The future of Coco Palms redevelopment still hangs in limbo. The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has issued a cease and desist order against the Utah-based developer’s work on the property. The reason the state alleges this is that unpermitted work is occurring.
Strangely, the owner’s representative said instead that the company was doing Kauai a favor by clearing vegetation on the overgrown property at Kapaa.
Will this put the kibosh on the 350-room resort?
The future of Coco Palms’ development is anything but clear. While the demolition is beginning, the community is outspoken in its attempt to prevent the development for many reasons. The Kauai Council Chairperson said, “The sentiment today from what I’m hearing as I go across this island is completely opposite. No, they don’t want to see a new hotel there.” The degree of community sentiment against the development is overwhelmingly strong.
Multiple sources report that the cease and desist order was issued to the developer, which required an immediate stop to the unpermitted clearing of trees and other vegetation. The developer is allegedly subject to fines of $15,000 per day and has thirty days to respond to the order.
There is so much vaguery about what’s going on in relation to the development company, the state DLNR and the Board of Land and Natural Resources. The DLNR said that the developer is in potential violation of the state land use conservation district. That inasmuch as equipment is being used and vegetation and trees are being removed without the necessary permits.
So many questions remain about Coco Palms.
The developer sees a new Coco Palms Resort rebuilt by 2026. That is without regard to the incredible “Kapaa crawl” traffic, the eroded beach across the highway from the resort, plus a plethora of other concerns, including cultural ones, and staffing issues.
Coco Palms Ventures has brazenly stated that they can import adequate people to Kauai to staff the resort.
The impact of a 350-room hotel at that location is enormous. Also, the location is deemed so culturally and historically important that it should never be developed. Also, the long-postponed development appears based on permits many believe are no longer valid.
One thing is for sure. This is not going to be smooth sailing.