POSTED: 23 July 2006 - 3:30am HST

Making a difference in Koloa

photo of the south side of Koloa Town's main street ©2005 by Doug Porter

by Linda Harmon on 23 July 2006

The following is my proposed letter to Louie Abrams, chairman of the Koloa Community Association. He's collecting imput to be submitted to the council pending approval of the building project.


Regarding Knudsen Development in Koloa

Dear County Council Members,
I’m scared. Why would you let this developer build on flood plains. It sounds to me like he wants to raise the ground so the water will run off his property onto someone else’s land. He says not so. Mr. Wong wants to put in a holding tank to catch the water. This isn’t sound ecology. We again are going against nature. It reminds me of building levies to tame the Mississippi River. Look what happened to New Orleans. Mr. Wong seems confident that his maintenance people can keep the holding tank in good maintenance and the property clear of foliage so when there is a so called 100 year floor the water can move unimpeded. I’m no rocket engineer but it stands to reason that the very act of building on this land in the back of the property will encourage flooding to happen more frequently because:

1. They are filling the basin that was there to absorb the water. They are taking out the trees that anchor the ground.

2. The climate is changing. We will have more extreme weather because of worldwide weather changes. Floods, and hurricanes are on the rise.

We can’t have the town reflect the old rustic style and still maintain elegant restaurants with paved over parking lots. If the owner insists on having all that parking back there it should be gravel or better yet permeable paving blocks so the water can be absorbed. The trees won’t be a threat if the proposed buildings back in the back aren’t built. He most certainly shouldn’t be building on or near the floor plain. At the meeting Harmony told the story about how in distant past the ducks used to flock in profusion clouding the sky. They flocked back there in that low land that was wet lands .If that’s the case why not build a duck pond back there. What a great way to preserve some fragment of the past and add beauty that would attract residents and tourists alike to the shopping mall.


Planning Staff Recommendation on Koloa
by Carol Ann Davis-Briant on 22 July 2006

The good news just arrived from the Planning Staff recommendation on Historic Koloa Village. See their recommendation in this ten page PDF file (500k).

The recoomendations will require the developers in Koloa to give amenities back to the community and be responsive to the character of the town. The recommendations begin with...

"First and foremost, the General Plan recognizes that the environment is our economy and envisions maintaining the rurak lifestyle and character of Kauai as a priority. In the GP, the historic character and plantation architecture of Koloa Town were identified as Community Assets..."

The Historic Koloa Village-looks like our hard work is doing some good. I have been working on the Koloa thing since January-I can't believe that after 7 months someone is listening to all of us -such good news. I applaud Barbara Pendragen of the planning dept and the commission for listening and doing something.



POSTED: 20 July 2006 - 5:00am HST

Neighborhood Association Meeting

main drag in Koloa looking west at an unusual time of light traffic

by Carol Ann Davis-Briant on 17 July 2006

The Koloa Community Association will hold a general membership meeting on Thursday July 20th at 6:30 PM at the Koloa Neighborhood Center. The major topic of discussion will be the Shops at Koloa/Koloa Marketplace being developed by the Knudsen estate under the direction of Stacey Wong. This project has been controversial. due to the ordinance in place in Koloa that the development reflect the existing buildings in Koloa.

Some of the proposed buildings are to be built in a floodway and would need to be raised 10 feet off the existing grade. These 30 foot tall structures on pilings would make an unattractive entrance into Koloa town via Mauluhia Road. They also will not meet the design requirement to match or enhance existing architecture in Koloa. The Koloa-Lawai-Kalaheo development plan has in effect an ordinance which requires that the development in Koloa Town reflect the existing buildings in Koloa.

Many members of the community do not want the large monkey pod trees fronting Koloa Road removed. It appears that they will be removed if present plans are followed. The trees are very large in diameter and removal is not feasible according to an arborist that the Community Association has been consulting with.

Mr. Wong was required by the planning department to hold a meeting with the Koloa Community Association to present the plans for the Shops at Koloa. He decided to hold his own meeting and only a handful of Koloa residents were able to attend. The planning commission said that he needed to meet with the general membership of the Koloa Community Association on their terms. The meeting on July 20th at 6:30 pm will be to discuss this controversial project.

Carol Ann Davis-Briant

phone: 808-742-6523



Public Planning Workshop
20 July 2006 - 4:00am HST

The next public workshop for the Koloa-Poi'pu Area Circulation Plan will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2006 at 6:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Koloa Neighborhood Center.

more info at



Koloa Moratorium Meeting... not!
10 May 2006 - 8:00am HST

some people gathering before Moratorium Meeting were required, by high attendance, to sit outside hall

The location was the Neighborhood Center in Koloa. The meeting was billed as a Moratorium Meeting. It was held to discuss the possibility of halting the accelerated growth and associated negative affects on the community.

