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SAVE-OPEN-SPACE HUI
(S-O-S Hui)

Media & Events

This page contains Media and Event information concerning the proposed resort expansion/“glamping” development on the Makai Woods Golf Course in Princeville, Kauai.

Meetings & Events (NEW 09/25)

7/18/21 - Summary Notes from the 7/15/21 PHCA Board Meeting
PHCA President Sam George reported the Board and its attorneys continue to meet and discuss a community benefits package with Starwood Captial Group (SCG). A number of community members asked questions of the board which are noted here. SCG VP. Jason Cruce reiterated that profit motive was the primary reason for SCG's desire to develop glamping on the Makai Woods golf course, currently zoned Open Land and which the SOSHui is fighting so hard to keep Open.
Aloha SOS Hui & Open Space Supporters

The following is a review of the 7/15/21 PHCA Board’s and others’ commentary on Starwood Capital Group’s (SCG) resort expansion efforts during the meeting.

Sam reported that the Board and its attorneys continue to meet and discuss a community benefits package with Starwood Captial Group (SCG). He said that the Board remains focused on preserving open space in Princeville, that the Board is watching the efforts of SCG in the permitting process and other legislative activities. He says there will be no agreement unless significant benefits can be gained from SCG for the members of PHCA.

The Board seems to still be trying to negotiate a solution to the apparent expiration of the Golf Course Dedication document on February 28, 2026 by throwing it away early. The Dedication is a contract between the owners of the golf course and each and every owner of land in Princeville at Hanalei; PHCA is not a party to that contract.

Community members then raised questions and expressed concerns about a variety of issues:

1. Board Member Lionel Moore attended the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, July 13th to learn more, but didn’t take a position pro or con on Bill 2822 that was being heard.

2. Bill Butler brought up concerns about noise and privacy if the new development actually gets constructed, and wondered if since it was an expansion to the hotel (which IS a member of PHCA), would the new units be subject to the normal Princeville CC&Rs. Rory Enright said that the county itself has pretty strict rules about noise. No one addressed the privacy concerns.

3. Kristine Cocke asked if community members could communicate directly with Doug Chin. Maylette asked why, and of course the unsaid but real answer is that those of us in opposition to this development don’t believe our Board is adequately representing our position. Sam did say that if any agreement is reached, the Board would go line-by-line through the agreement with the Community before a vote is taken. The problem with that is that if the Board members have already agreed, what’s the likelihood that the membership in any regular meeting would be able to overturn that? Maylette offered to take any issues directly and pass them along to Mr. Chin and the Board. Rory mentioned that Mr. Chin IS seeing all the email feedback that members have been sending in. We personally thank all those members who have taken the time to do so.

4. Mary Paterson – the Board is negotiating with SCG – but doesn’t seem to understand that no solution that includes glamping will be acceptable to those on the golf course at the least. Sam went back to his usual position of giving up the rights and interests of the few in favor of the many. Mary reminded everyone that the developers are only concerned with the bottom line – there is NO real concern for the Community.

5. Lorri Mull said it’s really only the Woods Course that’s at risk for development; any hotel owner will need the other 18 holes (Lakes and Ocean) to be a “real” 5-star hotel. Jason Cruce of Starwood Capital confirmed that during the June 10th presentation, as we recall. The private homes at the top of Woods Hole #1, Villas of Kamali‘i and Makai Cottages are also potential victims of this proposed development. Starwood is apparently abandoning the Woods, that is, not maintaining it. Maintenance of all 27 holes as a golf course appears to be required by the Dedication; it’s in the Deed of Warranty.

6. Daniel Ersoy posed 3 questions; Maylette promised to get answers back to him:
a. Who is bound and what jurisdiction will apply to any “settlement contract”? Can a contract of this nature bind individual members of PHCA? Sam said PHCA is already in a dispute with SCG – though there is no formal lawsuit. There are differences of desires, wants and legal rights. The Board through Doug Chin is trying to resolve them through discussions/negotiation – that typically results in a “settlement contract”. There is no agreement at this time. Sam did say that members of PHCA would likely be affected by any contract.
b. Can the PHCA or Board be an Intervenor in a contested hearing for the permit?
c. As members, can we get historical, non-personal records from Princeville/PHCA – he is especially interested in those about the golf course.

7. Barbara Levin believes that every homeowner will be affected by the noise, the traffic and the basic change in entire culture of this community. She disagrees with Sam’s comments about sacrificing the smaller percentage of homeowners for a larger percentage. She reminded everyone that the December survey showed that the large majority of respondents oppose this development. Two things are coming – County Bill 2822 will very likely get passed eventually; and, there is the possibility of a moratorium being pushed by many of the environmental groups – over-tourism is killing Kaua‘i. We have options and time, PHCA Board and members should not be bullied by SCG into breaking the Dedication early.

