Waimea Valley purchase advances
The state's share of the payment heads next to Gov. Lingle
The state's share of a $14 million court-mediated settlement aimed at protecting Waimea Valley from development has cleared one of its last hurdles in the Legislature before going to Gov. Linda Lingle for approval.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the $1.6 million payment from the Department of Land and Natural Resources yesterday despite minor typographical errors in the emergency appropriations bill.
Sen. Brian Taniguchi, the committee chairman, withdrew a proposed amendment to fix the errors, at the request of state land Director Peter Young. "The mediator is anxious to get this transaction closed," Young said.
Because the administration bill already passed out of the House, any amendments by the Senate would have required it to go back to the House for approval.
Typos included minor mistakes in spelling and grammar, such as an extraneous word, that do not alter the intent or meaning of the proposal. "I don't think it affects any substantive parts," said Taniguchi (D, Moiliili-Manoa).
House Bill 2400 was approved 11-0 by the committee. It faces a final vote by the full chamber before going to the governor.
The Waimea Valley settlement, approved by the City Council on March 15, pays $14 million to New York investor Christian Wolffer to purchase the property. The city's share was $5.1 million it had deposited with the court when it filed a 2002 lawsuit to condemn the valley and purchase the land.
Contributing the balance of the payment, in addition to the $1.6 million from the DLNR, are the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Army through the Trust for Public Lands, and the National Audubon Society.