Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022 |
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Speak up Tuesday for Wailuanui
Wailuanui is believed by some to be where the first human set foot on land in Hawai‘i. It is the home of kings and queens, the piko of Hawaiian culture, for centuries.
Today, Wailuanui is defiled by the ugly skeleton of the former Coco Palms Htel. On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Kaua‘i Planning Commission will consider the fate of this cultural and environmental treasure as the current wannabe developers will make their case for building another hotel on the site.
For those of us who recoil at this prospect, the law is on our side. Chapter 343 of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes triggers an environmental assessment. Its conditions include ocean setback and burial restrictions. The county cannot exempt the developers from HRS 343.
Current projections of ocean encroachment, and historic designation of the Coco Palms site in the National Register, weigh against the developers ever winning permits. As well, the Kaua‘i County Council just created an ordinance pegging future near shore construction to scientific projections of the future effects of climate change, specifically passive flooding and high wave run up.
But if we want to repurpose Wailuanui from a transient-accommodation-business venture to uses befitting its prominence in Kaua‘i’s past, we have to speak out. The Planning Commission needs to know the public is behind them, as they will be confronted by the development and tourism lobbies.
Testimony is needed before the Planning Commission meets on Oct. 11. It can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reference Agenda Item G-1-a-2022 Status Report.
Kip Goodwin, Kapa‘a
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