Editor's note: Despite the very prejudicially worded questions offered to PHCA members on the PHCA December survey, 94.2% of the 782 respondents said that preserving open space was “important, fairly important or very important”. See the 1/1/2021 published results.

8. Andy White asked who is Doug Chin negotiating for – Sam, the Board or PHCA? Sam responded that the 5 Board members direct Mr. Chin, and said that Chin’s “client is schizophrenic”. Chin is now handling ALL issues presented by SCG.

9. Randy Kotsol asked about public access to Russian Fort after the 1Homes project gets underway and completed. Maylette said that the 1Homes project is not far enough along to determine the final design, but that it is a state historical/Hawaiian historical area and public access must be maintained.

10. Scott Lindman asked if it has ever come up that the PHCA or other parties might buy the golf course. Is there a price on it? Rory said it’s too early to be able to “drive that home” and SCG is aware that we are interested, especially in the Woods.

11. Andy White asked if Jason Cruce, Starwood would like to say anything to follow-up on the Makai presentation? Jason: SCG has a fiduciary responsibility to their investors and delivering that is his mission. He says for every person in opposition to glamping, he has someone in support. We find that statement hard to believe. Jason said other dialogues taking place have solidified his intent and passion to move forward, trying to be sensitive to the issues raised by the community. We will leave the reader to make their own judgement on that statement. Andy then asked why he was still dealing with PHCA? Jason said the potential to take what Princeville is proud of – Kupuna park, Prince Albert Park improvements – and make further improvements for the community – that’s why he continues to coordinate with PHCA.

Editor's note: We believe a key reason Jason Cruce wants PHCA support is when SCG is before the Planning Commission to obtain zoning and building permits, and that with the PHCA Board's backing, any homeowners' objections will be squashed.

12. Daniel Ersoy asked who is on the call that is not a member. Jason represents the hotel ownership and it IS a member of PHCA. Hotel owns golf course, but the golf course is NOT a member of PHCA. Are meetings recorded? Maylette said they are not; chat IS recorded for follow-up. The annual meeting IS recorded so PHCA can do the minutes. No recordings and no chat is distributed to the community. They don’t want it to go outside.

13. Randy Kotsol – Can regular homeowners request representation by someone else? Maylette – other representatives can be invited by the Board, but usually the Board says no unless that person has specific business with the community – like Bill Schilling and his efforts with AARP and Rotary to get funding for the Kupuna Fitness.

At that point, the meeting was adjourned.

Please see the article in The Garden Island by Joann Yukimura; it talks about the Island’s situation with being over-touristed more generally, and in support of NOT putting a hotel where the Coco Palms skeleton is now. On Sunday afternoon as we write this, there is a 3 hour wait at the rental car agencies – an on-site report from our neighbors who arrived this afternoon. Do we need 50 more resort rooms on this already over-run island?

