State puts up
money to condemn
State has deposited $11.6 millionBy Harold Morse
with the Circuit Court to buy
304.8 acres of Ka Iwi coast
At long last, says Dave Matthews, after hearing the state has gone to court to condemn the Ka Iwi coast to keep it pristine.
"I've been at this since 1987," said Matthews, an opponent of development at Queen's Beach, prior to a hearing last night over a proposed golf course for the area.
"What took them so long?"
The state has deposited $11.6 million with the Circuit Court to buy 304.8 acres of the Ka Iwi coast now owned by Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, Gov. Ben Cayetano announced yesterday afternoon.
Ten days ago, KS/BE had rejected the state's $11.6 million out-of-court offer for the land.
"Therefore, this condemnation action is a necessary and important step to preserve and protect the open space and scenic vista of Queen's Beach for the people of Hawaii," Cayetano said.
The announcement delighted many of some 80 attendees at last night's city Department of Land Utilization hearing over Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp.'s planned golf course at Queen's Beach.
"It's (now) a moot issue," said Robert Burke, vice president and general manager, Kaiser Center Inc., referring to the application for a special management area use permit for the 18-hole course.
"A park is definitely an action that the state can do, so it will become a question of price as opposed to what's going to happen," Burke said outside the hearing.
"It's the issue of valuation."
The $11.6 million state offer came to about 87 cents a square foot for beachfront property, Burke said, far below market value.
"I don't know of any place in Hawaii where you can buy beach-front property for 87 cents a square foot."
Michael Wilson, state Department of Land and Natural Resources director, agreed the question now is cost for the land. Of Ka Iwi, which the state will preserve as a wilderness park, he said: "It's an amazing treasure for the entire island of Oahu and the state.
"It will be preserved for future generations."
About 20 speakers last night recalled they had opposed development of Queen's Beach for years and uniformly praised the state condemnation.
"The only issue that remains is the price tag," said City Councilman Steve Holmes, who represents Windward Oahu.
"It's the only strip of undeveloped coastline on Oahu," said Adrienne King of the Ka Iwi Action Council, calling that coast very primal, pristine and ancient Hawaiian.
To walk it gives one a precontact type of feeling, she said.
"It's very spiritual. ... I think to put a golf course there would be a sacrilege."
"It's ludicrous to think another golf course will serve the greater good of the community and the people of Hawaii," said Keonona Marciel of Kuliouou.
"This land belongs to everyone and must be held in perpetuity for all the generations yet unborn."
"We feel that this should be used for all of the people of Hawaii and not just for the people who can swing a club," said Mary Steiner of the Outdoor Circle.
Bishop Estate asks high courtBy Star-Bulletin staff
to stay IRS papers order
Bishop Estate attorneys are asking the state Supreme Court to suspend a Circuit Court judge's ruling that ordered the trust to hand over Internal Revenue Service documents to the state attorney general.
William McCorriston yesterday asked the high court for a stay of a Jan. 16 ruling by Circuit Judge Kevin Chang ordering the turnover of documents, which are part of a two-year audit by the IRS.
The estate is appealing Chang's ruling, and said the judge's order should be suspended pending the outcome of its appeal.
The state subpoenaed the IRS documents in its investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by Bishop Estate trustees.
Chang originally ordered the estate to give the documents to the attorney general's office by last Friday, but later extended the deadline to Feb. 20 after the estate filed its appeal.
Bishop Estate Archive