Too often we forget the great accomplishments of the past and remember, in comparison, the minor problems of the present.
We should remember that, before the 1980s, Princeville was a small village with a very nondescript entrance. That all changed because of one man: Jeff Stone. Jeff Stone, along with some financial support from the Prince Resort Hotel (now the St. Regis) and the Westin, created the most beautiful formal entrance of any village I have ever seen, and at the entrance — with Kauai surrounded by the sea — created the fountain of Neptune, the god of the sea.
Jeff Stone also created the Prince Golf Course, which in the 1900s, was selected by Golf Digest as one of the top 10 golf courses in the United States and the No. 1 golf course in Hawaii. The golf course has stunning views but it also a very challenging course to play and, as a result of the challenging course, it never made money and is now no longer open to play.
Even though the golf course is no longer open, Jeff Stone continues to have the beauty of the course maintained with the grass being cut and watered as necessary.
In addition, Jeff Stone created Princeville II, the land to the right as one enters Princeville. There he created three beautiful areas.
The villas on the right, the single-family homes on the left, and the townhomes at the end the road: If you happen to live in one of those, you live there because Jeff Stone created them.
Further to the left, Jeff Stone still has 1,200 acres that could be developed.
This area had authorized permission for 3,000 homes, which, if built and occupied, would more than double the entire population of the North Shore (the 2010 population of Princeville was 2,158 per U.S. Census). Jeff Stone went to the Kauai Planning Department and changed the allowed units to 400 with the hope that luxury homes would be built in the $3 to $10 million range and they would be built by the very wealthy as their third, forth or tenth home. That project has yet to be achieved, but if achieved it would provide many jobs — such as year-round yard maintenance and — since the owners would probably be here only four or five weeks a year — there would be very little impact on traffic.
Let’s hope it happens and, if it does not happen, we should still applaud the effort.
Now Jeff Stone has proposed a development on the ridge above Hanalei Bay. This area has had two similar developments which were approved and constructed. Both developments failed and some of the concrete bases still exist. This development is really part of Princeville as it cannot be entered from Hanalei. So it is not Hanalei, it is Princeville. The design consists of low profile two-story (not the allowable three-story) cottages and none of the project (on the submitted plan) will spill over the Hanalei side of the ridge.
It is true that Jeff Stone has, in the past, not properly maintained (until now) a small part of the entrance road that he is personally responsible for, but overall he has made Princeville what it is today — one of the most beautiful villages in the United States.
Joe Frisinger is a resident of Princeville.