Finally, we have some positive developments related to protecting shoreline access on Oahu. As you probably know, our North Shore allies have been working hard to stop the owners of the Turtle Bay Resort from implementing a massive expansion plan that was based on an outdated environmental impact study done way back in 1985.
Had Turtle Bay proceeded with their plan, it's quite possible that public access would have been restricted the same way it currently is at Ko Olina. Although those lagoon beaches are supposed to be open to locals, Ko Olina only has a very small number of parking spaces set aside for the public. Once those spaces are full, Ko Olina turns away locals and visitors alike (unless they are paying guests).
Yesterday, it was reported the Hawaii Supreme Court says a new EIS must be done... but what took so long to come to that conclusion? Shouldn't it have been obvious that much has changed in Hawaii over the past 25 years! Our population has grown, traffic has gotten worse, and there is less pristine, undeveloped coastal areas than there was. Of course an updated environmental impact study needed to be done.
But it took the ongoing efforts of the Defend Oahu Coalition and Keep the North Shore Country folks to make sure a new EIS was done. Kudos to Gil Riviere and all the other activists who showed us that while it may take time, persistence does pay off in local politics!
Here's the link to the Honolulu Advertiser article.