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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 7:01 p.m., Monday, November 13, 2006

Turtle Bay lawsuit dismissed

By William Cole
Advertiser Staff Writer

A lawsuit seeking a supplemental environmental impact statement for an expansion of Turtle Bay Resort was dismissed today in Circuit Court, development representatives said.

"Keep the North Shore Country," a residents' group, and the Sierra Club's Hawai'i chapter filed suit in May seeking an update to an environmental analysis that was performed 20 years ago.

The groups sued the city, the city's director of the Department of Planning and Permitting, and the developer, Kuilima Resort Co.

Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna today dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be filed again.

"We are very pleased that this lawsuit has been dismissed because we can now devote all of our attention to meeting with the members of the community to obtain their input on the proposed development," Nicola Jones, chief executive officer of Kuilima Resort Co., said in a statement.

A previous agreement allowed up to four hotels and a condominium development on the North Shore with a maximum of 3,500 units.

The plaintiffs said the project would have significant impacts that would include traffic, more visitors, increased water demand, more wastewater and an impact on the aesthetic appeal of the North Shore — some of which weren't considered in the previous environmental analysis.

Jeff Mikulina, director of the Sierra Club's Hawai'i chapter, said the groups that brought the lawsuit may appeal.

Nathan Hokama, a development spokesman, said there are no definitive plans or a timeline yet for the development, which would occupy up to 336 acres. Another 524 acres of a total of 860 acres would be left as open space, he said.

Reach William Cole at wcole@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-5459.

Reach William Cole at wcole@honoluluadvertiser.com.