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Agreement reached on future of Oahu’s Turtle Bay conservation lands

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HONOLULU, Hawaii – Today Governor David Ige, key members of the State House and Senate, Ray Soon, Chief of Staff to City and County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Lea Hong, Trust for Public Land,

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HONOLULU, Hawaii – Today Governor David Ige, key members of the State House and Senate, Ray Soon, Chief of Staff to City and County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Lea Hong, Trust for Public Land, and Doug Cole, North Shore Community Land Trust, held a news conference to announce that an agreement has been reached regarding the future of conservation lands at Turtle Bay.

A fact sheet outlining the agreement is attached.

“None of us could do this individually,” said Gov. David Ige. “We have worked together as partners to accomplish something significant for the state. We are preserving open space and recreational opportunities along O‘ahu’s shoreline for future generations.”

Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki said, “The proposed bill will give the state the beach front property around Kawela Bay in fee simple for $35 million, instead of buying just the easement for the same price. It is a much better deal than the original offer and one that will allow us to create a nature park out of Kawela Bay for generations to enjoy. Together, we were able to come up with a plan that not only overcame the initial roadblocks but, more importantly, preserves a part of Hawaii that makes us a better community as a whole.”

“Mahalo to Governor Ige, my colleagues in both state and city government, the property owners and the conservation community for crafting this landmark agreement to preserve the coastal lands of Kawela Bay for generations to come. This is a great investment in open space and recreational access for residents and visitors alike, and most importantly for providing important protection for our native and endangered species that inhabit the area,” said Sen. Gil Riviere (District 23 – North Shore to Kaneohe).

“The agreement announced last year has been enhanced through the feedback of the legislature, Governor Ige’s leadership, and the continued support of the City & County of Honolulu and other conservation partners,” said Drew Stotesbury, Chief Executive Officer of Turtle Bay Resort. “This agreement offers increased public benefits while protecting in perpetuity 665 acres of open lands. This agreement delivers on the massive conservation of land that the people and communities of the North Shore were promised.”

Fact Sheet: Public Benefits of SB 284

Turtle Bay Resort Conservation Easement Agreement


 Perpetual public access:
 Four miles of coastline
 Eight miles of trails
 Turtle Bay Resort is solely responsible for maintenance, security and liability.
State is relieved of these obligations.
 Resolves long-time development disputes involving the State, City, and community
 Protects in perpetuity 4% of Oahu’s coastline

Conservation of Land

 665 Acres Total: Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point
 617 Acres: State of Hawaii
 48 Acres: City & County of Honolulu

Funding Partnership

 Total of $45 million
 $35 million from state (not $40 million)
 $7.5 million from the city
 $2.5 from the army in partnership w/ Trust for Public Land

Comparison of Public Benefits

SB 284 (2015) Act 81 (2014)
562 Acres: Conservation Easement 617 Acres: Conservation Easement
55 Acres: Fee Simple Ownership
80 Public Parking Stalls 40 Public Parking Stalls
(36 more stalls to be added when
development sites completed)
150-foot shoreline setback at Keiki Pond 100-foot shoreline setback
(Protected reef area popular with
monk seals and children)

Other Public Benefits

 Agreement preserves nearly 79% of open lands owned by Turtle Bay Resort

 Turtle Bay Resort development plan limited to 725 resort units (zoned for 3,500 units):

 Two small, full-service hotels with 625 rooms total

 Up to 100 resort residential homes

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About the author


Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.