Mahalo nui for your ongoing support.
SOSHui.org
(NEW 09/25) - Summary notes from the 9/16/21 PHCA Board Meeting.
This was a rather contentious meeting run by PHCA's hired parliamentarian where the Board's update on Starwood Capital and glamping was read by GM Maylette Garcess with little opportunity for the community to ask questions. There were statements by the Board noting the ongoing legal petition by individual residents to the Hawaii Court asking for declarative judgment on the sole issue of whether glamping is ancillary to golf.
(NEW 09/25) - Extended Notes of the 9/16/21 PHCA Board Meeting - THE REST OF THE STORY
This is the Board’s statement read by the GM Maylette Garces with SOS Hui editorial notes notes where we believe clarification is necessary. Note the reference to the ongoing legal petition by individual residents to the Hawaii Court asking for declarative judgment on the sole issue of whether glamping is ancillary to golf.
9/14/21 - Bill 2822 was UNANIMOUSLY PASSED by the Planning Commission.
This was a GOOD DAY TODAY! The Kauaʻi County Planning Commission unanimously passed Bill 2822 which when signed into law by Mayor Derek Kawakami will no longer allow "developed campgrounds" on Open-zoned space. In addition, it also would only allow "developed camping" in resort zoned land and not in commercial space. This was a big step in helping save Kauaʻi's open space.
9/10/21 - 9/14/21 Planning Commission hearing on Bill 2822 (no developed camping / "glamping" on zoned Open Space)
This will be one of the most important Planning Commission meetings you can watch and to which you can submit testimony. Bill 2822 has been making its way through the Planning Department and if passed, would stop Commercial Developed Campgrounds from being constructed on zoned Open land. This could stop Starwood Capital's efforts to develop "glamping" in Princeville.
8/22/21 - Summary notes from the 8/19/21 PHCA Board Meeting
General Manager Maylette Garces read a statement (read the full text by clicking on above title) from the BoD. Mr. Glanstein, the hired parliamentarian, announced that no answers would be given (on this or other topics). We have several questions that need answering and comments on the legal proceedings mentioned in the BoD's statement.
7/18/21 - Summary Notes from the 7/15/21 PHCA Board Meeting
PHCA President Sam George reported the Board and its attorneys continue to meet and discuss a community benefits package with Starwood Captial Group (SCG). A number of community members asked questions of the board which are noted here. SCG VP. Jason Cruce reiterated that profit motive was the primary reason for SCG's desire to develop glamping on the Makai Woods golf course, currently zoned Open Land and which the SOSHui is fighting so hard to keep Open.
7/14/21 - Summary of the 7/13/21 Planning Commission public hearing on Bill 2822
The outcome of the Tues. July 13th public hearing at the Planning Commission did not go as well as we had hoped. Despite numerous people speaking in favor of Bill 2822, AND 141 emails submitted to the Planning Commission in support of the bill, the result of the meeting was a deferral to the Commission’s September 14, 2021 meeting. Click on the title to read more about the meeting and view a shortened video of it and the testimonials.
6/19/21 - Summary Notes from the 6/17/21 PHCA Board Meeting
Maylette Garces gave the update to as many as 108 Zoomed in community members on the situation with Starwood Capital Group’s efforts to develop 3 projects – 2 parking lots, 6 private homes and, of course, the commercial Developed Campground/resort expansion on the Woods 1-3. The Board voted to REJECT the May 1st proposal from Starwood Capital. Daniel Ersoy made an impassioned testimonial to the Board supporting Open Space.
6/16/21 - Summary notes from Starwood Capital Group's VP Jason Cruce's presentation at the Makai Golf Club
This is a summary of the highlights from the presentation given by Jason Cruce outlining the latest proposed expanded development plans which now include building houses on the bluff beside the 1 Hotel complex. This is in addition to the proposed "glamping" development on Princeville's dedicated Open Spaces. Open the details to find a link to the full 2hr meeting video made available by SCG.
5/24/21 - Summary Notes from the 5/20/21 PHCA Board Meeting attended by Jason Cruce, VP Starwood Capital.
These glamping only summary notes are from the May 20th, 2021 PHCA BOD meeting at which PHCA President Sam George presented the May 1st, 2021 proposal from Starwood Capital that the PHCA had recently received. In addition, he pointed attendees to a sales/FAQ document also recently supplied by Starwood Capital Group. There was a lot of back-n-forth with Jason Cruce, VP Starwood Capital, (Los Angeles - 310-800-4570 - JCruce@starwood.com), who at one point simply stated, "Princeville can take it or leave it." regarding Starwood Capital's offers to PHCA in exchange for PHCA's support in their building a glamping site on the Makai Woods Golf Course and additional housing development. Mr Cruce also made it perfectly clear that Starwood Capital was an investment company, and their goal was to turn over the Princeville properties which could even happen before 2026.

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Published Articles (The Garden Island, CivilBeat.org, Etc.)
4/24/21 - Celebrating Mother Earth
Written by a Princeville resident celebrating Earth Day, 2021.
3/27/21 - ALOHA ‘AINA - PRINCEVILLE TURNS 50!
By Princeville resident, Lorraine Mull; Archived PDF

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Past emails sent to the SOS Hui News email list

