WAILUKU – The Maui Planning Agency recessed a audition for a Haiku zipline aggregation on Tuesday, to the aural groans of neighbors gluttonous an end to the zipline’s operations.
The contested case audition for Derek Hoyte of D&S Ventures, who is requesting a appropriate use admittance to abide operating Northshore Zipline Co., will resume at 9 a.m. Dec. 11.
Hoyte originally came to the agency in July 2016 and was denied a admittance afterwards neighbors batten adjoin it. In October 2017, a adjudicator alone the accommodation and beatific the amount aback to the commission.
Cal Chipchase, advocate for D&S Ventures, said Tuesday that the aggregation met all the belief for a appropriate use admittance aback it aboriginal activated two years ago.
“Nothing has afflicted in the use or operation, and I respectfully advance we still accommodated them today,” Chipchase said.
Located at 2065 Kauhikoa Road in Haiku, Northshore Zipline offers a seven-zipline bout on a 17.5-acre armpit that was already allotment of Affected Maui, the training area of the 4th Marine Division during World War II.
In August 2013, the Planning Administration beatific a apprehension of admonishing to the acreage owners and told them they bare a appropriate use admittance to accomplish a zipline in a canton agronomical district.
Northshore Zipline kept operating, and in May 2014, the administration beatific addition warning, again a apprehension of abuse in December 2014. The aggregation was ordered to cease operations or be fined $1,000 a day.
D&S Ventures agreed to get a admittance and submitted an appliance to the canton in October 2015. The agency denied the admittance in July 2016 over apropos that the celebrated canning uses seemed accessory to the zipline operations. Neighbors additionally testified that Hoyte set up the ziplines after consulting the association and that the babble had been aggravation them anytime since.
D&S Ventures appealed, and in October 2017, 2nd Circuit Court Adjudicator Rhonda Loo alone the accommodation because the agency had not followed the procedures of a contested case hearing, which requires testifiers to be affidavit in. It additionally would accept accustomed D&S Ventures’ attorneys to cantankerous appraise assemblage and accommodate acknowledgment evidence.
Loo beatific the appliance aback to the commission.
On Tuesday, the agency went into controlling affair for about bisected an hour afore the audition began in advanced of a standing-room-only crowd.
While ziplines aren’t mentioned as a acceptable or appropriate use for agronomical districts, D&S Ventures is aggravating to get a admittance as an “open acreage amusement use,” which is a appropriate use in the Maui Canton Code.
D&S Ventures has continued argued that its operation is committed to celebrated preservation. Guides go over the history of Affected Maui during zipline tours, and photos of the old affected are absorbed to posts about the property.
However, the Planning Administration said in its abode that celebrated canning appears accessory to the ziplines.
David Callies, a assistant at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, was alleged as a attestant for D&S Ventures. He argued that it shouldn’t accomplish a aberration because the “special uses” area of the cipher doesn’t abode “principal” or “accessory” uses.
But, abettor P. Denise La Costa asked, if a acreage is benumbed agricultural, shouldn’t the primary use be agricultural?
“If we were speaking with a bare slate, that may actual able-bodied be true,” Callies said. “But the accuracy of the amount is you’re absolute by what you admittance in your code, and your cipher permits a array of added things that are not, carefully speaking, absolutely agriculture.”
Commissioner Christian Tackett asked Callies how he would acknowledge to the association who accept complained about the zipline.
Callies said that he sympathizes with them, “but it’s a acceptable use.”
“If association accept a botheration with that, and I can absolutely accept why they would accept a problem, again the botheration is with the absolute accessible acreage use controls and the limitations on the use,” he said.
Testimony from D&S Ventures’ two assemblage on Tuesday lasted about two hours, and at one point Chairman Keaka Robinson asked advocate Christopher Goodin to acceleration up the ytic of PBR Hawaii artist Kimi Yuen.
“If you accept highlights and aerial credibility that you appetite to address, amuse do that,” Robinson said. “But activity aback and alternating for a Q&A for over an hour now, and all you do is reciting paperwork that’s already appear from this commission. That is not the best use of agency time and, I think, of your time.”
Goodin said it was important to assay “the adverse determinations in the department’s report.” The Planning Administration recommended approval of the admittance in 2016 but accomplished altered abstracts in its best contempo report. Goodin said that the alone change aback 2016 was the abatement of a proposed 80-foot zipline belfry from the application.
Deputy Corporation Counsel David Galazin told Goodin that the latest appliance had to angle on its own claim and asked him to stop apropos to the 2016 report.
After the meeting, Planning Director Michele McLean said that the department’s latest abode was “just a beginning ysis.” Aback the administration aboriginal did a abode in 2016, “we hadn’t accustomed any ascribe that would advance us to a advocacy of denial.”
“At that audition (in July 2016), and aback then, including today, we’ve accustomed absolutely a bit of affidavit talking about the impacts that the operation has, and so our assay is altered now than it was then,” she explained.
McLean said the administration can change its recommendation, decidedly aback the case was beatific aback to the agency with a new accessible hearing, a new agents abode and new evidence.
McLean additionally said that Northshore Zipline currently owes added than $900,000 in fines, but that the aggregation has appealed to the Board of Variances and Appeals. That affair will be captivated at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Planning Administration Conference Room, but there will be no accessible testimony.
* Colleen Uechi can be accomplished at [email protected]
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