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Hair braiding shack restaurant application
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Page 1 of 1Total of 10 messages
Posted by:Oct 29th 2002, 12:03:13 pm
KAPI was told that the council meeting has been rescheduled once again and will meet on Tuesday November 5th (I assume at 3pm). - Kathy Pratt
Posted by:Oct 29th 2002, 06:50:29 am
HawksbillDoes anyone know when the town council are next going to meet to vote on this business application?
Posted by:Oct 27th 2002, 12:49:54 pm
KimberlyPosted on behalf of Jamie and Kathy Pratt, who were unable to get on the board this morning:

Friends of Harbour Island:

A struggle has emerged between people such as Loretta and her husband Andrew, who wish to populate Crown land between Bay Street and the bay with shops and restaurants, and people such as the Pratts, and others who own property on the island and seek to maintain the peace, quiet and beauty of the area surrounding their special homes. To be sure, both sides have reasonable positions, the parties on both sides are reasonable people, and there is no doubt that Harbour Island is well served by both groups. The local people make up the cultural fabric of the island and define what the island is – a wonderful and very special place. The outside homeowners also contribute greatly. For example, we have been homeowners for 12 years, and have rented the Blue Dolphin that entire time, generating well over $100,000 in rental income. Every one of those dollars and much, much more has been invested in the island, helping to provide support for a long list of island businesses and friends – Betsy Higgs, Herman Higgs, Thomas Higgs, Cody Cartwright, Tommy Gibson, Gregory Higgs, Randall Johnson, Otis Johnson, Shelto Johnson, Franklin Barry, the Sawyer family, Bernice Thompson, Baldwin Carey, and many, many others. The Blue Dolphin dock is currently being used as the main dock of the island fishermen until the original fishermen’s dock is restored. Indeed, both sides rely greatly upon each other. We are in this together for the long haul, and there is no need for a struggle.

Is there a way that the needs of both parties can be met? We believe that several principles must be honored in an attempt to find a solution. First, any existing rules or regulations of the Bahamas that govern the use of Crown land must be understood and followed by both parties as well as the key decision makers on Harbour Island. Decisions regarding this issue should not be made on the basis of convenience, friendship or business interests without regard to the laws established for the benefit of the community. Second, the rights of the parties involved must be preserved. Legally-established shops have the right to operate as long as they respect the rights of those around them – such as the right to quiet, the right to privacy, and the right to a clean and safe environment.

We hope that following these uncontroversial and basic principles will lead to a solution that can be accepted by both parties. In the event that large differences of opinion still remain, we offer some judgments concerning what we believe to be in the best interest of Harbour Island.

The strip of Crown land between Bay Street and the bay extending from the Little Boarding House to the fishermen’s dock is one of Harbour Island’s most valuable assets; it is the first impression new arrivals have of Harbour Island. Just think how many artistic renditions have been made of the Bay area, both of the homes and the view. Preservation of this strip of land would ensure beautiful harbour views from Bay Street for homeowners, islanders, visitors, artists and others; likewise beautiful views of the island from the vantage of the bay; and a peaceful, clean, and tranquil environment for the Island’s “front door.” Populating this strip with shops would compromise this valuable asset. A short trip to Nassau illustrates what can happen if shops are allowed to take over, and I think we all agree that one Nassau is enough. Presently, Loretta’s is the lone shop on this strip of land. If it were decided, as we are suggesting, that this strip was to be preserved, we would agree to cover the costs of moving Loretta’s shop to a more suitable location – one where she could be located next to other shops, a place where such commercial activity is common and accepted. There, she could operate her new restaurant and play music without interfering with the neighbors. All successful municipalities have areas zoned for commercial activity so that these kinds of activities can prosper. Likewise, they have areas zoned for residences where a more quiet and peaceful environment is maintained. Harbour Island should be no exception.

If it is decided after careful consideration of all these issues that the strip of land between the fishermen’s dock and Loretta’s current location is appropriate for shops, we suggest that these shops be required to conform to strict rules of quiet, cleanliness, and sanitation. These requirements would help to ensure that the rights of the proximate homeowners would be preserved, and that the attractiveness of the area would be reasonably maintained. We would also strongly suggest that the strip of land between the Little Boarding House and King Street be declared strictly off limits to commercial activities of any kind. This land is directly in front of some of the oldest and most beautiful homes in the Bahamas, and under no circumstances should these assets be compromised.

We hope and pray that our comments will establish a basis for thoughtful communication between islanders and outside homeowners. While we may come from different backgrounds, there is no doubt that we have very much in common, not the least of which is the future of Harbour Island, a very special place indeed.

