WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A crushing legal blow for environmentalists fighting to stop a massive new tower from being built at the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki.
The city's zoning board of appeals sided with Surfrider owner Kyo-ya who wants to replace an eight-story wing of the hotel with a 26-story tower.
Environmental groups have been fighting Kyo-ya's efforts to get a variance that would allow the building to be set fifty feet from Waikiki's shoreline instead of a hundred.
In a statement Kyo-ya applauded the decision.
"We are pleased that the ZBA unanimously validated the planning and permitting director's December 2010 decision. Today's announcement reaffirms our belief that the redevelopment of the Diamond Head Tower is the right thing to do for the Waikiki community, the state's number one industry and the more than 3,500 Kyo-ya employees. We thank the members of the Zoning Board of Appeals for their time and careful consideration of this matter and look forward to resuming our development plans to build a better Waikiki."
The Environmental groups, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, Ka Iwi Coalition, Surfrider Foundation and KAHEA - The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance are vowing to appeal.