Kawela Bay (courtesy of Keep the North Shore Country)
Kawela Bay (courtesy of Keep the North Shore Country)

On Monday, December 2, Keep The North Shore Country (“KNSC”) filed a lawsuit asking the Circuit Court to require Turtle Bay Resort, LLC, to properly study the environmental impacts of its proposed expansion plan. KNSC requests Turtle Bay’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“SEIS”) be set aside for five specific reasons:

  • One, Turtle Bay failed to accurately describe the proposed project and therefore it is impossible to legally evaluate the project’s actual environmental impacts;
  • Two, Turtle Bay uses the “Full Build Out” alternative from 1985 for the purpose of environmental impact comparisons, even though Turtle Bay has no intention of pursuing the “Full Build Out,” thereby skewing the results;
  • Three, the SEIS does not adequately and vigorously evaluate a “No Action” alternative as specifically required under the law;
  • Four, the SEIS fails to adequately evaluate cumulative traffic impacts;
  • Five, the SEIS violates the law by failing to properly evaluate the impacts for wetlands, marine water quality and threatened and endangered species.

In 2010, the Hawai`i Supreme Court determined a 1985 Environmental Impact Statement was no longer valid for the Turtle Bay Resort’s planned expansion. KNSC and Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter were the plaintiffs in that case, known as Unite Here! vs. City & County of Honolulu.

The Final SEIS was accepted by the City & County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting (“DPP”) on October 3, 2013 and public notification of this decision was given on October 23, 2013.

KNSC provided extensive comments to the Department of Planning and Permitting and Turtle Bay on the Draft SEIS, including grave concerns about the lack of proper baseline analysis: the “No Action” alternative.

Unfortunately, the Final SEIS remains fatally flawed and should have been rejected by DPP.

More information on Keep the North Shore Country can be found at http://www.keepthenorthshorecountry.org.