Jamie & Kathy Pratt
Posted by:Oct 24th 2002, 07:26:21 pm
DodyWith regard to TC's last message, it is important to remember that this little business is an effort on Lorettas part to improve her life and that of her family. To suggest that this business will in some way devalue your investment is short sighted at best and unfortunate to say the least. Ms. Johnson has taken the time to repaint and refurbish her little business in order to attract those people who wish to have native souse (not always available) daily! I applaud her effort. As to the concerns regarding loitering, cursing, drinking, etc. etc., there are rules (laws on the books) and regulations that govern these activities. I am certain that this business will be conducted in a manner consistent with good business practices.
Good luck to all!!
Posted by:Oct 17th 2002, 07:54:07 pm
TCI have read and contemplated the message from Loretta. My disbelief is that noone can understand the situation that we as homeowners are in. I bought my land with the knowledge that Loretta owned and ran a hair braiding business on Bay Street - the Pratts however were there long before Loretta's business and have a definite right as homeowners to protect their investment - you cannot deny that there will be an increase in noise and traffic which will hugely detrimental to people in the neigbouring houses. I find it amazing that no concern is given to the surrounding houses - we were never told about this until the application was posted and had no recourse but to oppose it. If I felt I could have picked up the phone and discussed this civily with Loretta I would have. Mrs Pratt has already endured a barage of verbal abuse merely because she has voiced her right to opposition. Is this really the way to deal with the situation ? On another note - Loretta's can not be grouped in with Queen Conch and all the others opposite the PLP dock - she sits alone in and is surrounded by an empty lot on one side and the historic district on the other. A hair braiding business is far different in terms of traffic, sanitation and noise. We as home owners have had to make the difficult decision to go up against this knowing the difficulties people face when they have done so in the past - this is not the easy road - my husband and I too see our properties as investments and to some degree a business. The rentals on our property go to employing locals - we have not made an extra cent in the last year - every dollar goes into maintaining the property, employing a housekeeper, gardner, painters, builders etc - all this is local labour - if our rentals are ruined by a change in business it is not only the "So called rich person" that suffers - our housekeeper and others reap the rewards of the tourist dollar. I would gladly discuss this with Loretta if she has a moment to call - I am NOT trying to ruin her livelihood only to protect ours - if anyone has any ideas on how to find a compromise to this situation they would be most welcome.
Posted by:Oct 17th 2002, 07:12:22 pm
brilandbeautyLoretta, I think our "friends" got the point! My mother is also looking to open a "shack" on a piece of this newly developed shoreline and I wish her good journey. They say they wish that Brilanders become more independent of tourism and seek other means of income but the moment we venture outside the 'borders', the perimeters become evident. Local business don't stand a chance of becoming a multimillion corporation but you must aplaud their efforts in trying to become more self relient and business oriented. My mother (Christine Higgs) will apply for a business along this shore and I only wish that she does not encounter the same strife.
So, Loretta, good luck with your business and I look forward to dining with you in the future:)
Posted by:Oct 17th 2002, 06:25:57 pm
LJAllow me to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Loretta Johnson and I am a born Bahamian by blood. I have lived in Harbour Island all my life and I know no other home. And furthermore, I am the owner of this so called “Shack” that my dear friends: “Tanya Crone, Kathy Pratt & Others so gladly stress. Have it dawned to anyone on this board that “TC” is the lady from Heartsease because her name is “Tanya Crone” and I know that she would take pride in calling my business place a “shack”. But I have news for her and everyone else, because it was in this same “shack” that I babysat for her children. What dignity she has? I have never done any harm to such people and I think that it is ridiculous for such people like they, to dictate to the locals who lived in Harbour Island all their life. By the way, I was granted a temporarily license to open my souse house because of the annual Regatta. For that whole weekend locals and others from abroad partied just like the tourists who come annually for Christmas. I did have music but that was typical for that weekend because at every corner in harbour island music was blastering. My business place have been there since 1993 and I can honestly say that for those nine years, business was very slow however I stayed with it and now I think it is time for me to try something new. My opposing neighbors met me here and they will go and leave me here because at the end of the day when they have made a fortune for renting their homes they all leave. We can do away with people like these because it is evident that people like these have money at heart and not Harbour Island, which they claim to love so dearly. There are many “shacks” on bay street that sell straw goods, food and local fruits. If they can call my place a “shack” that tells what they think about the locals on Harbour Island. It seems that we locals are look upon as “nobodies” but this will change and it will change soon.

A pleasant day to all and Loretta’s Souse House will OPEN.

Best Regards,
Loretta Johnson
Posted by:Oct 17th 2002, 01:07:10 pm
bahamasharonKudos to Kif! I also do not get into Local Government's business but I do think the word SHACKS is a bit strong when discussing the local businesses on North Bay Street.
Posted by:Oct 17th 2002, 11:18:30 am
KifJust a moment. I am not in a position to comment on the licensing requirements. However, please take a moment to consider other establishments in the vicinity... Wade Higgs' restaurant, Harry O's, Queen Conch...all of which are native-owned, offer great food and even better camraderie.
Posted by:Oct 17th 2002, 05:07:24 am
TCLoretta's hair braiding shack is applying for a restaurant license to turn her business into a "Souse House' - I understand without any official license in place she has been operating throughout the regatta weekend - blasting music, endless swearing from drunk locals was all to be heard throughout the night - a few homeowners are busily fighting this battle but the future does not look good - if she is allowed to change her business at whim without any thought for the village atmosphere, surrounding houses or potential long term damage to the island we are in trouble ! The new sea wall has created a potential "Shack heaven" and it will only be time before everyone is clammering for Crown Land and business licenses. Does anyone have any ideas to help our cause ? The area by King Street and Bay Street will be turned into an extension of the PLP dock !

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