POSTED: 24 August 2006 - 9:30am HST

Help stop destruction of the coconut coast

GoogleEarth image of what is left of Royal Coconut Coast, just south of "The Strip"


Editor's Note:

At the last public hearing the Planning Commissioners were not overly impressed when the developers for the two big Waipouli projects offering to widen the Kuhio Highway to four lanes in front of their projects. But the commissioners perked up when someone from the Kapaa Business Association testified that what they really want is the feeder road from Foodland to the By-Pass Road (along Poule Road). Not a bad idea in itself, but not something to recommend overbuilding the Waipouli-Kapaa Strip further.

Now, according a source in the Planning Department the developers are upping the ante, and want to contribute to that feeder road. In addition, they will thow in money for sewers, etc. Somehow they have the impression that all this money will make their projects acceptable to Kauai residents.

Then there is the subject of the bond - the money that the county would have to come up with to guarantee payment for all these roads. Planning is poised to research something called a Community Facilities District (CFD) that has been used in Arizona, Florida and California to finance development.

The CFD is a special taxing zone that would be designed to enable the bond to be paid back by the end users of the properties in the CFD (not likley to be the developer).

For persons involved in the sale of real estate, the existence of the CFD must be disclosed to potential end users of the property.The disclosure statement explains the structure of the CFD, the improvements to be financed by the CFD, and the estimated financial impact of the additional tax and/or assessment on end users of the property.

Having visited municipalities in Arizona, Florida and California we believe the techniques they are using to spur development is likely a bad idea here... especially if it means more property taxes.

Bottom Line - our Planning Department is working for the developers to convince our Planning Commissioners and ensure these projects get built.

Your testimony needed now!
by Gabriela Taylor on 23 August 2006

Are you aware that there are two proposed resort/condo projects on the beach in the historic Waipouli Coconut Grove – bringing 1000 more cars into the heart of Kauai’s already congested traffic?

You can do something relatively simple to help halt two huge resort developments in Waipouli/Kapaa. Your testimony needed against new Waipoli developments by Monday, August 28 deadline, or it will be too late.

It’s going to take all of us to work together to stop this train wreck of overdevelopment and to support reasonable growth on our beloved island. It is not enough to just grumble to our friends. Let’s step into our power and make our voices heard where it counts.

A slender young woman placed a sprouted coconut on the table, sat down in front of the microphone, introduced herself, and greeted the planning commissioners in Hawaiian. It was 8:00 pm in the cold, harshly lit county meeting room where the planning commissioners sat listening to public testimony. Combined, the two proposed resort/condo projects would total 547 multi-family units/hotel rooms and 964 parking stalls. And they would be located on the beach in the historic Waipouli coconut grove, the heart of Kaua‘i’s traffic hell.

The dozen of us that came to testify against the proposed beachfront resorts had been sitting on hard chairs for nearly seven hours. The morning’s agenda dragged on into the afternoon, but I dared not go out for more than bathroom break, because it could suddenly shift to the public hearings and all could be lost. I was stiff and hungry and I wanted to go home. But then something changed.

The young dark-hared woman spoke in a poetic form that is difficult to capture, but essentially, in a gentle way, she told riveting stories of how our life style on Kaua‘i is being transformed by the unleashed and insensitive growth of tourism. She took us on a journey into the heart of the Hawaiian people and its assault on their traditions. And she led us down a path into the soul of the ‘aina, our beautiful island whose shores are being gambled away in a crap game, and sold out to the highest bidder. When she finished, it was apparent that the atmosphere of the sterile room had risen to a higher level.

While I experienced a feeling of deep sadness, it was not one of despair. Rather, I gained a sense of strength and renewed hope. Hope to believe that we who are concerned about our quality of life and of that of the ‘aina, can successfully communicate with not only the County Planning Commission, but with all the powers that influence growth on Kaua‘i. In addition to presenting my own testimony, I knew that I had to do something more. And it was urgent. I knew that I had to communicate with my fellow Kauaians— right away.

So here I am to tell you that if you are horrified by the vision of 1000 more cars pouring onto Kuhio Highway, if you are worried about the stress of these proposed resorts on other infrastructure: water, sewage, solid waste, and if the thought of an additional 1200 to1700 tourists filling up our parks, beaches, and hiking trails, causes you to clench your teeth, you can do something now.

You can testify about this proposed project without breaking your ‘okole on a hard chair for seven hours. You can write your thoughts, concerns, exasperation and frustration to the County Planning Commission today.

They will be accepting written testimony (signed with your address) about this proposed project through the mail or fax Until: Monday, August 28th.

Send testimony to:

Kaua‘i County Planning Commission
Re: Testimony - Coconut Beach Development & Coconut Plantation Holdings

fax: (808) 241-6699 or

mail to: 4444 Rice Street Lihue, HI, 96766



Mayor Bryan Baptiste Press Release

18 May 2006 - 9:30pm

the court of Kauai Village Plaza looking south. Light on Kuhio Highway here is a major island bottleneck

by Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptsite on 16 May 2006

The cost of doing business has gone way up over the last 13 years.

Correspondingly, impact fees have at least doubled since 1993.

Now impacts are greater than they have ever been, and there’s little money to pay for them.

I believe that any developer that comes before the Planning Commission today must offer enough benefit for the 64,000 people that live here in order to gain approval for the project – infrastructure improvements (road, water and wastewater), along with affordable housing and economic opportunity.

Benefits must outweigh the impacts that residents have to endure. We must put the needs of Kaua‘i’s people first.

As presented, I don’t think the two proposed Waipouli developments are good for Kaua‘i:

a) Neither is planned for residents. One is a luxury condominium with a starting price of $1 million per unit and the other is a timeshare.

b) They would be located next to a corridor with terrible traffic problems.

c) Without infrastructure improvements, these developments would place undue burden on the area.

While it’s true they would provide us with an increased tax base that would be designated for future improvements, not catch-up or the impact of the developments.

Who’s going to pay for catch-up – developers or the general public?
Projects must provide benefit to the 64,000 people that live here. We must put the needs of Kaua‘i’s people first.

Kauai County Mayor:
Bryan J. Baptiste
4444 Rice St, Suite 235
Lihue, HI 96766
Phone: (808) 241-6300
Fax: 808-241-6877

or for more information, contact:
Mary Daubert, public information officer
Phone: (808) 241-6303

see also
IslandBreath: Bad Planning in Waipouli
IslandBreath: Losing the Coconut Coast
IslandBreath: Large Scale Plans on Kauai
IslandBreath: Waipouli Developers & Traffic