Princeville Corp. and homeowners at odds over open space lands

Council working on solution

A proposed bill to prevent development of 450 acres of golf course land and open space at the Princeville resort was deferred by the Kaua’i County Council’s Planning Committee yesterday on the advice of the county attorney’s office.

County Attorney Lani Nakazawa, who attended the meeting at the historic County Building, said because of confidentiality matters, she could not comment on the matter.

The bill has placed the owners of the Princeville resort at odds with property owners of between 20 and 25 properties within the first phase of the North Shore resort.

Princeville Corp. officials maintain the company always had the right to sell or develop the land. Property owners, meanwhile, said they primarily bought properties on the promise by sales people that the land around them would not be developed.

The bill, initially introduced by former Kaua’i County Council chairman Ron Kouchi and overwhelmingly supported by affected homeowners, proposes to preserve the bulk of the land for use as a golf course and open space.

The council bill came about after a 21-acre parcel was put up for sale over the past year, apparently for the development of a home.

Property owners sent to the county written testimony supporting the bill. Some owners contended the development of the land would create traffic congestion and unwanted growth and affect their property values.

But in written correspondence sent to the council, Hong said Princeville Corp is opposed to the bill for these reasons:

  • It is discriminatory and applies to open zoned lands only at Princeville and not to open zoned lands elsewhere on the island.
  • The bill violates the “equal protection clause” of the federal and state constitution.
  • The proposed legislation would lead to taking of private property without compensation.
  • The county did not impose conditions against development of the land when the master plan for the first phase of Princeville was developed and adopted in 1969.
  • The county didn’t establish the same requirement in other land development plans.
  • Recent testimony before the Kaua’i County Planning Commission on the bill “clearly indicated” that Princeville Corp may develop parts of the golf course and other areas, contrary “to representations” made by sales people.
  • Princeville Corp, not the county through a bill, should be allowed to go to court to resolve legal disputes over the sale representations and subsequent property sales.
  • County documents did not reveal any conditions that prevented “residential densities” on the land.

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and lchang@pulitzer.net

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