Ka Iwi Coast
Mauka to Makai
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Save Ka Iwi Coast – Mauka to Makai

Frequently Asked Questions

​Wasn’t the Ka Iwi Coast/Sandy Beach already saved?
Sandy Beach and much of the 7-mile Ka Iwi coastline are in State or County ownership thanks to past community efforts in the ‘70s to protect the lands at Awāwamalu/Alan Davis Beach from resort development, and in the ‘80s and ‘90s to save lands around Sandy Beach. Two parcels on the mauka side of the highway that total 182 acres known as the Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands remained in private ownership. In recent years, private developers had threatened golf course and vacation cabin development of these mauka lands that are part of this scenic and culturally important coastline. In 2015, Livable Hawai‘i Kai Hui and The Trust for Public Land raised funds to purchase and conserve these last two privately owned parcels along Ka Iwi coast. It was not until March 31, 2017 that the mauka lands were protected in perpetuity
from development.
 
How were the Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands protected?
For over a decade, Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui through its Ka Iwi Coalition members were vigilant and rallied against successive golf-course and vacation cabin development proposals. In 2012, these community groups enlisted the help of national non-profit The Trust for Public Land, to work on voluntary land conservation strategies. The Securities Exchange Commission sued the private developer that owned the land and the court appointed a receiver in Utah to sell the land to pay of the developer’s creditors. The Trust for Public Land was able to negotiate a land purchase agreement with the Utah receiver. In 2014, Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui and The Trust for Public Land jointly applied for State Legacy Land Conservation Program and City and County of Honolulu Clean Water and Natural Lands Program funding, and later raised private funds to purchase the property. Over 1,600 generous donors and volunteers stepped forward in a historic fundraising campaign raising over $600,000 in under four months.
 
In March 2016, The Trust for Public Land took out a low interest loan to purchase the property because the receiver was not willing to extend the closing deadline for sale of the land, public funding sources were not ready to release the funds to purchase the land, and other private developers
had submitted credible back-up offers to the receiver. The Trust for Public Land took the risk of financing the purchase through a low interest loan because it did not want to give
up this once-in-a-lifetime chance to extinguish all future development threats on this land, and finally complete the conservation of this 7-mile coastline that the community
had fought so hard to preserve.

On March 31, 2017, The Trust for Public Land conveyed
the land to Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui, subject to State deed restrictions, and a conservation easement co-held by The Trust for Public Land (as Administrative Holder) and the
City of County of Honolulu that will ensure the land will
never be developed.
 
How much did the land cost?
The $3.65 million purchase price was funded by $2.5 million from the City and County of Honolulu Clean Water and Natural Lands Program, $1 million from the State Legacy Land Conservation Program, and $150,000 from private donations raised jointly by Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui and
The Trust for Public Land.

What is a conservation easement?
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner (in this case, Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui), and a government agency (in this case, the City) or a land trust
(in this case, The Trust for Public Land) that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. The term ‘conservation easement’ can be confusing because people often think of a road in relation to the
word easement. A conservation easement is not a road
or path, but rather a permanent legal agreement that restricts how the property can be used in order to protect
its conservation values.
 
When a landowner transfers a conservation easement to a government agency or land trust, the landowner voluntarily gives up some of the rights associated with the land. For example, a landowner might give up the right to build additional structures, while retaining the right to grow crops. Future owners also will be bound by the easement's terms. The government agency or land trust is responsible for making sure the easement's terms are followed on a long-term basis.

​​Can the conservation easement ever be removed?
The conservation easement “runs with the land,” so even
if the land is transferred in the future, the conservation easement will always restrict development. It is extremely difficult to remove or dissolve a conservation easement.

​How can the public access these lands?
Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui will provide limited public access,
after completing surveys and establishing safe access.
What is Livable Hawai'i Kai Hui and what is its role?
Livable Hawai‘i Kai Hui is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, grassroots community organization serving East Honolulu since 2004. The Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands are now owned by Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui.  It strives to promote sensible growth and respect for the land. Its mission is to uphold the integrity of the East Honolulu Sustainable Communities Plan, which sets guidelines for sensible development respectful of cultural and natural resources that make

East Honolulu a unique place to live. In 2014, through a similar partnership with the State, City and The Trust for Public Land, the group purchased Hawea heiau complex and Keawaawa wetland and has the kuleana of caring for special places throughout Maunalua including Aloha ‘Āina O Kamilonui Nursery and Pahua heiau in partnership with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Livable Hawai‘i Kai Hui is the umbrella nonprofit for Ka Iwi Coalition, the successor of grassroots groups that led the “Save Sandy Beach” and
“No Cabins on Ka  Iwi” campaigns. To learn more go to: www.hawaiikaihui.org
 
What is The Trust for Public Land and what is its role?
The Trust for Public Land is a national non-profit organization that conserves land for people. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to connect with Hawai‘i’s special natural places, and that the land-and-people connection is central to health, culture, heritage, economic well-being,
and quality of life. In Hawai‘i, we engage local residents in protecting significant community resources, including
coastal lands, working lands that contribute to Hawai‘i’s
self-sufficiency, and lands that perpetuate Hawaiian culture. Since 1979, we have helped to conserve more than 43,600 acres on the islands of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui, and Moloka‘i.
 
