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BYU officials defend hotel proposal

  • COURTESY HAWAII RESERVES INC.
    An artist’s rendering of the hotel that Hawaii Reserves Inc., which manages property for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wants to build in Laie.
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Brigham Young University-Hawaii officials said a proposed hotel and related banquet and restaurant facilities are important parts of a plan to expand educational services in Laie.

But Punaluu resident Creighton Mattoon worries about the effect of the proposal on traffic, especially with other planned hotel developments on Kamehameha Highway between the North Shore and Windward Oahu.

"Sometimes I have difficulty just getting out of my driveway," said Mattoon, a member of the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board. "It’s bearable now, but with each new planned development we’re going to have increasing traffic."

The City Council’s Committee on Zoning is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Kahuku High School cafeteria to hear public testimony and possibly recommend whether to grant a special management area permit for the proposed development in coastal Laie. The proposal would move to the City Council before final approval.

Hawaii Reserves Inc., which manages property for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wants to develop a four-story, 223-unit hotel along with a restaurant and banquet facilities to replace its former 49-unit hotel on 9.84 acres of land.

Hawaii Reserves President Eric Beaver said besides accommodating visitors to the campus as well as business people, the hotel will be used to train BYU-Hawaii students for travel industry management jobs.

Beaver said the hotel would reduce the number of visitors driving back to hotels in Waikiki and elsewhere after visiting Laie and the North Shore.

He said Hawaii Reserves was working on a shuttle plan that would reduce the number of vehicles on the highway after events at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Tim Vandeveer, co-chairman of Defend Oahu Coalition, said the size of the hotel does not fit into the rural character of the region as described in the general plan.

Vandeveersaid the hotel development is part of a larger proposal to develop hundreds of residential houses at Malaekahana.

Hawaii Reserves has proposed the building of an 875-unit residential development at Malaekahana.

Vandeveer said Hawaii Reserves’ proposal will have a cumulative effect on the rural nature of the North Shore, if other proposed hotel developments in Haleiwa and Turtle Bay occur.

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