The owner of the Moana Surfrider wants to build a new tower and they want to build it on the beach. Their justification for encroaching 60 feet into a 100-foot ocean setback is because the lot is small and because part of it is occupied by an historic building.
Well, yes, that's true. But they knew that when they bought it. Building hotels on the sand degrades Waikiki, to the detriment of all the other hotels. Zoning exemptions should be offered in the public interest, not just because a landowner thinks he's entitled.
This is a cautionary tale for Castle & Cooke, proposing to build three thousand homes on working farmland. What's in the interest of a developer isn't automatically in the interest of the people. It's not even necessarily in the interest of the rest of the business community.
Castle & Cooke might be able to show a net benefit for the rest of us. The owner of the Moana Surfrider wants to claim some of the beach that belongs to all the people. I'm not sure how they can justify that.
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