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Group sues in attempt to block city sale of Haleiwa land

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:11 a.m. HST, Jul 17, 2012

A lawsuit was filed Monday against the city to stop the sale of vacant parcels in Haleiwa.

The complaint was filed on behalf of longtime North Shore resident Cora Sanchez, stand-up paddler Steve Baldonado and members of the Save Haleiwa Beach Park Coalition.

The lawsuit contends the city has failed to follow the law in its plan to close and sell more than three acres of land in Haleiwa. Under the law, the city is require to obtain a special management area permit “whenever it plans an action that will reduce the public’s ability to use the shoreline,” according to Jim Bickerton, one of the attorneys who is representing the plaintiffs.

In a news release, Bickerton said, “Three acres of prime oceanfront land in Haleiwa is not a small deal. We’ve never seen this sort of concerted effort to privatize and sell of our public beach park land.”

City spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy said they have not seen the lawsuit.

Last month, the city deferred action on a resolution to approve the sale of eight vacant parcels in Haleiwa due to questions raised by many community members about the sale process and value of the parcels. City Council Chairman Ernie Martin, who represents the Haleiwa area, had introduced the resolution at the request of the mayor’s office to sell the preservation land.

The mayor’s office had recommended a bid process between the adjacent landowners, developer D.G. “Andy” Anderson and Kamehameha Schools. Anderson expressed interested in acquiring the land to develop a boutique hotel. Kamehameha Schools also expressed interest in the land for a cultural park.

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