Saturday, October 26, 2013



While the threat to "real farms" by the Westside chemical companies has sucked up much of the oxygen in the debate over the future of agriculture on Kaua`i an arguably more insidious undermining is going on just above Larsen's beach on the Northeast side.

And, one of the chief facilitators of the theft of our agricultural legacies is about to be appointed as the Kauai representative to the all-powerful Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) if we don't speak out right now and ask our state senators to reject his nomination.

Shawn Smith has been the point-person in charge of the Kahu’aina Plantation Agricultural Subdivision, a 357-acre parcel, which is zoned Agricultural and Conservation, yet has received subdivision approval for more than 80 luxury homes.

A "special session" of the legislature is scheduled for this coming Monday (Oct 28) and in addition to the main subject of marriage equality, many other matter will be taken up, including Smith's potential confirmation.

The BLNR is the "board" that oversees the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Suffice it to say they are the most powerful body in the state when it comes to land use, in a state that, along with county home rule, has another layer of centralized land-use power at the state level.

During Smith's lengthy tenure as General Manager of land developer Falko Partners- one of the biggest and most egregious of the developers luxury residential lots on agricultural lands on Kaua`i- he has shown a strong alignment with, and deep bias towards, the interests that seek to undermine the goals of Hawaii’s land use laws by converting prime agricultural land to residential use and creating rural sprawl, according to critics.

Fake farms like Kahu’aina Plantation and others are plain in their desire to subdivide agricultural lands for luxury mansions- an arguably illegal use of an Ag subdivision subdivision after the "Hokulia" ruling from Hawai`i Island, potentially barring such practices.

In 2003, Judge Ronald Ibarra halted construction of the $1 billion Hokulia project saying 1,550-acre Hōkūli‘a was a luxury-home development and not a farming venture. As part of its decision, the court stopped the county from issuing building permits to buyers, and enjoined developer Oceanside 1250 from providing utilities to the homes already under construction. The Falko Partners Kahu`aina is simply a mini "Hokulia."

Should you want to take a gander at what they have planned, even though they took down their web site- perhaps because it so obviously violated Judge Ibara's Hokulia ruling- there is still a place to view it here 

Having Smith on the BLNR could actually allow him to vote on and influence the approval of this and other similar projects. And even should he recuse himself in the case of Kahu’aina Plantation, he has shown that he is not the type of person we need in the one-and-only seat representing Kaua`i on the all-powerful BLNR, which would be ruling on other such application in the future

The Kaua`i representative on the BLNR, while only one of many on the board, is often looked to for direction by other board members regarding Kaua`i projects. Shawn Smith has, though his actions as Larry Bowman GM at Falko Partners- one of the biggest despoilers of agricultural lands in turning them into Gentleman’s estates and North Shore McMansion- shown that he is the wrong person for the job... someone whose bent is to thumb his nose at the the protection of what's left of the prime agricultural lands on Kaua`i.

Please write or call to members of the senate, especially Kaua`i Senator Ron Kouchi, and ask them to reject Smith. Word has it that this is "doable" with enough phone calls and emails. You can reach Sen Kouchi at 808-586-6030 or via email at and all senators at .

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