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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, September 6, 2001

Kona zoning permits may be pulled for inaction

By Hugh Clark
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

HILO, Hawai'i — County Planning Director Chris Yuen has begun a housecleaning campaign that calls for revoking years-old zoning permits for projects that have never gotten off the ground.

His first two targets are a 34-unit condominium south of Kailua and a coffee-processing plant in upper Keauhou, both in Kona.

Yuen will go before the Hawai'i County Planning Commission tomorrow to ask the panel to revoke the condo project's shoreline management permit and the coffee facility's special-use permit for an agricultural district. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. at the Keauhou Beach Resort.

"This is basically a cleanup that began under the former administration," Yuen said yesterday.

The results of a research project undertaken by a summer intern turned up most of the permits that have been languishing, he said. There are eight other outstanding permits, many of them more than 10 years old, that Yuen expects to ask the Big Island commission to revoke in the coming months.

Yuen said he doubts that the developers are serious about pursuing the projects at this point, noting that none has asked for time extensions.

A permit for the $7 million condo project by Weiser and Jung Developments Inc. was issued in April 1990.

Yuen said the developers did not respond to Planning Department inquiries. Company president Francis Jung was not available for comment yesterday.

A permit for the 1.3-acre coffee-processing plant was issued in July 1983 to the United Coffee Cooperative, which apparently no longer exists.

Yuen said the county has been generous in granting permit extensions for economic and other reasons. When developers fail to act on their own behalf, he believes that their projects should be spiked by having their permits revoked.

The planning director said he doesn't know whether his housecleaning actions will spur a flurry of extension requests.