Coco Palms land dispute continues as judge refuses to oust occup - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Coco Palms land dispute continues as judge refuses to oust occupiers

Coco Palms Resort (Image: Hawaii News Now/File) Coco Palms Resort (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
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    More than two decades have passed since Hurricane Iniki passed over the islands, destroying the Coco Palms resort in Kauai. Two years ago, a fire caused even more damaged to the tattered resort. But the long-awaited demolition has finally begun on Thursday, a first step in Coco Palms' targeted reopening in 2017 as a Hyatt resort. 

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WAILUA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The land dispute at an abandoned Kauai landmark hotel continues. 

A judge is refusing to remove some Native Hawaiians from the Coco Palms property in Wailua.

In March, Hawaii News Now reported that some 20 Native Hawaiians were occupying the land, claiming ties to Hawaiian royalty made them the rightful owners.

The men claim they own the land, as descendants of Kauai's last ruler -- King Kaumuali`i.

The state filed a motion, asking for two men to be taken off the property, but, according to The Garden Island, more information is needed to determine the rightful land owners.

"The county recognizes us as the owner of the property, and so we see it as criminal trespassing," Tyler Greene of Greene Waters said in March.

His company is taking on reconstruction efforts of the run-down facility.

Tax map documents support Waters' claim to the property, showing Coco Palms is under the ownership of the developer. 

The hotel, which sits along Kauai's east coast, has sat idle after being severely damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Renovations are underway, and the resort is expected to open next year.

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