Maui News

Hawai‘i Supreme Court Upholds Coastal Zone Management Act in Kahoma Case

June 23, 2021, 3:40 PM HST
* Updated June 25, 8:39 AM
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Kahoma Village Project, informational flyer. File image 2014 courtesy County of Maui.

In a 5-0 decision, the Hawai’i Supreme Court recently upheld the integrity of the Coastal Zone Management Act in a case involving the Kahoma Village Project in West Maui.

While the project was already approved years ago through fast track provisions, and construction is complete, attorney for residents, Lance D. Collins says he’s hopeful that the developer and county will be willing to sit and work out a solution.

The 203 unit project was proposed in 2012 by Stanford Carr Development south of Kahoma Stream in Lahaina.

In 2013, a Final Environmental Assessment was filed with a finding of no significant impact. According to the document a Market Study concluded that the project would address future population growth and the need for housing as economic recovery occurs.

A year later, in 2014, the Maui County Council approved a resolution exempting the development from certain laws related to the 201H “fast track” statute for affordable projects. According to Collins, the developer subsequently applied for a Special Management Area permit due to the proximity of the development to the shoreline.

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Protect and Preserve Kahoma Ahupua’a Association sought to intervene in the Maui Planning Commission permit approval process, but the Maui Planning Commission denied the intervention and the permit was approved. The Kahoma Association then appealed the denial saying there was an inconsistency with the community plan.

Kahoma Village Project, informational flyer. File image 2014 courtesy County of Maui.
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Just last year, the Intermediate Court of Appeals reversed the Maui Planning Commission, and the court concluded that “the Kahoma Association’s due process rights had been violated by denying them the ability to participate in the process,” according to Collins.

The developer sought further review from Hawai’i Supreme Court, which made the unanimous ruling in favor of the Kahoma Association.

Maui Now reached out to the developer via the company website and did not receive a response at the time of this posting. If further information is obtained this post may be updated accordingly.

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