Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Old EIS Documents Beware

Turtle Bay Resort, LLC, has reached the end of its legal challenges to the Hawaii Supreme Court's recent decision in Unite Here! Local 5 v. City and County of Honolulu, Haw. S. Ct No. 28602, April 8, 2010.

In Unite Here!, the Court reversed the intermediate court of appeal's decision that Turtle Bay was not required to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) for its subdivision approval application. On July 20, 2010, the Court denied Turtle Bay's motion for reconsideration of its decision, which effectively requires Turtle Bay to prepare a supplemental EIS before it proceeds with its plans to expand its resort.

The Court's denial of reconsideration also puts numerous land developments and master planned projects with completed EIS documents on notice that a court will consider whether the passage of time per se renders an original statement no longer valid.  The Court did not settle on a specific time when an EIS would become invalid.  In this case, Turtle Bay relied on a 20 year-old EIS previously prepared for the project.

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