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Abercrombie pushing for land preservation deal with Turtle Bay

By Derrick DePledge

LAST UPDATED: 1:31 p.m. HST, Jan 8, 2014

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said today that his administration is committed to reaching a land preservation agreement with Turtle Bay Resort this year.

The governor has asked state lawmakers for $40 million in general obligation bond money for a conservation easement that would be used to protect 610 acres near Kawela Bay and Kahuku Point from development.

The state Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee and the Senate Water and Land Committee held an informational briefing today to hear an update on negotiations.

The state and Turtle Bay are in talks over price. The state's appraisal is between $31 million and $38 million, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, while the resort's figure is higher, mostly due to fixed infrastructure costs that are being worked out with the city.

The state is waiting to hear from the resort's developers -- likely in February -- on a reduced infrastructure plan that reflects lesser development because of the land conservation. A land preservation agreement could prevent the development of 750 homes. The resort, however, could still move forward with two new oceanfront hotels.

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