Council okays Laie hotel special permit

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - People in blue T-shirts were back at city hall to back the building of a 200-plus-room hotel in Laie.

"It fits the parameters of the Laie area," Laie resident Richard Vierra testified.

Opponents of the proposed development were there too.

"I'm very concerned that people have not seen the sketches of how big this is," KC Connors said.

The plan on the drawing board of developer Hawaii Reserves Incorporated is for a four-story Courtyard by Marriot hotel with retail and restaurant space on the empty lot where the old Laie Inn once stood.

On Friday, the City Council voted 8 to 1 to grant HRI a Special Management Area Use permit, so the project can take the next step.

The council now requires the developer to do a flood study to see what additional development might do to drainage in the area.

"I'm not satisfied with a flood study because you can study things to death. And nothing really is concrete until it's in the ground and the mitigation efforts or measures are actually there," said Kent Fonoimoana of Defend Oahu Coalition.

HRI president Eric Beaver said he's confident a study will lead to solutions to flooding concerns.

"We're happy with this. It does meet a need in the community. And so we're happy to move forward," he said.

Granting the special permit doesn't mean HRI can begin construction, and it won't end the bickering. But it does move the concept of a Laie hotel closer to design and development.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.