1000 Friends of Kaua‘i sue Planning Department

A grassroots nonprofit is suing the Kaua‘i Planning Department demanding that it require an Environmental Assessment before developers turn dirt at Waipouli.

The group, 1000 Friends of Kaua‘i, claims that the Planning Commission was not in compliance with the Hawai‘i Environmental Protection Act when it gave the OK for a 547-room resort on the Kapa‘a shoreline.

Under HEPA, an Environmental Assessment should be triggered when proposed projects use state or county lands, facilities or money.

Infrastructure improvements that will be required for Coconut Beach Development and Coconut Plantation Holdings to complete the project will necessitate contact with county-owned easements and sewer lines, an advocate for 1000 Friends of Kaua‘i said.

The group is asking for an Environmental Assessment — which could lead to an Environmental Impact Study — to be done before groundbreaking of the resort begins.

In the lawsuit, the group claims that the Planning Department did not require an adequate environmental review and the traffic impact on the already congested area.

The group says the Planning Commission, tasked with protecting cultural, historic, recreational and scenic resources, did not take into account the development’s disruption of mauka and makai views.

The group also claims the Planning Commission didn’t adequately meet its responsibilities of overseeing the shoreline management area and carefully evaluating the developer’s application for a shoreline management area permit.

The county is requiring the developers pay roughly $5.4 million to augment Pouli Road to Wailua Houselots.

David Dinner, president of 1000 Friends of Kaua‘i and co-chairman of The People for the Preservation of Kaua’i, said the group’s aim is to help moderate growth in keeping with the law.

Board members of 1000 Friends of Kaua‘i did feel they had a small victory so far, as the developers’ request to delete certain conditions set forth in January was denied by the Planning Commission last week.

A hearing on the suit will be in Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe’s courtroom on March 1.

Want to help?

Residents interested in making a donation to the 1000 Friends of Kaua‘i can send them to: 1000 Friends of Kaua‘i, c/o Bert Lyons, P.O. Box 742 Kilauea, HI 96754

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