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It’s Official – 665.8 Acres of Turtle Bay Resort Lands Preserved Forever

NORTH SHORE, OAHU, HI – (May 19, 2014) – With beautiful Kawela Bay in the background, Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed House Bill 2434 (Act 81) to establish a conservation easement that will preserve forever 665.8 acres of scenic, undeveloped property owned by Turtle Bay Resort.

The bill-signing ceremony, held on land protected by the conservation easement, reflected the collaboration between Turtle Bay Resort, government leaders, and North Shore community groups that led to this historic accord.

Remarks were offered by Governor Abercrombie, State Senator Clayton Hee, and Ray Soon representing the City and County of Honolulu, as well as Lea Hong of The Trust for Public Land, Doug Cole of the North Shore Community Land Trust, and Drew Stotesbury, CEO, of Turtle Bay Resort. A traditional oli, hula performance, Hawaiian music, and blessing were provided by North Shore residents.

The ceremony also featured the simultaneous planting of hala trees at Kawela Bay and Kahuku Point two miles away, creating a symbolic connection between Turtle Bay Resort’s prime open lands covered by the conservation easement. Indigenous to Hawaii, hala trees are ideal for stabilizing sandy soil on beachfront lands and are known for being wide-branched and having a spread covering up to 40 feet.

Stotesbury commented, “Today is a culmination of the discussion, collaboration and compromise that has taken place between Turtle Bay Resort, government and community groups these past few years to support a vision that balances the interests of the community-at-large on the North Shore.

“What makes this conservation easement so gratifying is that it accounts for so many diverse voices in its fulfillment, from our top leaders in government to the kupuna and lifelong residents of Koolauloa, all of who only want what’s best for the North Shore and its future generations.”

The conservation easement covers nearly 79% of the open space lands owned by Turtle Bay Resort and was secured for $48.5 million, with $40 million provided by the State of Hawaii, $5 million by the City and County of Honolulu, and $3.5 million by The Trust for Public Land.

Stotesbury noted that Turtle Bay Resort has now voluntarily reduced its total entitlements for hotel and housing units to just 20% of what was zoned for development. With the conservation easement in place, the resort’s updated plan is to develop two new full service hotels with 625 rooms near its existing hotel, along with 100 resort residential homes on the Kahuku side of its property, which is less than one-seventh of the total homes proposed previously.

Importantly, Turtle Bay Resort’s updated development plan is still expected to generate 93% of the jobs that were planned before it was scaled back. The two new hotels will produce an estimated 3,500 man-years of employment during construction and, once completed, an estimated 700-plus permanent new jobs on the resort grounds and an additional 750 permanent indirect jobs within the community.

Stotesbury added, “We’re accomplishing what the North Shore community has overwhelmingly told us they want – preserving treasured lands forever while providing new job opportunities that families so desperately need.”

The conservation easement protecting 665.8 acres from development complements a similar agreement that Turtle Bay Resort has negotiated to protect 469 acres of agricultural-zoned open space land located mauka of Kamehameha Highway. The resort is working with the City, State, Federal Government, North Shore Community Land Trust, and The Trust for Public Land to finalize this conservation easement.

Altogether, this brings the total amount of scenic North Shore open space owned by Turtle Bay Resort that is being preserved in perpetuity to 1,134.8 acres.

About Turtle Bay Resort
Turtle Bay Resort is the only destination resort on Oahu’s fabled North Shore – Mecca of the surfing world. Situated on 852 acres, it offers outdoor enthusiasts five miles of beach and 12 miles of oceanfront hiking trails to enjoy and explore. This is in addition to 36 holes of championship golf and a wide array of ocean and land activities. All 450 guestrooms and suites offer ocean views and there are seven restaurants and bars to enjoy the cuisine, views and ambience of Hawaii. For more information, visitwww.TurtleBayResort.com.

– pau –

Please credit images to Turtle Bay Resort

Link to image: http://i.imgur.com/vCIiBT2.jpg
Caption: Governor Neil Abercrombie (seated) signed into law House Bill 2434 (Act 81) surrounded by (from L-R) Professor Denise E. Antolini, Lea Hong of The Trust for Public Land, Attorney General David M. Louie, Turtle Bay Resort CEO Drew Stotesbury, Doug Cole of the North Shore Community Land Trust (partially hidden), State Senator Clayton Hee, and Ray Soon, Chief of Staff for the City and County of Honolulu.

Link to image: http://i.imgur.com/6wODd6j.jpg
Caption: Following the bill signing, the planting of a hala tree at Kawela Bay took place. Participating were (from R-L) Governor Neil Abercrombie, Senator Clayton Hee, Ray Soon, Lea Hong, Doug Cole, and Drew Stotesbury.

Link to image: http://i.imgur.com/HtbLPEJ.jpg
Caption: The beautiful Kawela Bay is part of the 665.8 acres of scenic, undeveloped Turtle Bay Resort property that will be protected by the conservation easement.

Media Contact: 
Patrick Dugan, Senior Vice President
McNeil Wilson Communications


Maralyn D. Hill, M.Ed.,  The Epicurean Explorer

Executive Editor, LuxeBeatMag.com

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