Developer rings in new year with old permit for Ka‘u project
A group of investors is hoping to piggyback on a special permit application filed 44 years ago for a resort that never came to be.
The application was filed by Green Sands Inc. in 1969 for 30 acres of land in the Discovery Harbour Subdivision in Ka‘u.
Three public hearings were held before the Planning Commission but the issue was tabled while Hawaii County finished its general plan for the area.
That was finished in 1971 but the permit was never resurrected.
That is, until early last year when South Point Investment Group LLC, which bought the property in 2009, sought to use it for commercial development.
The county Planning Department denied the request, saying the permit was never approved.
The company disagrees and filed an appeal.
Attorney Randy Vitousek, who represents the company, said South Point’s position is that the permit went into effect since it was never formally denied.
“It doesn’t appear that the special permit was ever denied,” he said.
The county’s Board of Appeals has decided otherwise, according to county planners, and has denied the appeal.
Gary McMickle, a partner in the company, said the next step may be to get a judge to decide whether the permit was authorized.
“Our position is that it was never cancelled,” he said.
The Planning Commission could also be another venue, Vitousek said.
McMickle said no plans for development have been created but the investors are considering a lodge concept.
“We have no specific plans because we don’t have any developers on board yet,” he said. “Our goal is to get the zoning done properly and go from there.”
Green Sands Inc. had included a hotel, bar, restaurant and offices in its plan.
McMickle said having a permit in place would make it easier to proceed with development once a plan is put together.
“We’re taking baby steps,” he said.