Planning Commission approves subdivision of Kauanoe O Koloa

LIHU‘E — The county will accept $5 million in various in-lieu-of fees to satisfy workforce-housing requirements for a development in Koloa.

Some residents don’t think that’s sufficient.

This agreement between the County Housing Agency and Yellow Hale, LLC, was made June 8, according to public documents, but it wasn’t the topic that the Planning Commission and its Subdivision Committee met on Tuesday to discuss.

“Reading through a lot of testimony, there were a lot of concerns brought up, and a lot of it surrounded cultural resources, archaeological remains and whether or not they (Yellow Hale) is abiding by regulations,” Subdivision Chair Francis DeGracia said.

What was discussed at Tuesday’s meetings was for Yellow Hale to construct a road leading out of the project, not the proposed 280-unit development itself. The requested subdivision would divide the current two-lot property into four at the Palikua Lot, Kauanoe O Koloa at the Kiahuna Golf Village in Koloa.

Since this is a tenant subdivision-approval recommendation, Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull said, what the committee voted on is not the overall development.

“So while the committee did take action on a tentative approval, it is not a final approval by any means of the subdivision,” Hull said.

The original Yellow Hale permit, approved in 2006, would allow the developer to construct a 282-unit, multi-family residential project, with a focus on transient vacation rentals and amenities similar to those found in resort hotels, according to the Planning Department. The subject permits were approved with conditions in August 2006.

Hull said that much of the written testimony received prior to the meeting references a different part of the development, but did acknowledge there was a fair amount received for the record.

“That’s just not what this application is for,” Hull said.

Hull noted that there are “several outstanding agency conditions that need to be resolved prior to final actions,” including those from the county Department of Public Works, Department of Water and the State Historic Preservation Division in the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

“All this is doing is initiating the project to go and be able to look at resolving those requirements from the respective agencies,” Hull said. “So at this time, that’s all this action would be.”

The Subdivision Committee, part of the Planning Commission, voted in favor to subdivide the two lots totaling about 27.9 acres into four lots.

But residents have been voicing concerns about this property over the last nine months.

Roslyn Cummings, along with the group E Ola Kakou Hawai‘i, has been monitoring the site and development.

Yesterday, Cummings said she has submitted paperwork for a burial site, of which she said she’s a lineal descendant. Cummings said there has been unlawful permitting and commercial transactions on the land, too.

“How do you uphold one law and not uphold the other?” Cummings asked.

In written testimony, residents raised concerns for recognizing a Hawaiian burial site and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Critical Habitat for the Kaua‘i cave wolf spider.

“Why do we have to accept desecration to our burial sites in Hawai‘i?” Cummings said. “This cannot keep on happening.”


Sabrina Bodon, editor, can be reached at 245-0441 or

  1. James Bostik August 11, 2021 6:08 am Reply

    Really? After all of the talk about “right sizing” tourism? Hundreds of additional units IN THE VDA , ready for vacation rentals and additional visitors. A waiver of the workforce housing requirements in lieu of cash. Yes Kauai, you have been sold out once again by your elected and appointed officials.

    If this had been a subdivision that was not in the VDA, and for residents to actually live in, I would be in support. We need to support the existing residents and visitor industry, and work together to devise a way to lessen the impact those visitors have on our island. Adding additional visitor units at this time is unthinkable.

    As the sentiment turns against visitors here on our island, our planning commission and mayor will be squarely responsible for pitting our residents against each other and the visitors. Way to go!

    1. Doug August 11, 2021 4:45 pm Reply

      Well I was going to post but you have really said it all. Vote out these people next election, vote in people that will support local housing and not tourism.

  2. MisterM August 11, 2021 5:06 pm Reply

    $5M in lieu of workforce housing? A nice bribe to the County – but will a single house get built for residents? Extremely unlikely – the money will surely go into some anonymous County slush fund, or else funding that should have been provided, never gets provided – either way it’s a sham.

    This is yet another outrageous abuse of process, countenanced and approved by the very officials who are supposed to equitably administer the ordinances.

    Let’s see more housing built around the island – time to get serious about cutting the insane amount of red tape, arcane rules, huge fees and intrusive government that it takes to get permits.

  3. lucky We Live Kauai August 12, 2021 5:31 pm Reply

    There’s more, not in the article. There was a backroom deal made between the developer and the County. The County gets a percentage on top of the 5 million but of course that’s not in the document that the County released to the community because a percentage puts in a position of conflict of interest . This will come out into the light of day soon. It’s smells a lot like what happened in Honolulu not long ago when the FBI and Attorney General came calling.

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