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Legal issue delays Laie hotel permit

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Permitting was delayed for development of a 222-room hotel and restaurant complex in Laie after a last-minute legal matter arose before the City Council.

The Council’s Zoning Committee discussed the matter in executive session for about 10 minutes before deciding to defer the permit application being sought by Hawaii Reserves Inc. City attorneys asked for more time to study the issue before making a recommendation to the Council.

Members said they were unable to discuss the matter publicly because of attorney-client privilege.

Hawaii Reserves is seeking the special management area permit for construction of the hotel project, which includes a restaurant, banquet and meeting facilities, a stand-alone McDonald’s restaurant and a new two-story commercial building. The project, operated under the Courtyard by Marriott brand, would be along Kamehameha Highway adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center and Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

Before deferring the measure, committee members heard about 50 minutes of testimony from members of the community, with most in favor of the project to spur job growth and keep residents closer to home. Officials from BYU-Hawaii said the project also would help provide opportunities for students studying hotel management.

Hawaii Reserves officials said the project is expected to create 153 jobs, including 75 direct on-site jobs. Eric Beaver, company president, said about 150 construction jobs could be anticipated once building begins.

A handful of opponents raised concerns over increased traffic and tourists in the rural area as well as the potential to increase flooding problems.

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