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Hawaiian Group Files Suit Against County for Extending Grading Permit at Maui Lani

Mālama Kakanilua photo.

Mālama Kakanilua and members Clare H. Apana and Kaniloa Kamaunu filed suit against the Director of the Department of Public Works for extending the grading permit for Maui Lani Partners’ sand mining operations with Maui’s Environmental Court on Wednesday afternoon.

The members are represented by Maui attorney Lance D. Collins.

According to Mālama Kakanilua officials,  days after Maui’s Environmental Court issued an injunction severely restricting Maui Lani Partners’ ability to continue its sand mining operation, the County renewed Maui Lani Partners’ grading permit for one year for unspecified “good cause” and without review or concurrence from the State Historic Preservation Division.

In its letter responding to Mālama Kakanilua’s concerns, the group reports that the County said it had requested comment from SHPD but had not received a response.

Mālama Kakanilua is a hui formed many years ago to protect ‘iwi, burials, and other historic and archaeologically significant sites in  Maui.  The group is named for Kakanilua, a famous battle that occurred in the sand hills of Central Maui. After six weeks of evidentiary hearings, the Environmental Court issued an injunction severely restricting Maui Lani Partners’ activities.

“We have been asking the County to review the permits so it was a complete surprise that they granted a year extension after the injunction was issued and only a few days after receiving the request by the developer,” said Clare H. Apana, a cultural practitioner and founding member of Mālama Kakanilua.

The County Council recently adopted an ordinance which put a moratorium on sand mining while the County’s sand resources are studied and inventoried, but exempting those holding a valid grading permit as of  the date of the ordinance’s adoption.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs recently sent a letter to the County strongly condemning the surreptitious permit renewal without addressing the previous lawsuit, the injunction or SHPD comments.

Filed documents can be read by clicking below:

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