Agreements Require Kuilima Developer To Fulfill a Wide Range of Conditions

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On September 23, 1986, Kuilima Development Company and the trustees of the Estate of James Campbell signed a Unilateral Agreement and Declaration for Conditional Zoning. The documents bound them to fulfilling 14 conditions that the Honolulu City Council had requested in its approval of several zoning changes to coastal lands they owned in Kahuku, on the northernmost tip of O`ahu.

At the time, KDC was proposing to expand Turtle Bay resort by adding three new oceanfront hotels and expanding the existing hotel (completed in 1972), for a total of more than 1,450 new units covering 69 acres; building three new oceanfront and four new inland resort condominium projects totaling more than 2,060 units and covering 137.2 acres; developing a new 70,000-square foot commercial complex; renovating the existing 18-hole golf course and installing a new one along with a clubhouse, tennis complex, and equestrian center; making improvements to the road, the resort entry, and other infrastructure; and replacing ocean outlets for two drainage channels. KDC also planned to develop two public parks totaling 41.8 acres, two private parks totaling eight acres, five public rights-of-way, and a 100-acre wildlife preserve (Punaho`olapa Marsh).

Plans at the time called for work on Phase I to begin in 1986, Phase II two to three years later, and Phase III to get underway between 1993 and 1996. But according to the developer, the state’s economic downturn in the 1990s stalled the project.

Then in 2005, Kuilima Resort Company [KDC’s successor] submitted a subdivision application to create the proposed parks at Kahuku Point, the East Main Drain and the Punaho`olapa Wildlife Preserve, and the public access easements along and to the shoreline. KRC also filed applications and documents with the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting for subdivision and grading. While KRC is still seeking to build 3,500 new units, the project has changed since its inception. Instead of three hotels with 1,450 units, KRC is now proposing to build five hotels to include about 2,500 new units, and has reduced the number of condo units from 2,060 to 1,000.

Under the unilateral agreement, KRC must abide by the following conditions. If it does not, the agreement states, the city may enforce the declaration “by appropriate action at law or suit in equity against all such persons. Changes or alterations of conditions shall be processed in the same manner as petitions for zone changes.”

Affordable Housing: The developer agreed to provide low-moderate income housing within or outside the resort for Ko`olauloa and North Shore residents. The expected number of affordable units is about 100, since it must equal 10 percent of the number of condo units.

Parks and Preservation: KRC is bound to construct a 4.8-acre park fronting Kawela Bay; a 37-acre park from Kahuku Point to Hanaka`ilo Beach; a 6-acre park abutting Punaho`olapa Marsh; and a two-acre park surrounding the outlet for East Main Drain.

Upon receiving its first building permit for its first hotel, KRC must dedicate the Kawela and Kahuku Point parks to the city. The other two will be privately owned. KRC must also consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on ecosystem improvements to the marsh for native and endangered wetland birds.

According to KRC’s consultants, the county approved the subdivision of the Kawela Bay park in 1989, and this year, the county parks department approved the site plan for the Kawela Bay and Kahuku Point parks.

The developer must also promote the creation of a Marine Life Conservation District at Kawela Bay.

Public Easements: Upon receiving the first building permit for the first new hotel, KRC must record in the Bureau of Conveyances easements that run with the land, including one along the coast, extending 100 feet inland from the certified shoreline; a right-of-way connecting a parking lot near the Turtle Bay hotel to Kalokoiki Beach; and a right of way connecting Turtle Bay and Kaihalulu Beach through the existing Turtle Bay hotel.

The document to be recorded shall require resort managers not to distinguish between resort guests and condominium owners, on the one hand, and the members of the public, on the other. At a minimum, sunbathing, picnicking, swimming and walking, except in unsafe areas, will be allowed to all.

Upon receipt of its first major building permit for a parcel adjacent to or encompassing the following easements, KRC must also record easements for five rights-of-way that extend from parking areas to Kawela Bay, Turtle Bay, and Kaihalulu Beach.

These easements will become effective when the county’s Building Department issues a certificate of occupancy for a parcel adjacent to or that encompassing one of the easements.

Parking/Transportation: Each of the five pedestrian easements will be located adjacent to a parking area containing 18 free stalls. Each of the hotel/condo areas will have employee parking. And the developer must provide employees with a transportation service, at a reasonable cost, with pick-up and drop-off points between Hale`iwa and Ka`a`awa. To minimize resort traffic, KRC must also work to provide alternative modes of transportation for its guests (shuttles, jitneys, etc.).

Cultural Sites/Burials: Historic and archaeological sites within the property shall be treated in accordance with recommendations of the state Historic Preservation Division. Prior to the issuance of grading permits, the division must approve a Data Recovery Plan. According to KRC consultant Keith Kurahashi, SHPD approved an Archaeological Data Recovery Plan in 1988 and a mitigation report in 2005.

Above-ground features will be relocated within the resort. Human remains uncovered during construction will be relocated within the resort. (Under current law, however, it is illegal to move prehistoric human remains without approval of the island’s burial council.)

Design Standards: At each phase of development, plans and architectural drawings must be approved by the county Department of Land Utilization (whose functions have now been taken over by the Department of Planning and Permitting) to insure design objectives are adhered to.

Design standards include the following:
• 300-foot setbacks from the certified shoreline for structures more than 50 feet tall.
• Structures between 100 and 300 feet from the shoreline will be subject to DLU design approval.
• No comfort stations or concessions within 100 feet of the shoreline.
• Between 100 and 300 feet of the shoreline, building heights will be staggered with a maximum height of 50 feet, and buildings will cover no more than 10 percent of the land area.
• The style of architecture will be that of a “kama`aina estate” – “displaying hospitality and elegance, overlaid with fundamental simplicity.”
• The resort will strive to install “lush landscaping to enhance the estate-like quality of the low density building.”

Employee Benefits: The expansion, according to the environmental impact statement, is expected to generate 3,556 jobs in the region. The developer shall dedicate half an acre of land to the North Shore Career Training Corporation for the purpose of establishing a child-care center for the resort’s employees. A proposal for the center must be approved by the Kuilima North Shore Strategy Planning Committee (a group of 40 community representatives established in November 1983) and the city before the first hotel is completed.

KRC must also establish an employment program for residents of surrounding communities in coordination with service providers in the region. The developer was to have contributed $500,000 over four years to a community-based non-profit, charitable organization, or governmental body – as selected by the city and the developer – to implement this program. According to KRC’s consultants, this condition was met in 1989.

Before Subdivision Approval: KRC has received a deferral of decision-making on its subdivision permit until October 26 to give it time to fulfill the Department of Planning and Permitting’s requests for additional information. (The DPP has required updates to the project’s wastewater, water, and drainage plans, and the reevaluation of traffic impacts.)

Before tentative subdivision approval, a development plan for roadway modifications must be approved by DPP in consultation with the city and state departments of transportation. Also before tentative subdivision approval or the issuance of building permits, an overall urban design plan and landscape plan must be approved by the DPP. This was done in 1989, according to the KRC’s consultant Keith Kurahashi. A revised landscape plans was approved earlier this year.

Before subdivision approval of the condominium lots, KRC must establish access for the public to park and install a comfort station and other improvements, and a coral-surface parking lot for at least 30 cars.

Kurahashi says no request has yet been made to subdivide the condominium lots.

— Teresa Dawson

Volume 16, Number 12 June 2006

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