NORTH SHORE, Hawaii – Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of the island of Oahu in Hawaii has a guiding philosophy for its future – “Tomorrow’s Ahupua’a.” Ancient Hawaiians used a concept of land division, called an ahupua’a, which is a section of land from the mountain to the sea. The ancient ahupua`a was based on a belief system that emphasized the interrelationship and balance of the natural elements and the beings that lived and worked there.
Turtle Bay Resort respects this belief system and understands that the North Shore experience is about the social and cultural vitality tied so closely to precious coastal lands. The resort worked on a plan for future development and drafted and published a State Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on November 23, 2012; information is available at: http://turtlebayseis.com/ . This newly-inspired plan is grounded in these traditional land divisions, ahupua‘a, and most of the proposed density and activity will be focused in the resort’s existing core and then sprinkled throughout the area in order to maintain ample open space.
In response to extensive community dialogue, the proposed plan reflects a strong and genuine commitment to provide valuable, sustainable community
benefits (affordable housing; jobs; preservation of agricultural lands, parks and open space), addressing resident concerns (traffic management, protection of natural and cultural resources), in a responsible way.
To support the principles of “Tomorrow’s Ahupua‘a” and out of respect for the land’s history and community concern, in addition to the SEIS, Turtle Bay Resort conducted a supplemental archaeological inventory survey plan for the proposed project, to be approved by the State Historic Preservation Department of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The Supplemental Environmental Impact Study found Tomorrow’s Ahupua‘a could impact up to 32 marine species, 6 plant species, and 2 tree species. To protect and mitigate impact, Turtle Bay Resort is recommending the establishment
of a konohiki council of local kupuna, government agencies, and environmental groups to implement a Cultural and Natural Resources Management Plan.
Of the many precious species near the resort, the study finds that monk seal and sea turtle populations are on the rise and are not likely to be harmed or affected by the new development plan. And, with increased shoreline setbacks, Turtle Bay Resort is taking extra precaution to protect both species. But the role of the konohiki council would go further to provide culturally- and environmentally-appropriate management measures including signage and education.
North Shore’s unique characteristics, including world famous beaches and surf, attracts locals and visitors alike, creating bottleneck conditions along Kamehameha Highway. Over half of visitors to Waikiki visit the North Shore, and traffic has steadily grown for years due to continued development of homes and businesses, and the growing draw of North Shore attractions.
Turtle Bay Resort has not expanded its density in its 40-year existence, and North Shore traffic will continue to grow through 2025, even without the resort’s future plans. To mitigate traffic, the Resort is committed to a combination of off and on site improvements and feasible alternate modes of transportation strategies recommended by the Traffic Impact & Traffic Demand Reports, and fair share contribution towards regional traffic improvements.
The deadline for comments is Jan. 18, 2013. Also, below please find the link to an online petition in support of the project created by the Kuilima North Shore Strategic Planning Committee.
Support of Turtle Bay’s action plan is critical to save and create construction jobs, as well as provide affordable housing on the North Shore. Anyone wishing to sign the online petition may do so at http://www.change.org/petitions/concerned-citizens-for-balanced-growth-on-oahu-s-north-shore .