Anti-resort allies to appeal dismissal of request for EIS
The groups are trying to block expansion of Turtle Bay Resort
Keep the North Shore Country and the Sierra Club have appealed the dismissal of their lawsuit seeking a new environmental study for Kuilima Resort Co.'s planned expansion of Turtle Bay Resort.
"We feel reasonably confident that we have a good chance on appeal," said Gil Riviere, president of Keep the North Shore Country. The appeal was filed Jan. 8.
An 880-acre master plan for Turtle Bay was approved in 1986, but never came to fruition because of financial problems. When the new owner revived the plan, seeking some 3,500 additional units at the resort, it met with mixed reviews from the community.
Although some residents of the North Shore saw expansion as a way to fuel the North Shore's economic engine, others, including KNSC, the Sierra Club and hotel workers union Unite Here Local 5, protested the plan's revival.
KNSC and the Sierra Club went to court after the city granted temporary subdivision approval to the developer, but their efforts were thwarted when a state circuit court judge ruled against them. A similar lawsuit filed earlier by Local 5 was also dismissed.
"The judge heard all of their evidence and ruled in favor of Kuilima Resort," said Terry O'Toole, attorney for Kuilima Resort. "We don't know of a single other case in Hawaii where a subsequent EIS has been required."
From 1986 until now, Kuilima Resort has spent about $100 million on the expansion and has updated many of the reports contained in the original EIS including traffic, water quality, archeological conditions, drainage and other aspects of the development, O' Toole said.
"The notion that Kuilima is working only from an outdated EIS or that the project has significantly changed over the past 20 years since the original EIS is therefore simply not true," O'Toole said.