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Defeat of Prop 81 & Confirmation of Supreme Court Victory

06 • 22 • 2016

Defeat of Prop 81 & Confirmation of Supreme Court Victory

Surfrider's Oahu Chapter worked hard to defeat a City Charter amendment called Proposal 81, which would have allowed developers to bypass local zoning laws on the ambiguous grounds of "practical difficulties."

In 2015, Surfrider's Oahu Chapter won a big victory when the Hawaii State Supreme Court ruled in our favor in the Kyo-Ya case that upheld local zoning laws and denied Kyo-Ya from developing a new high-rise luxury condo tower on the beach in Waikiki that would have violated those laws.  Then, in 2016, Honolulu City Managing Director proposed an amendment called Proposal 81 to the Zoning Variance Test that would exempt developers from complying with similar Land Use Ordinance (LUO) criteria on the grounds of  “practical difficulties,” a vague term that would favor developers.  Surfrider's Oahu Chapter worked with the same coalition of groups involved in the Kyo-Ya case to set up a campaign to defeat Proposal 81. Working with Surfrider's legal team, we helped create a coalition letter in opposition to the proposal and wrote an op-ed against Prop 81.  In the face of such united oppositon, the proposal was dropped and will not be considered as an amendment!