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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 7, 2006

Judge rejects union bid to halt resort permits

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

A Circuit Court judge yesterday denied a union's request for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the city from issuing permits allowing a planned expansion of Turtle Bay Resort on O'ahu's North Shore.

The injunction was sought as part of a lawsuit filed earlier this year by Unite Here Local 5, a union representing Turtle Bay hotel workers that has been involved in a protracted labor dispute with the resort.

Local 5 argued that approvals tied to a 1986 covenant allowing expansion of the resort with 3,500 more hotel and condominium units was outdated, and that Turtle Bay developer Kuilima Resort Co. should not be allowed to now proceed with the additions.

Before the lawsuit, the city Department of Planning and Permitting advised Local 5 in a letter that no time frame for development was ever implied or imposed in the 1986 agreement approved by the City Council, and that the city could not retroactively impose time limits or unilaterally rescind an entitlement.

Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna denied the union's injunction request, though the lawsuit naming the developer and the city has not been dismissed.

Doug Carlson, a spokesman for the developer, said the ruling allows the project to move forward with long-awaited community benefits that are part of the 1986 agreement, such as affordable housing, public parks and increased beach access.

The developer agreed to provide the community benefits in consideration for zoning approval that allowed the addition of 3,500 hotel and condo units at the resort, which has two golf courses and fewer than 500 vacation units, mostly in one hotel.

Kuilima Resort Co. has not outlined a projected timetable for its planned five-hotel expansion on its 880-acre property that includes Kawela Bay. The company in December applied for a subdivision permit from the city, which deferred approval until April 26.

Reach Andrew Gomes at agomes@honoluluadvertiser.com.

Correction: Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna denied a request that sought to enjoin the city from issuing permits for expanding Turtle Bay Resort. A previous version of this story named another judge.