Posted 12/4/2023


As you well know, there has been a lot of controversy over the construction of a 350 room luxury resort hotel at the former Coco Palms site. In order to develop the hotel, the current would be developer, RP21 Coco Palms LLC (RP21), submitted plans to the County for building permits that show there intended use of State Crown Land, Conservation Land and 3 parcels covered by revocable permits (RP). RP21 even obtained building permits from our County to construct a wedding chapel on state land without first securing a lease or revocable permit from the State. In a meeting on April 14, 2023, Dawn Chang, the new Director and Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, asked how such a thing could happen without notifying the State. There was a lot of controversy and many FOM members testified on April 14, 2023 because RP21 contractors had cut down at least 75 healthy coconut palm trees from state land without prior notice to or consent from the State. On April 19, 2023, the Office of Conservation and Coastal Land Management served RP21 with a Notice of Violation and Order requiring them to Cease the activity and answer for the trespass and damage to state property. That matter is still ongoing. On Thursday December 7, 2023, the Land Board will once again consider the issue of whether or not to extend permits to RP21 for the state land even though their violation action is still pending. We need as many as possible to submit written testimony to the Land Board no later than Tuesday December 5, 2023 at 9:00 am by directing an email to [email protected] . In the subject of your email, if you feel as we do, that this congested intersection near Wailua River and Kuhio Highway will not work for such a development without great adverse impact to the quality of life for those travel the roads nearby, for the nearby waste water treatment plant that is already ailing, for the safety of the ocean and river whose waters are very likely to be polluted with the demolition and construction because of a high water table and direct communication between the site’s drainage canal behind the hotel which runs under Kuamoʻo to the Wailua River. In the subject of your email please use the phrase “Strongly Oppose Land Agenda Item D-6 12-7-23”. We really need as many comments filed with the Land Board as possible. When we last were before them in April 2023, the Land Board members commented that they were impressed by the numbers in the community who sent in comments. Let’s do it again!
FOM supports I Ola Wailua Nui’s Application, filed under their 501(c)(3) community non-profit corporation, to preserve the Coco Palms site as a park and historic cultural center as it pertains to the State Lease and RP lands. Toward that end, they have applied for RPs to 3 parcels of land that the Coco Palms developers are also trying to obtain. The Land Board will consider whether to award the three RP parcels to the current would be developer, RP21 Coco Palms LLC, at its meeting next Thursday December 7, 2023 at 9:00 am.

Land Board Agenda December 7, 2023 and the Staff Submittal recommending Revocable Permits be issued to RP Coco Palms LLC
6. Issuance of Term, Non-Exclusive Easements to RP21 Coco Palms LLC, Wailua, Kawaihau, Kauai, Tax Map Keys: (4) 4-1-003:044 and (4) 4-1-005:por. 017;

Issuance of Revocable Permit to RP21 Coco Palms LLC and Sale of Lease at Public Auction for Parking and Landscaping Purposes, Wailua, Kawaihau, Kauai, Tax Map Key: (4) 4-1-003:017; and

Immediate Right-of-Entry for Management Purposes to RP21 Coco Palms LLC, Wailua, Kawaihau, Kauai, Tax Map Keys: (4) 4-1-003:044, (4) 4-1-003:017 and (4) 4-1-005:por.017.

Coco Palms revocable permits previously issued to Coco Palms Ventures LLC will expire December 31, 2023 pursuant to the Land Board’s Order of October 2023. Coco Palms Ventures LLC was a corporation that left Kauai in 2016 and failed to renew their DCCA registration or pay taxes or fees for the revocable permits from 2016 to present. Coco Palms Hui LLC was formed by Chad Waters and Tyler Greene who applied for all of the Coco Palms development permits after Coco Palms Ventures LLC had their corporate status involuntarily revoked by the State on December 4, 2017. As the Judge stated at the recent hearing on the AG’s Motion to Dismiss on November 9, 2023, she found it perplexing that the Land board continued to renew the Coco Palms Ventures LLC revocable permits from 2017 to 2022 when the renewal was for a “defunct entity”. 
On September 11, 2018, the County Planning Director filed a Director’s Petition to Revoke the Coco Palms development permits with the Planning Commission. The matter was moved to September 25, 2018 and ultimately heard on November 13, 2018. Rather than revoke the permits, the County Planning Director said on the record that he had worked everything out with the attorney for Chad Waters and Tyler Greene and so the Planning Commission granted his request to re-issue the development permits to Coco Palms Hui LLC with 26 conditions, signed by the current Planning Director, Ka`āina Hull, December 31, 2018. On November 22, 2023, FOM has filed a formal Petition to revoke the December 31, 2018 development permits for breach of several of those conditions. Director Hull has 60 days to respond.
In February of 2021, RP21 Coco Palms LLC was formed by the entity that had foreclosed on Coco Palms Hui LLC, Chad Waters and Tyler Greene, in 2019. In 2023, RP21 paid for the corporate renewal and began using the name Coco Palms Hui LLC as an affiliate of RP21 Coco Palms LLC.
The Land Board Agenda for their board meeting December 7 and 8, 2023 was just released. Per agenda item D6, the staff of the DLNR Land Division is now recommending the Board grant RP21 Coco Palms LLC’s Application for the three revocable permits on the three RP parcels, 2 mauka and 1 maki that would then be integrated in their development plans which already happen to show using those RP parcels for the development of their 350 room hotel resort even though RP21 has never had permits for the state lands incorporated in their building plans. The Board does not have to follow the recommendation of the staff of the DLNR Land Division and hopefully our testimony will help them decide not to grant RP21 Coco Palms LLC these permits since they have committed criminal trespass over and over again. They also have incorporated a wedding chapel on state land and received permits from the County to build it without permits from the State for the land the wedding chapel is to be constructed on.

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 11/04/2023


If you are near a television, Hawaii News Now told us they would be covering our effort to preserve the Old Koloa Sugar Mill and our rural community. HPM had been issued permits by the County Planning Commission earlier this year in February. The permits allowed them to do an industrial operation on Ag land that is not permitted by State or County Law. An appeal had to be filed with the Circuit Court and Judge Watanabe vacated the Planning Department Permits citing the fact that HPM’s operation on Ag land was illegal.
Please find copies of an archeologist complaint and together with our testimony before the Planning Commission 9/12/2023 resulted in the Planning Director’s Notice of Violation and Order to Cease and Desist “immediately”. Rather than cease or worry about the $10,000 fine, the County advised HPM they would suffer, HPM continued to operate.


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!

Maui wildfires timeline of failed communications