Email Templates for quickly sending emails
9/5/21 - Email Template for the 9/14/21 Planning Commission expressing your support for Bill 2822.
The Kauai Planning Commission will hear public testimony on the merits of proposed Bill 2822 on Tuesday 9/14/21. The SOS Hui fully supports the Bill as it better defines "Developed Campgrounds" and specifically states that they are NOT ALLOWED in Open or Residential zoned areas. If Bill 2822 passes into law, it will make "glamping" illegal on Open zoned lands, which includes the Makai Golf Course. We have created an email template you can use to email your comments to the Planning Commission and the County Council.
7/1/21 - Email Template to the County Planning Commission expressing your support for Bill 2822.
The Kauai Planning Commission will hear public testimony on the merits of proposed Bill 2822 on 7/13/21. The SOS Hui fully supports the Bill as it better defines "Developed Campgrounds" and specifically states that they are NOT ALLOWED in Open or Residential zoned areas. If Bill 2822 passes into law, it will make "glamping" illegal on Open zoned lands, which includes the Makai Golf Course. We have created an email template you can use to email your comments to the Planning Commission.
7/1/21 - Email Template to the PHCA Board of Directors requesting they support County Bill 2822.
Please fill out the short email template and send it (or create your own) requesting the PHCA BoD support County Bill 2822 at the 7/13/21 County Planning Commission public hearing where it will be discussed and open to public testimony.
6/13/21 - Email Template to the PHCA BoD before their 6/16/21 Execute Meeting.
We believe the PHCA Board of Directors is planning to vote soon on whether to support Starwood Capital Group’s plans to expand the 1 Hotel resort onto the Makai Woods golf course and elsewhere. We ask all concerned Princeville citizens (PV-1 and PV- 2) to contact them asking them to save all Open Space and oppose this development plan. Use this short email template or write your own email to send to the PHCA Board of Directors before their 6/16/21 Executive Meeting.
4/10/21 - SOS Urgent! - Bill 2822 needs your immediate attention
Please fill out a short email template and send it to the PHCA Board in preparation for the Thursday 4/15/21 PHCA Board meeting outlining your support of the new County Bill 2822 that is making its way through the legal process of becoming law. If it passes, it will eliminate the possibility of "Glamping" being developed on the Makai Golf Course. It only takes 4 clicks and you send it using your own email application. Click on the above title to read details about Bill 2822.

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Surveys
1/1/21 - Results from the Dec 2020 PHCA Homeowners' Survey.
View the responses to each of the survey's questions. It appears to this writer that those willing to take the time to fill out the survey (782) are very much opposed to losing existing open space in Princeville. The final tally of (782) respondents exceeded by almost double what PHCA President Sam George noted at the prior meeting as being statistically significant to be a valid response. Take a moment and review the details.

Glamping images
  • CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO SEE IT'S FULL SIZE
  • 6/9/21 - Does Starwood Capital not know it rains "a lot" on the North Shore?
  • This is what happens to "campers" on Kauai's north shore. Imagine "glampers" in the middle of the Makai Woods golf course waking up to one of our downpours.
  • 5/20/21 - Proposed "glamping" development, Version #3, 5/20/21
  • This version of Starwood Capital's proposed glamping development on the Makai Woods holes 1-3 is virtually the same as that proposed in December, 2020. It was made public at the 5/20/21 PHCA BOD meeting attended by Jason Cruce, VP Starwood Capital Group. Cruce noted the only design changes were the removal of their originally proposed "gathering spaces". The placement of the 50 tent sites was unchanged.
  • 5/20/21 - Proposed two story garage on existing Makai parking area.
  • Starwood Capital, at the 5/20/21 PHCA BOD meeting, made public their proposal to build a new (2) story parking structure on the lower level of the existing Makai Golf Club parking lot allowing for a total of 400 vehicle stalls.
  • 5/20/21 - Starwood Capital proposed new hotel/housing development next to the 1Hotel parking area.
  • Starwood Capital made public at the 5/20/21 PHCA BOD meeting, their proposed development of up to (24) new hotel units or (6) single-family new homes surrounding the current parking facility for the 1Hotel guests. This was in addition to the 50 glamping sites they proposed for the Makai Wood holes 1-3.
  • 5/20/21 - Latest version of proposed glamping tent.
  • This image came from the sales/FAQ materials presented by Starwood Capital at the 5/20/21 PHCA BOD meeting. It represents their latest tent rendition of what they anticipate building for glaming houseing.
  • 4/15/21 - Have you noticed what might have been painted on the 1Hotel temporary rooftop?
  • This picture was taken by an unknown member of the community while they were playing golf on the Ocean course. It appears someone has definite thoughts about "glamping" in Princeville.
  • 12/9/20 - Proposed "Glamping" Development (~20 acres). Version 2.
  • This second version of the design was distributed to some homeowners as part of the East West Partner's Christmas letter. Click the image to view a more detailed version. In this version they have completely scrapped their building of a restaurant on top of the golf cart barn apparently due to its expense. This rendition is the result of someone from their contracted design company, Hart Howerton (planners, architects, landscape architects and interior designers) actually visiting the site for the first time in Nov. 2020. View original document.
  • 12/9/20 - Proposed Commercial Expansion.
  • This is where the Makai Golf Course's current pool, workout area and golf cart barn are located off Lei O Papa Rd. Click the image to view a detail version and see if you can find where a "food truck" parking area is located. One can only presume it will be for feeding their "glamping" guests. This will undoubtedly significantly increase the traffic on Lei O Papa Rd and out to Kuhio Hwy via Hanalei Plantation Rd.
  • 8/20/20 - Glamping tent layout (12'x18').
  • This first proposed design of what a "glamping" tent layout might be was made available by East West Partners in Aug. 2020. We've not seen any updates since then.

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