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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, August 25, 2006

Vacation cabin OK sought by developer

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer

The developer of vacation cabins planned for vacant land across from the Ka Iwi Shoreline is moving forward and has applied for city approval.

The city has 10 days from the filing date on Tuesday to accept or deny the application, said David Tanoue, city Department of Planning and Permitting deputy director. Until that time, the application is not a matter of public record, he said.

"The details on the application for a conditional-use permit to build vacation cabins are not public because they're still under review," Tanoue said. "What has been submitted is pretty much what the developer presented to the community."

The developer could not be reached for comment.

In June, the developer, QRM, presented to a standing-room-only crowd at the Hawai'i Kai Neighborhood Board meeting its plan to build 180 cabins on two pieces of land, one called Manu'uwai, above the Hawai'i Kai Golf Course, and the other called Queen's Rise, which would extend up the ridgeline.

Each cabin would be 800 square feet with a covered lanai. Some cabins would have outdoor kitchens.

A month later, at a community forum with Mayor Mufi Hannemann, more than 300 people raised their hand in a show of opposition to the project.

Opposition to the development spans from Kailua to Kahala from residents who want the area to remain undeveloped.

Across from the two parcels, owned by Maunalua Associates, is the Ka Iwi Shoreline, a state park preserve that spans from Sandy Beach to Makapu'u Lighthouse. The state purchased the Ka Iwi Shoreline with the help of federal money, and the city purchased two parcels across the street from Sandy Beach after downzoning it.

The mayor has said that it would be difficult for him to support such a request at a time when the city sewers are in disarray and other city issues need addressing.

"So far the resort plan has been soundly rejected by the community," said Phil Estermann, one of the founders of the Save Sandy Beach Coalition, which reactivated after the cabin proposal came up.

"Their application raises the question of what they think they can achieve by submitting an application. They'll certainly encounter strong opposition from the community," he said.

The land is zoned preservation and allows for cabins if they are shown to be a secondary use to outdoor recreation, according to land-use laws.

Tanoue said that the next step is for the city to examine the application. If it's found acceptable, then it will go through a review process in the department to ensure the plans comply with the city's Land Use Ordinance.

Reach Suzanne Roig at sroig@honoluluadvertiser.com.