WAILUKU - The county Board of Variances & Appeals set a hearing date of July 27 to hear a motion by the county to dismiss an appeal regarding the issuing of permits for two planned malls under construction in Kihei.
The nonprofit Maui Tomorrow Foundation, South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth and Kihei resident Daniel Kanahele are appealing two grading permits the Department of Public Works granted in April to Eclipse Development Group of Irvine, Calif.
Eclipse is developing Maui Outlets, a planned 300,000-square-foot shopping center on a 30-acre site, and Piilani Promenade, a planned 400,000-square-foot retail complex on 68 acres, mauka of the Piilani Highway-Kaonoulu Street intersection.
Deputy Corporation Counsel Jane Lovell argued Thursday that a third party cannot appeal the issuance of a grading permit, meaning the Board of Variances & Appeals would not have jurisdiction in the Kihei “mega-mall” case. She sought the dismissal of an appeal by the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth and Kihei resident Daniel Kanahele.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Deputy Corporation Counsel Jane Lovell, representing Public Works, said that the county believes that a third party cannot appeal the issuance of a grading permit, meaning the board would not have jurisdiction.
Because the July 27 hearing is a contested case hearing, it will not be open to the public.
Separately, the three parties also have appealed to the state Land Use Commission regarding the projects, referred to as the Kihei "mega-malls."
They want the Land Use Commission to review and enforce about 20 conditions imposed on the parcel's former landowner when the commission granted a zoning change from agricultural to urban in the 1990s.
They contend that an industrial park approved in the late 1990s under former landowner Kaonoulu Ranch is a far cry from the retail projects being developed by Eclipse.
The commission has set a hearing on the appeal for Aug. 23 and 24.
In another matter on the agenda Thursday, the appeals board ruled against a case by Valley Isle Aquatics, which claimed it was improperly denied a permit to operate at various county swimming pools.
Members of the board said that the company had been operating under a permit intended for sports leagues, but it did not meet the definition of a league when it applied. It also was charging admission for its lessons.
Valley Isle Aquatics had later produced schedules of swim meets and practices to show that it qualified as a league. The company said the department's decision in March was "random and completely against us."
"To accommodate the definition of a sports league, your swim meets were created after the fact," said Board Chairman Kevin Tanaka. "I sympathize with you, but we need to as a board basically answer three questions."
Those questions were: Whether the permit denial by the county Department of Parks & Recreation was erroneous in finding of fact or application of law; whether the decision was arbitrary or capricious in any way; and whether the decision was a purely unwarranted abuse of discretion.
Tanaka said none of those points was proved through evidence or testimony. The board voted unanimously to deny the appeal.
* Nanea Kalani can be reached at email@example.com.