Hawaii & Alaska
Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today

Get it in writing: Council panel wants new ordinance over developer’s shoreline promises

HILO — A North Kona developer’s representative made repeated promises Tuesday that its shoreline will be opened to the public within a year, but most County Council members want it in writing.

Development of the 1,079-acre luxury Kaupulehu project has been ongoing since a 1999 rezoning, but developers said an eight-year wait for State Historic Preservation Division acceptance of their long-term preservation plan delayed the public shoreline access component.

That acceptance was granted in a letter Monday to developers, the day before the development came before the council Planning Committee for a status report and a 20-year extension of its development plan. Public access is one requirement of the plan that would be formalized in Bill 1, an amended rezoning ordinance.

The 1999 rezoning anticipated a resort residential community with 539 single-family homes, 500 multiple-family units, 36 holes of golf with clubhouse, an 11-acre commercial center with 45,000 square feet of leaseable space, a 3-acre members’ recreational club and a 70-acre area for public shoreline access and recreational and cultural activities, according to the county Planning Department.

Lots currently being advertised include a 1-acre lot for $4 million and a 1.25-acre lot for $12 million.

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