Posted 9/13/2023


Pinkston and his development company Meridian Pacific had a really bad day today!
At the Planning Commission meeting today, Kaaina Hull, Planning Department Director informed the Planning Commission that the Planning Department had indeed determined that the tentative subdivision approvals for each of Gary Pinkston’s Koloa developments, the 280 unit luxury condo development on Kiahuna Plantation Drive and the 51+ unit development in Kukuiula right above the boat harbor were “void as a matter of law”. Director Hull reported to the Commission that he had sent the developer a letter to that effect.

On June 27, 2023 FOM responded to two Requests from Pinkston and Meridian Pacific to extend the time for them to satisfy their subdivision deadlines. We argued then that they had allowed the one year time for performance to lapse and they were late in their requests for an extension of time on each of their Koloa developments. In response to our objections to any extension of time, the Planning Department recommended that the matter be referred to the County Attorney for a legal Opinion on whether or not the tentative subdivision approvals were void as a matter of law and not eligible to receive any extension of time. We argued that the tentative subdivision approval for the Kiahuna Plantation Drive 280 multi-million dollar units expired August 10, 2022, one year from the tentative subdivision approval. The tentative subdivision approval for the Kukuiula project expired February 23, 2023, one year after that Pinkston development received  tentative subdivision approval. The lawyer for Pinkston and Meridian Pacific does not dispute that they failed to timely request an extension of time on their tentative subdivision approvals. By County Code, they were required to do so before one year lapsed from the respective dates of approvals.
Following the County Attorney’s Review and as a result of their failure to make timely requests, Director Hull in his report to the Planning Commission, also used the following phrases: “Their done”, “They’re dead in the water”, when discussing the status of the two tentative subdivision approvals. The lawyers for Pinkston and Meridian Pacific, requested a Contested Case/Appeal of the Director’s Ruling, which they have a right to do. It is an appeal that has to be heard if timely filed. The good news is, there are no grounds raised in their Appeal of the Director’s Determination that is claims any exemption or exception from the the County Code or its subdivision development timelines. None of Pinkston’s representatives offered any legal defense other than to say that Mr Pinkston had already spent a lot of money on these developments and that the Director’s Ruling will be a significant detriment to him. It is very unlikely that the Administrative Law Judge assigned to this Appeal would disagree with the Director’s Determination. They blew it. They allowed the tentative approvals to lapse and interestingly enough, you can’t have a grubbing and grading permit without a tentative subdivision approval. Consequently, we are now moving for revocation of Pinkston’s grubbing and grading permits which are no longer valid as a matter of law.
What was really disheartening today was learning that Attorney Laurel Loo who worked for the County when the development permits on Pinkston’s Kiahuna parcel were issued, negotiated an agreement with Housing Director, Adam Roversi, that afforded Gary Pinkston the satisfaction of his workforce housing requirement. At the time, the County required developers to produce affordable homes that represented at least 20% of the number of high-end homes being developed.
The $2.56 million dollar payment to the County to satisfy their affordable housing requirement, doesn’t even represent 1% of the proceeds anticipated from the 280 million plus dollar luxury condominiums Pinkston plans to develop on Kiahuna Plantation Drive.
Our community is at risk for major change! We couldn’t do this without your support. As the year end approaches, please remember Friends of Maha`ulepu, a 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization, and kindly donate so we can continue our work to Save Koloa.
See the email to Director Hull below regarding the HPM operation at the Old Mill Site. At the Commission meeting today, the Commission and the Planning Department confirmed that commercial operations on Ag land, that are not agriculture and do not support a current agricultural operation, are not allowed without obtaining a lawful permit.
“Aloha Kaaina,
No question your job is a hard one. I think you know that the testimonies offered today come from people who really care about this beautiful rural community. We just don’t it overrun with large multiple axle trucks on our narrow two lane Koloa roads. As you heard today, one of our long time Koloa residents was struck by a construction worker on his way to work a few days ago. The truck he was driving came around a curve on one of our narrow two lane roads and hit him head on as he was cycling on the side of the road. He is now in critical care in Queens Hospital on Oahu.
We don’t want over development that obstructs our ability to move around safely in our community. After the hearing today, I couldn’t help wondering why you feel it is necessary to send a code enforcement officer to inspect the HPM operation at the Old Mill. There is no question they are operating on Ag land in an old building that use to support an Ag operation, the processing sugar cane. HPM’s operation, however, is not an Ag operation and is not supporting an existing Ag operation here. HPM is industrial and designed to produce building supplies, trusses, modular walls, etc. So if they acknowledge they are operating and the paperwork filed by their attorney and the owner Declarations confirm they are operating without any permits, why can’t the County issue a Notice of Violation and a Cease and Desist Order now based on their own admission and your knowledge of zoning of the Old Mill property? Isn’t this a zoning violation as a matter of law based on the facts that are not in dispute? Please help us bring some law and order to our community. Residents of Koloa are looking to the Planning Department to enforce Kauai County and State Law.
Please accept this email as a formal complaint on behalf of our many members who live in Koloa and specifically on behalf of our members who live in Poipu Ina, now suffering from the disruption of their use and enjoyment of their adjacent homes. We look forward to your Notice of Violation and Order to Cease and Desist. Please advise us when action is taken.
Mahalo nui,

