Quantcast

Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Judge sides with Sierra Club against Koa Ridge development

By Andrew Gomes

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 08:37 p.m. HST, Jul 19, 2011


The developer of Koa Ridge, a planned community with 5,000 homes between Waipio and Mililani, was dealt a major setback today by a Circuit Court judge who said the project's approval in October by the state Land Use Commission was invalid.

The ruling was a victory for the Sierra Club's Hawaii Chapter over Castle & Cooke Homes, though the developer is clinging to some hope that a last-minute argument raised by an attorney representing the Land Use Commission could restore the project's approval.

The Sierra Club filed an appeal with Circuit Court in November challenging the Oct. 15 decision by the Land Use Commission to reclassify 576 acres of agriculture land in Central Oahu for an initial 3,500-home phase of Koa Ridge and conditionally approve a second phase with 1,500 homes on another 192 acres of agriculture land nearby.

The environmental organization argued that the LUC decision did not receive the necessary number of votes for approval because Duane Kanuha was ineligible to serve as a commissioner.

LUC rules require that six of the nine commissioners must vote "yes" for land to be reclassified for a different use. The vote was 6-0 in favor of urbanizing the Koa Ridge site, with three members excused. Kanuha cast one of the six votes.

Kanuha's four-year term as the Big Island commissioner ended June 30, 2009, and the state Senate rejected his reappointment for a second term on April 26, 2010. He remained on the commission as a holdover member by Gov. Linda Lingle until earlier this year.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto ruled that the Senate's rejection of Kanuha disqualified him from serving as a holdover commissioner.

However, Russell Suzuki, first deputy attorney general representing the LUC, argued that the commission's approval should stand because the disqualification of someone holding public office, such as a LUC commissioner, should be determined under a different section of Hawaii law that would preclude the Sierra Club from challenging Kanuha's disqualification.

Judge Sakamoto said other parties needed time to respond to Suzuki's argument, and scheduled a hearing on the issue for Aug. 24.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(0)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout