Sunday, July 17, 2016

AG Recommends Denial of Park's Petition for Contested Case

On July 11, 2016 Save Manoa Valley was informed that the Attorney General's office has recommended that the Board of Land and Natural Resources deny Paradise Park's request for a contested case. 

BLNR Chair Case waived attorney-client privilege in order to allow the public to see the Attorney General's rationale for recommending that the Board deny Paradise Park's request for a contested case. See the recommendation here. 

Organizationally, Save Manoa Valley has been busy electing an executive board and incorporating as a non-profit in the state of Hawaii. We are also setting up a fiscal sponsorship in order to accept tax-deductible donations for legal action and basic outreach costs.

President: Gordon Aoyagi
Vice-President: (currently vacant)
Treasurer: Dr. Jeremy Lam
Secretary & Membership: Jolyn Rosa
Communications: Mike McFarlane
Board Member At Large: Steven Oppenheimer, Esq.
Board Member At Large: Christina Lizzi 

We recognize that this will be an on-going, long-term process. We are dedicated to preserving, protecting and advancing the ecological, environmental, socio-economic and cultural attributes of Manoa Valley and in particular preserving and protecting lands designated as conservation lands by the state of Hawaii.

A link for tax-deductible donations will be posted shortly. Until then, please contact if you would like to make a contribution. 


At a future meeting, the Board of Land and Natural Resources  will decide whether or not to approve or deny the Park's petition for a contested case Hearing.  STAY TUNED for an update on when the meeting will be - we'll need your presence there! 

What if the petition is denied? 
If the petition is denied, we remain at the status quo as of May 27, 2016 - the Park retains its original permit from 1966 along with all the conditions of that permit, but is not allowed to proceed with its plans to rebrand, re-construct, and re-open at a large scale. The Park will at a minimum need to reapply for another modification to its current permit in order to proceed. However, given the scope of the changes, the large amount of work that needs to be done and the vastly changed conditions since the Park was last in operation,  SMV believes that the Park should be required to apply for a new Conservation District Use Permit. Opening up a new themed park in 2016 is essentially a different action then what was authorized back in 1966 without regard for community input or environmental protection. For any action the Park should be required to do an environmental assessment. 

The Park may also appeal the denial to the Court system. 

What if the petition is granted? 
If the petition is granted, then the contested case will proceed.  A contested case is a quasi-judicial administrative hearing. Essentially, it is much like a court trial, but with more relaxed rules. Witnesses and evidence are presented and an administrative law judge oversees the proceedings. The judge will make findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the rights of the parties. 

SMV has indicated its intention and submitted a petition to intervene in the contested case if it is granted. Accordingly, we would be able to present witnesses and evidence to ensure that the rights of the community are understood and considered. We will keep you informed as we move forward. 

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