Local Connection: Turtle Bay - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Turtle Bay

By: Rick Blangiardi

Time is running out for the legislature to get its act together on the Turtle Bay land preservation deal.

It's important that the legislative action approved last year...

to buy an easement to preserve 665 acres of north shore property from development now moves forward.

That action requires the state selling $40 million of revenue bonds from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

A state house committee last week approved moving the deadline until Dec. 31 but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. The House Finance Committee, the full House and a House-Senate Conference Committee are all next up.

Ironically, preserving the land from the construction of hundreds of new homes was one of Gov. Abercrombie's great accomplishments that only could be accomplished by then State Sen. David Ige's smart move to cover debt service on the Turtle Bay bonds issued through the HTA.

Now lawmakers are asking for new details about the deal and that is what threatens the easement sale. with the preservation easement in place.

Some 650 new homes in the area could not be built and more than 1,200 acres around Turtle Bay would remain untouched.

Let's hope legislators will get their act together and extend the deadline.

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