Hapa Trail Court Victory

SOURCE: Brad Parsons (mauibrad@hotmail.com)
SUBHEAD: Knudsen Trust, Planning Department and DLNR in error allowing Hapa Trail access for Koloa-Poipu development.

By Juan Wilson on 27 December 2013 for Island Breath -

Image above: Detail of existing conditions at proposed "Village at Poipu" subdivision showing some archaeological sites to be buried under blacktop and Chemlawns by Stacey Wong of Knudsen Trust. From article linked to below.

Stacey Wong, a trustee for Knudsen Trust, made an effort to pave over a large section of the area between Koloa Town and Poipu Road. Phase One was to be at the south end of the huge and archeologically rich site and be accessed by breaching the historic Hapa Trail.

Ian Costa, the disgraced former Kauai Planning Director, made every effort to push this project through for Knusden Trust's Stacey Wong and lawyer Walter Hong. They made headway with the Department of Land and Natural Resources

Theodore K. Blake, a local resident, was active in trying to stop the project. He wrote in December of 2009 (http://www.islandbreath.org/2008Year/14-hawaiiana/0814-27HapaTrailRant.html):
The big issue is that Hapa Trail is proposed to be breached and there has been no Environmental Assessment for Hapa Trail's breaching or plans showing how the breaching will occur and what is will look like. We need to get the County Council members on board, the Mayor and our representatives. Any one who has a connection or knows any politician needs to make a call and follow up with an email or letter.
Hapa Trail is also an numbered State Historic Site, 50-10-30-992. SHPD needs to approve whether or not Hapa Trail can be breached or an alternative route used to Po'ipu Road.

The Planning Director, Public Works Director and the County Attorney need to be apprised of what is going on with this application and applicant.
The project was eventually approved. Ted Blake filed a civil against; Ian Costa as director of the Kauai Planning Department; William Aila, in his capacity as Chair the the Department of Land and Natural Resources; and Stacey Wong, the Successor Trustee of the Eric A. Knudsen Trust.

Blake's complaint asserted six claims against the Defendants including a failure of the Defendants to follow the proper environmental and historic review processes, violations of Native Hawaiian rights, and breaches of the public trust.

Blake subsequently amended his complaint in part because he discovered that Hapa Road belonged to the State of Hawaii and not the County. In Count Five, Blake stated;
The Defendants failed to comply with HRS chapter 205A, the CZMA, in failing to consider historic and cultural values. HRS § 205A-4(a) provides that, “In implementing the objective of the coastal zone management program, the agencies shall give full consideration to ecological, cultural, historic, esthetic, recreational, scenic, and open space values, and coastal hazards, as well as to needs for economic development.”
 Blake argued;
"The undisputed evidence in this case, however, is that the County Defendants failed to give full consideration of historic sites in the area.”
 Blake asserted;
The Planning Commission admitted that it failed to review various archaeological reports, and still does not have ‘sufficient knowledge or information to form a belief as to’ whether dozens of archaeological sites, including the “remnants of an extensive and complex auwai system,” have been found on the Knudsen Trust land.
In his amended complaint, Blake also asserted two additional claims of negligence and public nuisance against the Knudsen Trust for allegedly breaching Hapa Road and its adjacent rock wall.

Supreme Court  ruled that the Circuit Court erred in dismissing Blake's case on the basis of judicial economy.

Court decision link here. (http://www.islandbreath.org/2013Year/12/131227hapatrail.pdf)

Deny the Knudsen Trust
By Juan Wilson on 17 November 2008 for Island Breath -

[IB Publisher's note: This is a segment of a series of articles about the Hapa Trail violation and the attempts by Stacey Wong, trustee of Knudsen Trust, to develop suburbia on a vital archeological remnant of Hawaiian culture that demonstrates a way of living sustainably on this island.]

Our island, our state, our country, and the world, are at a turning point. The importance of these days before the next American administration cannot be exaggerated. Western civilization is deciding whether to continue careening down the highway to extinction or finding an off-ramp.

Between now and the Obama inauguration we have a moment to catch our breath and reflect. Do we bet everything we have left to restart the hyper-growth economy? Or, do we invest in another way of living on this planet?

Near Koloa, in the Waikomo Stream watershed, lies a region that was densely occupied by pre contact Hawaiians from mountain to ocean. It was a region that was crisscrossed with waterways that nourished a complex system of agriculture (and aquaculture). This system fed thousands of kanaka maoli for a thousand years. People; along with yams, taro, fish, chickens and pigs; thrived.

Through a fluke of history, hundreds of acres of this land, between Waikomo Reservoir to Poipu Beach, was never developed by westerners. It is an uninterrupted landscape that rises from the ocean to the foothills of the Haupu Mountains. Over time there was a little sugarcane grown there; a little grazing done; but it was never paved over, or its remains physically removed, by the dominant plantation culture.

The results of that “neglect” is the windfall for us now. The site has hundreds of archaeological remains. This area is largest, richest and densest field of its kind anywhere in Hawaii. There is detailed evidence of how people, maintaining a rich culture, lived well on this island.

It is evidence of how we might live here in the future. The importance of this will be clearer shortly, as we experience further collapse of the world’s economic systems. What we learn here could save us.

This part of Kauai is not an agriculture wasteland, as the developer has stated.
This part of Waikomo was where the whalers came to get provisions for their journeys. It was where the yams and sweet potatoes were grown to feed the California gold-rushers. It was where the mainlanders came to start sugar production in Hawaii.

The Knudsen Trust plans to subdivide this amazing place into suburban lots. At this point in time, to bulldoze this area for a network of cul-de-sacs, to satisfy a speculative real estate scheme, is an abomination.

We need to enforce a moratorium on development in this area. We need to understand the archaeological record to know what worked here for a millennium. We need to emulate, and yes, maybe even improve on those techniques. What we do not need is a rush to pave over this knowledge with a bankrupt system with a dim future.

Two upcoming public events will engage this issue. The Koloa Community Association Meeting at 6:30pm on Thursday, November 20th 2008 at the Koloa Community Center, Koloa, Kauai and the Hapa Trail Walk at 8:00am on Saturday, November 22nd 2008 - about 2.5 hours duration, starting from Saint Raphael's Church in Poiou, Kauai

Below are links to series of base maps (8.5"x11") have been produced for the walk in order to specify the location of observations in the context of aerial photography and identified archaeological sites.

They are available here as PDF files:

Hapa Trail Keymap 144k PDF
Hapa Quadrant C3 3.9mb PDF
Hapa Quadrant C4 3.4mb PDF (most of proposed development site)
Hapa Quadrant C5 3.3mb PDF
Hapa Quadrant C6 3.2mb PDF
Hapa Quadrant C7 3.8mb PDF

See also:
Island Breath: Hapa Trail - Kauai Archaeologic Site

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