Bridget Hammerquist, President
Friends of Maha`ulepu, a 501(c)(3)
Kia`i Wai o Wai`ale`ale, Co-founder
PO Box 1654
Koloa, HI 96756
[email protected]


Posted 9/8/2023

Pinkston’s Projects in More Trouble


You may recall, that FOM testified in strong opposition to Pinkston’s request for an extension of time on the tentative subdivision approvals for his developments, 282 units on Kiahuna Plantation Drive and 51 units in Kukuiula development right above the boat harbor.

According to Kauai County Ordinance, any developer who receives tentative approval is expected to submit final subdivision plans for approval within one year of the counties grant of a tentative approval. Pinkston allowed both tentative approvals to lapse without requesting an extension of time. According to the Ordinance, we argued that his right to proceed lapsed and that he had to reapply. When the Planning Department issued its agenda for their next meeting Tuesday September 12, 2023, we learned that the County Attorney agreed with FOM prompting the County Planning Director to recommend the Planning Commission to deem each of Pinkston’s tentative subdivision approvals as expired.  All of the housing Pinkston wants to develop in Koloa, including the 100 luxury condos to be built in Koloa are investor class or resort properties whose price point begins in excess of a $1 million, nothing for workforce and nothing affordable. We could use your help to tell the Planning Commission that we don’t need more visitor/resort destination properties in this community. We don’t need the 400+ cars that will be added to our small community traffic flow. Testimony should be prepared and emailed to the County Planning Director, [email protected] on or before this coming Sunday evening, 9/10/2023. The following is a link to the Planning Commission meeting Tuesday 9/12/2023 at 830 am. The second link contains an agenda packet where you can find the Counties position and information being provided to the Planning Commission.

Planning Commission Agenda

Planning Department Information Packet for Agenda Items

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Humpback whales are often seen breaching off the shores of Maha’ulepu during the winter months.

Friends of Maha’ulepu is comprised of a group of concerned citizens (local and beyond) who are contributing their time and talents to protect the natural beauty of this pristine coastal valley.

Maha’ulepu Beach is located on the South Shore of the Island of Kaua’i in the Hawaiian Islands, approximately 3 1/2 miles northeast of the town of Poi’pu.  Poi’pu is one of the major visitor destinations on the island due to it’s beautiful beaches, swimming, snorkeling and surfing, sea turtles, whales, monk seals, trade winds, palm trees, and spectacular sunsets. Learn more about Friends of Maha’ulepu and the work we are doing!

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