Friday, September 12, 2003

Ceded-land offer is
a fraction of appraisal

The state is considering temporarily accepting $6,000 in monthly rent from a private company for two acres of Big Island ceded land that an appraiser says is worth $16,000 a month.

The land is on the shoreline north of Kailua-Kona and is part of a much larger parcel on which the Hilton Waikoloa Village resort sits.

When the resort was built in 1986, a survey said the two shoreline acres were private. In 1997 a federal court ruled that the shoreline is state land.

Since then, negotiations have been under way, unsuccessfully, to determine how much the state is owed. A state appraiser valued the land at $16,000 a month.

Landowner Lanpar/HTL Associates has declined to pay the full $16,000 a month but has said it is willing to pay $6,000 a month until a resolution is achieved, state Land Division Administrator Dierdre Mamiya reported to the state Board of Land & Natural Resources.

The board was to consider the temporary rent deal today.

Pressure to resolve the matter has increased because the shoreline is ceded land, formerly owned by the Hawaiian kingdom and ceded to the Republic of Hawaii after the overthrow of the monarchy.

State law says 20 percent of the revenue from such land must be paid to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

On July 2, OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona requested that the agency's share of back rent be given immediately, Mamiya reported.

The total due to the state would be about $2 million, based on $5,333 a month to 1996 and $16,000 a month since then, Apoliona wrote. OHA's share of the total would be $429,000.

If the Land Board accepts the "interim" $6,000 a month, the final payments could be adjusted later, Mamiya said.

An appraisal by Lanpar is due Monday. If that does not agree with the state's appraisal, a third appraisal will be done.

If no agreement is reached, the state would begin to evict the resort from the shoreline.


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