There was a huge attendance at the scheduled 6:30pm starting time. Besides the general public one could spot the mayor, several county council members, a number of developers and a few dozen orange vested employees of the Goodfellows contracting firm (who build large scale projects in Hawaii and have interests in their success).

The meeting was organized to avoid public involvement. There were too many introductions and self back patting by the Koloa neighborhood association. Before the presentation by selected panel members Peter Apo made a long PowerPoint presentation about "aloha" and "pono". I generally don't like these kind of slide shows, but it was probably the high-point of the night.

One of the organizers of the event was handing out 5x3 cards for the audience to write questions on. This is always a bad sign. It means that those running the meeting don't want to deal with an "unruly mob" and wish to limit and control what the public can say. It eliminates a give and take and does not allow those in the audience from making a statement longer than 50 words.

A three member panel included a retired California highway policeman living in the area, the neighborhood associations leader Lou Abrams and county council member JoAnne Yukimura.

The panel members each made a presentation. The retired policeman presented the problems associated with narrow roads and overcrowding in Poipu. Lou Abrams followed with a recent history of the efforts of developers to head off any possible moratorium by providing a traffic consultant to work independently, with local residents, on a traffic scheme that would mitigate the problems caused by development.

Apparently, the Koloa-Poipu community believes that if their traffic congestion problems could go away everything would be just fine. No one mentioned the overloading of the beaches and community facilities today by too many visitors, or the loss of long term residences to time-shares, vacation rentals and large scale condo developments. The idea of the impact of doubling the population was reduced to a traffic problem. The concept that "growth" cannot be part of a "pono" future was not on the table.

the view south of the neighborhood association - what will be lost to massive development

Only a brief discussion of the "loss of place" took place, and again the community seemed content to have major development as long if it were in the "style of old Koloa". Have not any of these people visited Lahina on Maui to see cuteness gone wrong.

Finally, JoAnne spoke on the subject of a moratorium. JoAnne began with a explanation that someone had told her that, according to the Sunshine Law, it was illegal for more than two council members to be at such a meeting, and that she could not speak on the subject of a moratorium under the circumstances.

JoAnne stated this was a total misinterpretation of the Sunshine Law. [Editor's note: It seemed that someone in the county government had threatened JoAnne thinking that what she was going to present actually threatened to initiate a moratorium... too bad that was not in the cards].

JoAnne did not present a case for a moratorium, and in fact built the case against one, with details of how difficult such a goal would be and essentially advising against it.

The disappointed crowd began to dissipate as the 5x3 cards were collected and a new round of "presentations" began. We left before they began reading the canned questions. They also announced that they were selecting questions which were relevant to traffic issues only, and omitting any "off the wall" questions.

Thus the announced purpose of the meeting was changed from the "Moratorium" to "Traffic", and public input was censored. If you attended the meeting and found something useful in what happened, drop us a line and we'll include it here.

While we were there, the idea of a self-sustaining economy never came up. The knowledge of the carrying capacity of the island was not a condition of future development. These people seemed to be living in a dream from which they don't want to awake from.

Well, if this is the best resistance to development that the Koloa community can come up with they are doomed. People on the westside should gird their loins. The focus of development is moving west from Poipu towards A&B's 3-4 thousand acres of land between Lawaikai and Eleele. We had better be prepared to face the beast.



POSTED: 5 May 2006 - 2:30pm

Koloa Moratorium Meeting

"Old Koloa Town" by Pamela Panattoni recalls why a moratorium is being considered

Moratorium Meeting Tuesday, May 9th
by Linda Pascatore on 5 May 2006

Meeting is at the Koloa Neighborhood Center at 6:30pm.

There will be a community meeting to discuss a Moratorium on Development recently proposed by Kauai Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura. She has proposed a bill that call for a temporary hold on the issuance of permits on the South Shore, The moratorium would be in effect until the pending update of the development plan for the Koloa, Poipu, and Kalaheo areas is completed and approved. The moratorium would not allow any zoning, subdivision, or building permits, or processing of any applications for development in the area. JoAnn's proposed bill has already gained support from many members of the Koloa Community Association, which is co-sponsoring this community meeting. There will also be a featured guest, Peter Apo, who will speak on "A Sense of Place". Peter is the director of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association.

see also:
Island Breath: More on the Way

Island Breath: Slow Development
Island Breath: No Growth Planning