Maui News

Challenge to Council Action Involving Honua`ula Fails in High Court

August 9, 2013, 9:34 AM HST
* Updated August 9, 9:39 AM
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Upper elevation, with view of Mākena and Wailea area. Kahoʻolawe can be seen in the distance.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

Upper elevation of Maui, with view of Mākena area. Kahoʻolawe can be seen in the distance.  The Wailea 670 project was proposed in the Honuaʻula district (which would be slightly to the right of the photographed area). Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court issued an 80-page opinion on Thursday, validating the Maui County Council’s current legislative procedures regarding open meetings.

In the Kanahele v. Maui County Council case, petitioners from Maui filed an appeal based on the passage of two bills related to the proposed development of a residential community on 670 acres of land in the Honua`ula area of Wailea, formerly referred to as the Wailea 670 project.

Petitioners argued that the Maui County Council and Land Use Committee failed to satisfy the requirement of the state’s open meetings law, also known as the Sunshine Law, when the body recessed and reconvened multiple times.

In a council issued press release, Council Chair Gladys Baisa said it’s clear from the ruling that the council’s current legislative procedures are “legally appropriate.”


In a statement, Baisa welcomed the opinion saying, “Though I have my issues with the Sunshine Law, the Council always goes beyond the call of duty to attempt to ensure we operate in full compliance, as can be seen in this opinion.”


Earlier opinions in lower courts including the Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Second Circuit Court had validated the enactment of council ordinances in association with the project.

The full opinion is available at the following DIRECT LINK.

***Supporting information courtesy Office of Council Services, County of Maui.

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