The State Land Use Commission (LUC) was to make a decision on the proposed reclassification of 1,500 acres of agricultural land for the development known as Hoopili Tuesday, May 22. Instead, they delayed at the request of hopeful builder D.R. Horton, which says it needs time to file further legal documents pertaining to the case.
The developer asked for three weeks to prepare and file the documents, but a frustrated LUC only gave them a couple days. Time is quickly becoming an important factor in this long-running case as midsummer will find the LUC changing guards. The terms of Chair Normand Lezy and member Lisa Judge will end at the end of June when they’ll be replaced with appointees of Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who favors the project.
Interveners in the case including the Sierra Club, Sen. Clayton Hee and Friends of Makakilo spoke against the extension. “What interpretation can you possibly have other than they’re trying to change the commission members so that they get a majority?,” asked Kioni Dudley of Friends of Makakilo to the Weekly.
But leadership at D.R. Horton insists that they absolutely want the most informed and qualified commissioners deciding the case–as in, the ones who have sat through the last eight months of hearings.
“The commissioners themselves said that there is no way they won’t hear this case before their terms are up, so I think (the) point is moot at this juncture,” said Vice President of D.R. Horton, Cameron Nekota. “By having the commission look at the issue now (and) evaluate it, it creates a better and cleaner case for the record moving forward.”
That it does. It seems acceptance of the final motion would lessen D.R. Horton’s grounds for appeal if the LUC decides against Ho’opili. However, Nekota said D.R. Horton hasn’t even considered how to proceed if the project is denied.