Save West Kaua’i’s heritage

Two important public meetings are scheduled to take place over the next 2 weeks on Kapalawai which is located just to the West of the beach access to Pakala and is about 1 mile East of Waimea Town.

The first meeting is with the Planning Commission which will be held this Thursday, July 13, at meeting room 2a/b in the Lihue Civic Center and is scheduled to begin around or soon after 9 a.m.

For more concise information on the time of this meeting please call the Planning Department office at 241-6677. This meeting will have on its agenda the land use application (changing the area from Open/Agriculture to Resort) and the resort zoning (applying for resort zoning RR-10).

The second meeting is with the State Land Use Commission which will be in three parts. The first part is a field trip (open to the public) of Kapalawai which may start at 9am on July 20. The second and third parts will be public meetings that will be held at the Sheraton Kaua’i Resort, Lawai Room, 2440 Hoonani Road, Koloa (Poipu) Kaua’i at 1 p.m. on July 20 and at an unspecified time on July 21 which will cover the reclassifying of approximately 153.696 acres of land currently in the Agricultural District into Urban District at Makaweli, Kauai, for the development of a resort and accessory uses. At this point the final agenda has not been made available and for more information contact the State Land Use Commission at 1-808-587-3822.

These meetings are to provide public input into the land use (and resort zoning in the Planning Commission meeting) for this area. It is very important that all concerned residents of Kaua’i attend these meetings to save an important and unique coastal area of Kauai.

The developer plans to construct a 250-unit resort along with the usual amenities that are associated with a resort complex. For more information on the resort you can contact Mike Belles at 245-4705 or go by his office at Watumull Plaza, 4334 Rice Street, Suite 202, Lihue, Kaua’i to review the plans of the resort. The Final EIS for Kapalawai is (should be) also available at all public libraries as a reference book.

The planned resort is in an area that contains 3 endangered mammal and bird species (Hawaiian Hoary Bat, Common Moorhen and Koloa (Hawaiian Duck) and 3 endangered marine species (Hawaiian Monk Seal, Green Sea Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle). These endangered species will be affected by a resort and some already have been affected by the initial clearing of the resort area.

On the planned resort area is a 1000+ year old Hawaiian fish pond, associated taro fields, a possible heiau, a burial site along with some areas of extensive sub surface cultural layers which varied from 12-16 inches, but is up to 4.3 feet thick in some areas.

This information is available in greater detail in the Final EIS in Section 4, pages 4-26 thru 4-48. These Hawaiian cultural resources are very important to the Kanaka Maoli, to the residents of Kauai, visitors to Kaua’i from around the world and must be completely identified and restored before any land use decisions are made.

On the planned resort area are many buildings (in various states of disrepair) that have been built for and by the Robinson family over the last 100+ years all off which have considerable historical value to the family, residents (young and old alike) of Kaua’i and visitors to Kaua’i from around the world.

All of the above meet many of the criteria set forth in Federal and State guidelines for coastal areas that should be preserved and not developed. The only way to get this message across to these Commissions is for the people of Kaua’i to show up and voice their concerns to the Commissioners at the meetings.

If you are not able to make it to the meetings try to send one representative to the meeting to voice your feelings.

Also a fax to the Commissions (fax number can be obtained by calling the above phone numbers) of your concerns will be of great help as so far (as I have found out) letters do make a difference.

Bruce Pleas, Waimea

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