Members of the Mauna Lani Resort Association are asking 3rd Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Strance for an injunction against DW Aina Lea until the developer can get a more complete environmental impact statement finished and accepted.
Randy Vitousek, who represents the association, said the organization’s ongoing concerns about the project include a failure to look at the full area to be developed and not addressing the likely impacts to the beaches at the Mauna Lani resort.
Strance is scheduled to hear arguments on several pending motions on Monday. The Hawaii County Board of Appeals is scheduled to hear an update on a pending appeal of the Planning Department’s decision to award DW Aina Lea a planned unit development approval Dec. 14. Vitousek said the resort association filed the appeal with the county because the Planning Department should not have awarded the planned unit development approval until after the EIS-related court case was concluded.
“The main concern that the Mauna Lani Resort Association has is the Aina Lea project advertises themselves as being two or three minutes from the beach,” Vitousek said.
Those advertisements include beach pictures, some taken at the Mauna Lani resort’s coastal property, he added.
The resort association members’ question is “whether the EIS addresses environmental impacts on coastal regions the Mauna Lani maintains,” he said.
In a court document filed in April, attorneys for the developer said the project doesn’t have coastline and therefore doesn’t directly impact the coastline.
Vitousek’s court filings ask for the county to rescind any planning approvals until the EIS is updated.
The Aina Lea project, located mauka of Queen Kaahumanu Highway, near the entrance to the Mauna Lani Resort, has land owned by DW Aina Lea and Bridge Aina Lea. Plans for development, including a land reclassification request before the Land Use Commission, go back about two decades, to former owner Nansay Inc. More recently, the LUC tried to rescind the project’s urban land classification, claiming a series of developers, ending with DW Aina Lea, failed to meet development conditions, including building affordable town homes by November 2010.
Strance ruled last year the LUC overstepped its bounds in voting to rescind the urban classification.
Hawaii County officials have since allowed DW Aina Lea to continue developing its parcel, which is just a portion of the land once intended to be part of the Aina Lea project.
Mauna Lani Resort Association members argue the EIS should not have been limited to DW Aina Lea’s land, but should have looked at the broader development plans for the area.