A state judge has verbally approved a preliminary injunction to allow Kaua‘i Springs to continue operating a water-bottling plant in Koloa as it appeals a county decision to shut down the facility.
The island’s only water company that draws from a local spring is appealing a decision by Kaua‘i County Planning Commission in March denying its request for a use permit, a special permit and a Class IV Zoning permit.
Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe on Wednesday verbally approved the preliminary injunction and will consider signing a proposed court order within a week, according to a court officer.
The company sought the preliminary injunction because a temporary restraining order that kept it in operation expired today.
Robert Thomas, an attorney with Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, representing Kaua‘i Springs, has said the commission doesn’t have the right to decide on water matters, only land matters.
The company requested approval of the commission permits after a competitor complained it conducted an industrial activity on agricultural lands, Thomas said.
Company owner Jim Satterfield said he secured federal, state and county approvals when he opened his business in 2004.
Satterfield has a lease with the Knudsen Trust to draw water from a spring at the base of Mt. Kahili in south Kaua‘i.
The bottling facility is located on land makai, or on the ocean side, of Maluhia Road in Koloa.