Knudsen sued over Poipu

SUBHEAD: Knudsen Trust taken to court on Hapa Road development activities.

By Charlie Foster on 21 April 2009 in Planet Kauai -

Image above: North end of Hapa Trail near Saint Raphael's Church in Koloa. From The Historical Marker Database 

Local activist Theodore (Teddy) Blake, represented by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, filed suit last month over the Knudsen Trust's planned Village at Poipu development. The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, available online here, names as defendants the Eric A. Knudsen Trust, The county planning commission and planning department, Planning Director Ian Costa, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and DLNR Chair Laura Thielen. The factual allegations can be read in the complaint.

The legal claims are: that the process of considering the Knudsen Trust's Village at Poipu development proposal violated the state public trust doctrine; that in the process of considering the Knudsen Trust's application for final subdivision approval of Phase One of the development, defendants failed to thoroughly investigate and protect Native Hawaiian rights; that defendants failed to comply with the requirements of HAR Chapter 13-284 - the administrative rules governing the review process the SHPD is to follow in making comments to state and county agencies on entitlements affecting historic properties; that the development threatens to cause irreparable injury to burial sites and other historic sites; that defendants failed to comply with the objectives, policies, and guidelines of HRS 205A, specifically, "the protection, preservation, and restoration of historic and prehistoric resources in the coastal zone management area that are significant to Hawaiian history and culture"; and that a supplemental EIS is required to address a plan to cross the Hapa Trail with a street. That is a bunch of issues. And it's a classically Hawaiian land use dispute.

Complaints tend not to contain much in the way of legal argument. That's not their purpose. We can hope though that there will be some summary judgment motions filed and those will give rise to some interesting arguments on the issues.

See also: Ea O Ka Aina: Knudsen to spoil Poipu 1/18/09 Ea O Ka Aina: Knudsen Trust Setback 12/9/09 Island Breath: Knudsen & Koloa Monkeypod Trees 1/11/08

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