THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

19

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2012

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

URGING GROVE FARM COMPANY, Inc. TO place an immediate stay of eviction and engage in meaningful formal discussions with the tenants of the koloa plantation camp regarding future plans for THE plantation PROPERTY and the development of alternative solutions.

 

 


WHEREAS, Princess Victoria Kuhio Kinoiki Kekaulike is the granddaughter of King Kaumualii, the last Alii Aimoku of Kauai; is the full sister to Queen Kapiolani, wife of King David Laamea Kalakaua; is the mother to Prince David Kawananakoa, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, and Prince Edward Keliiahonui; is the namesake of Ala Kinoiki Bypass in Koloa; and therefore is a historic reminder of the significance of Koloa, Kauai, to Native Hawaiians; and

 

WHEREAS, the Koloa Plantation Camp is a small, rustic neighborhood of century-old homes from the first sugar plantation of the State of Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, the Koloa Plantation was founded by William Hooper in 1835, as the first sugar plantation in what was the Kingdom of Hawaii at the time, thus, this plantation is the birthplace of the sugar industry; and

 

WHEREAS, the tenants include multi-generational families including aged seniors who have lived their entire lives in the Koloa Plantation Camp; and

 

WHEREAS, eight of the thirteen tenant families of the camp live in residential houses and five tenant families live on agricultural lots; and

 

WHEREAS, for these long-time tenants, their homes are a historic living symbol of the local culture and lifestyle of Kauai and the State; and

 

WHEREAS, the existing twenty-one buildings, including homes, hold sentimental and historical value to the Kauai island community; and

 

WHEREAS, large landowners have long recognized the value and intrinsic connection between the success of the plantations and the sacrifices made by their tenant workers; and

 

WHEREAS, historically plantation camps have been the responsibility or "kuleana" of large landowners to provide lifelong housing to their tenant workers and tenant workers' families; and

 

WHEREAS, in the recent past, plantations have offered homes in fee simple to the descendants of plantation workers, such as Kualapuu Plantation Camp on Molokai and Poamoho Plantation Camp on Oahu; and

 

WHEREAS, the thirteen tenant families of Koloa Plantation Camp were served with eviction notices two weeks prior to Thanksgiving 2011, directing them to vacate their homes by March 8, 2012; and

 

WHEREAS, the owner of the land comprising Koloa Plantation Camp is Grove Farm Company, which is proposing to develop a fifty-unit residential subdivision; and

 

WHEREAS, Grove Farm Company has a history of being a good corporate neighbor by being proactive, sensitive, and responsive to community needs; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaii State Legislature understands and recognizes the legal parameters arising from Grove Farm Company's vested rights as land owner and landlord with regard to the Koloa Plantation Camp; and

 

WHEREAS, however, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee, Donald Cataluna, a former long-time sugar plantation executive stated in written testimony to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor, "Being born and raised on Kauai, I have long known Grove Farm Company, but today, owned by Jim Case, it is not the same company we all knew when it was owned by the Wilcox family. Today, many have the impression that the company is now just a land company; they say it is no longer concerned with the wellbeing of residents, and only about the bottom line. I am one who is under this impression. I have heard these concerns from many of my constituents and many on Kauai"; and

 

WHEREAS, the Koloa Plantation Camp community has joined together as an organized tenant family unit to stop the evictions, representing that they are not against affordable housing projects, but that there are many reasons why Koloa Plantation Camp is a poor choice for this proposed development location; and.

