Waipouli resorts decision tabled to next month

The Kaua‘i County Planning Commission has approved a deadline extension request by developers of two proposed multi-million dollar resorts in Waipouli critics have said will dramatically add to traffic woes between Kapa‘a and Wailua.

At its meeting at the Lihu‘e Civic Center Tuesday, the commission approved requests by Coconut Plantation Holdings and Coconut Beach Development to extend the deadline for a decision until Jan. 23.

The commission’s action allows the planning department more time to complete the final reports for the 12-acre project by Coconut Plantation Holdings and the 20-acre project by Coconut Beach Development.

Had the commission not approved the deadline extension, it could have technically voted on the projects Tuesday, although without the benefit of a detailed planning department report.

The commission had 60 days in which to make a decision after receiving a letter from county Wastewater Division head Ed Tschupp on wastewater requirements for both proposed projects.

The challenge was that the 60-day deadline ended Dec. 11, one day before the commission was to convene — hence the deadline extension requests.

Jeffrey H. Overton, representing Coconut Plantation, and Kaua‘i attorney Walton Hong, representing Coconut Beach Development, filed formal requests with the commission for extending the deadline.

Both projects have triggered controversy because of their potential impact to traffic in surrounding areas already filled with businesses and existing resorts.

Traffic jams appear on Kuhio Highway between Wailua and Kapa‘a during any time of the day.

In an unprecedented move, the developers have offered between $3.5 million to $5 million the state government can use for road improvements between the Wailua River and areas near the northern end of Kapa‘a town.

The funds can be used for wrangling matching federal funds for the improvements, representatives for developers have said.

But some Kapa‘a business people have said the offer of up to $5.4 million is not nearly enough because they feel the developers stand to make huge profits.

Up to 535 multi-family units, 12 hotel rooms and nearly 1,000 parking stalls could be built if both projects are approved.

Slightly more than 340-multi-family units are planned for the Coconut Beach Development project, the larger of the two proposed resorts.

Plans for the Coconut Plantation Village include the development of 192 condominium units, six hotel rooms, a cultural-preserve area, and a minimum of 399 parking stalls, although the developer plans to reduce that number to allow for more open space and landscaping.

Plans also include a reception area, an activity center, pavilions, a swimming pool, landscaping, walkways, barbecue and picnic sites.

The 20-acre Coconut Beach Resort is to be built on a beach between the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach and the Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy.

The 12-acre Coconut Plantation Village is to be built on the north side of the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai.

Lester Chang, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or lchang@kauaipubco.com.

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