North shore residents accept Turtle Bay land deal
North shore residents say they're OK with the big money land deal that reduces development, but certainly doesn't stop it.
Partial victories are still victories when it comes to keeping the country country.
"Well it's about time. We can compromise and get a solution to this," said Laie resident Robert AhPuck.
The fight against development has been long and the outcome is acceptable to most.
"It's always a concern out here in the country. Everybody loves the country, but the country is getting busy and we need to keep it safe," said north shore resident Kiki Emery.
The state's agreement allows for two new hotels in Turtle Bay plus 100 homes. That development covers 187 acres. Another 665 acres will be considered off limits to construction.
Turtle Bay officials say that Kawela Bay will be one of the many sites of the 852 acres that will remain untouched. A compromise that residents say they can live with.
But House Rep. Richard Fale says the community's main concern throughout this whole ordeal is that they were never directly consulted during the multi-million dollar negotiations.
"There are a lot of people who are worried that we are not spending our money on the top priorities of the community," said Fale.
Priorities include funding educational programs at schools and using the $48.5 million paid by the state to prevent development on portions of the land.
Turtle Bay officials say that's not the case.
"In the last three years we have attended and participated in I would say 150 to 200 committee meetings," said Danna Holck, Turtle Bay Resort Vice President and General Manager.
They say the project will benefit the area and its residents are looking for jobs closer to home.
"There will be over 750 full-time permanent jobs, not to mention the construction [and] electrical jobs that will be created during the development," said Holck.
The development will be under close scrutiny on the North Shore.
Turtle Bay officials say they will hold a rally with Keep the Country, Country organizers Saturday at 1 p.m. on Kamehameha Highway at the entrance of the resort as a collaborative way to thank the community for their patience and support.
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