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Critics prepare to oppose Hanalei Bay development

December 14, 2013
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Proposed construction of luxury homes and a hotel in the hills above Kauai's Hanalei Bay is drawing opposition from residents and community organizations that say it will ruin the view of a ridgeline north of the Hanalei River.

"Unless they are fully mitigated, the visual impacts of the proposed project would irremediably damage the scenic and environmental qualities that have made Hanalei Bay the most unique and iconic place in the state of Hawaii," wrote Joel Guy, president of the Hanalei-to-Haena Community Association, in a letter sent to the developer's consultant.

The Hawaii Office of Environmental Quality Control has released the Hanalei Plantation Resort's environmental impact statement preparation notice, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. A draft environmental review for the proposed resort is expected by spring.

Ohana Hanalei LLC has proposed a hotel and single-family units on 65.5 acres north of the Hanalei River, on land owned by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

The development plan calls for 86 bungalows, including 50 single-story units on stilts along the boundary of Puu Poa Marsh, and 36 one- and two-story units next to Waileia Stream.

Another 34 units ranging from 15,000 to 18,000 square feet are proposed along the Kaukaniunu ridgeline.

A restaurant, spa, meetings rooms and a pool are planned. Developers also want to revitalize the marsh, also known as Kamoomaikai Fishpond.

Ohana Hanalei spokeswoman Michelle Swartman said strict guidelines will be followed to protect homeowners and to preserve the view. More details will be revealed in the draft environmental impact statement, she said.

The site is the former location of the Hanalei Plantation Hotel that was made up of 210 hotel units, including 49 single-story cottages in two rows along the ridgeline. Two four- to five-story structures were on the site.



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