 

WHEREAS, Koloa Plantation Camp tenants with the support of the broader community have united to form Save Koloa Camp to bring awareness to the impending loss of this island treasure, including a petition exceeding fifteen hundred signatures in strong support of saving Koloa Plantation Camp; and

 

WHEREAS, Koloa Plantation Camp tenants have proposed an alternative solution that will be beneficial to the tenants and the landowner; and

 

WHEREAS, Koloa Plantation Camp is located on TMK 2-8-4-1 consisting of 24.257 acres with Ala Kinoiki Bypass Road dividing the parcel in two halves, but retaining the same tax map key number; and

 

WHEREAS, of the total 24.257 acres, Koloa Plantation Camp is located west of the Ala Kinoiki Bypass Road on 11.870 acres in an urban zoned area while the remaining 12.387 acres located east of Ala Kinoiki Bypass Road is an agriculture-zoned area; and

 

WHEREAS, the alternative solution is to extend the urban zoning designation to the 12.387 acres located on the east side of the Ala Kinoiki Bypass Road to allow Grove Farm Company to develop its fifty-unit residential subdivision there while maintaining the historic homes and buildings located in Koloa Plantation Camp; and

 

WHEREAS, this alternative property is a prime location for the proposed subdivision development as it allows greater access for vehicular traffic via Ala Kinoiki Bypass Road as opposed to Wailani Road, which is presently the only access road to Koloa Plantation Camp; and

 

WHEREAS, in emergency evacuation situations, the existing Wailani Road is not a suitable roadway to allow subdivision residents and cars to safely exit the area expeditiously; and

 

WHEREAS, switching plans for the subdivision to the area east of the Ala Kinoiki Bypass Road would also ensure that the community resources, such as the Koloa Early School playground and the Koloa Canoe Club, continue to provide healthy and positive activities for children in the community; and

 

WHEREAS, in 2004, Peter Savio, a local-boy developer, worked with First Hawaiian Bank to prevent nearly two hundred tenants of Poamoho Plantation Camp on Oahu from losing their homes by allowing them to purchase their plantation homes in fee; and

 

WHEREAS, the tenants of Koloa Plantation Camp have offered to partner with Poamoho Plantation Camp developer Peter Savio to preserve the historic meaning and culture of Koloa Plantation Camp by allowing the tenants to purchase their own lots; provided that:

 

(1) The Koloa Plantation Camp Association establishes a system for tenants wishing to purchase, with highest preference going to existing tenants;

 

(2) Construction shall be limited to repair, renovation, and maintenance of existing structures to retain the historic value of the homes or structures located in the camp; and

 

(3) If any new construction is necessary, new structures shall incorporate the historic design of the remaining structures located in the camp; and

 

WHEREAS, the tenants of Koloa Plantation Camp have proposed plans for the twenty-one lots on the camp site, including:

 

(1) A 3.5 acre lot being dedicated to a sustainable community orchard that shall serve as a food forest to provide food for the community as well as serve as a source of potential revenue; establish a root system to stabilize the river banks during floods; and provide an educational resource for the children in the area;

 

(2) A single lot dedicated to serve as a solar array garden to provide alternative energy for the Koloa community;

 

(3) A single lot dedicated as a community garden for the tenants of Koloa Plantation Camp; and

 

(4) The remaining eighteen lots for residential purposes; and

 

WHEREAS, the tenants of Koloa Plantation Camp are interested in working with Peter Savio after seeing the success of Poamoho Plantation Camp; and

 

WHEREAS, the tenants of Koloa Plantation Camp strongly believe this plan creates a win-win situation that allows Grove Farm Company to develop affordable housing units and pour additional capital into their new project; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, that the Grove Farm Company is urged to place an immediate stay of eviction to allow the Koloa Plantation Camp tenants to remain in their homes until an alternative solution is developed; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Grove Farm Company is urged to engage in meaningful formal discussions with the tenants of Koloa Plantation Camp regarding future plans for the plantation property and the development of alternative solutions; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to Hawaii's Congressional Delegation; the Governor of the State of Hawaii; the President and Chief Executive Officer of Grove Farm Company, Inc.; developer Peter Savio; the Honolulu Star Advertiser; the Garden Island News; Honolulu Magazine; Lee Cataluna; and other news, print, and digital media entities.

 

 

Report Title:

Grove Farm Company, Inc.; Koloa Camp Eviction