge House in Sandys as properties that will be completely rezoned from tourism to residential.
The Harmony Club in Paget, Pink Beach in Smith’s and Tucker’s Point in Hamilton Parish will be partly rezoned to account for the residential use of some sections.
Southlands in Warwick will be rezoned from a mix of tourism, residential and open space reserve to a park, while this site of the former Waterloo House hotel in Hamilton, now offices, will be rezoned from tourism to commercial.
The report said some land in St George’s will be rezoned as part of the St Regis hotel project.
It added officials would monitor the growth of vacation rentals, most of which are based on residential land.
The review said: “Current planning policy permits tourism accommodation within residential areas providing there are no detrimental impacts and the new Bermuda Plan will continue to support this.
“Vacation rentals are a growing and important part of Bermuda’s tourism economy, and it is necessary for Bermuda to legislatively define vacation rental property to remove bureaucratic restrictions and develop a light-touch regulatory approach.”
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