In the Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands effort, The Trust for Public Land negotiated the purchase agreement, assisted Livable Hawai‘i Kai Hui to raise funds, complete required real estate due diligence, build capacity, draft and facilitate mutually agreeable conservation easement terms, engage stake-holders, and coordinate all project partners. The Trust for Public Land now co-holds the conservation easement on
the land with the City and County of Honolulu.
More information available at www.tpl.org/hawaii.
 
What is the State Legacy Land Conservation Program?
The State Legacy Land Conservation Program was established in 2005. It sets aside up to 10% of the real estate conveyance tax – a tax paid when land is sold – for conservation of lands with cultural, natural, and agricultural resource value.  The program is housed with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife. 22,580 acres of land have been approved for protection, with 43 projects awarded funding, with the State contributing only 1/3 of the effective cost of the land. Grants from the program are competitive. A volunteer Commission considers and ranks grant applications, consults with the Speaker of the House and the Senate President, and make recommendations to the Board of Land and Natural Resources, which votes to approve the grants.
More info at:  http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ecosystems/llcp/
 
What is the City and County of Honolulu Clean Water
and Natural Lands Program?
In 2006, Honolulu voters overwhelmingly approved setting aside one-half percent (0.5%) of real property taxes for the purposes of conserving lands with cultural, natural, and agricultural resource value. Grants from the program are competitive. A volunteer Commission considers and ranks grant applications and makes recommendations for
funding to the City Council, which votes to appropriate money for the grants.  More info at 
www.honolulu.gov/council/bc/cwnl.html
 
How can I help?
If you would like to contribute to future stewardship of the Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands, you can donate to Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui, noting “Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands” on your check.

If you would like to volunteer for future restoration or other activities on the land please contact Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui
at (808) 864-8081 or via kaiwicoast.org
 
If you would like to support The Trust for Public Land’s land for people mission and work throughout the Hawaiian Islands, please contact Leslie Uptain at leslie.uptain@tpl.org
 
Still have questions?
Kaiwicoast.org is a resource for all activities and
volunteer opportunities happening along Ka Iwi Coast.
Also, feel free to contact Laura Kaakua, the Native
Lands Project Manager at The Trust for Public Land,
(808) 524-8562, laura.kaakua@tpl.org, and
Elizabeth Reilly, President of Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui,
(808) 864-8081, hawaiikaihui@aol.com.

Mahalo for your interest and care for Ka Iwi Coast!

Previous Frequently Asked Questions

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, The  Livable Hawaii Kai Hui is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations to The Livable Hawaii Kai Hi are fully tax deductible.

How much of my donation actually goes toward the land purchase and stewardship?
100 percent of your donation goes toward the purchase and stewardship of the Ka Iwi Coast Mauka lands.

What happens now that the goal has been met by the August 30, 2015?
The Livable Hawaii Kai Hui and The Trust for Public Land are working with the city and state to ensure that the deadlines are met to pursue the purchase. The nonprofits are in discussions with the city and state to get the proper documents in order to ensure a timely closing on the property. Any additional funds not used for the purchase will go toward the stewardship of the lands, surveying and cataloging cultural sites and native species.

What if more than $500,000 is raised? Where will the excess funds go? 
100 percent of the funds over $500,000 will go to Livable Hawaiʹi Kai Hui for the limited purpose of stewarding the Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands. These funds could be put toward general land management expenses such as property taxes (until a nonprofit property tax exemption is approved) and liability insurance, and could help to fund important stewardship needs such as an archaeological inventory survey.

How will the land title will be held? As a conservation easement or an outright purchase?

What is a conservation easement?
The Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, a  501(c)3 community nonprofit, and will purchase the land in fee. The deed will be held by Livable Hawaiʹi Kai Hui and will include a restriction from the State Legacy Land Conservation Program that will restrict development. Immediately after thetitle transfers to Livable Hawaiʻi Kai Hui, the nonprofit will transfer a conservation easement to the City & County of Honolulu toplace an additional layer of protection over the lands.

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a government agency or land trust that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. The term ‘conservation easement’ can be confusing because people often think of a road in relation to the word easement. A conservation easement is not a road or path, but rather a permanent legal agreement that restricts how the property can be used in order to protect its conservation values.

When a landowner transfers a conservation easement to a government agency or land trust, the landowner voluntarily gives up some of the rights associated with the land. For example, a landowner might give up the right to build additional structures, while retaining the right to grow crops. Future owners will also be bound by the easementʹs terms. The government agency or land trust is responsible for making sure the easementʹs terms are followed on a long‐term basis. For the Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands, the conservation easement will likely be held by the City & County of Honolulu. The conservation easement will restrict development and likely require that public benefits in addition to the undeveloped viewplane be provided, such as educational and cultural visits by school and community groups, and the requirement or a cultural survey.

Click image for list.

Can the conservation easement ever be removed?
The conservation easement will restrict development and likely require that the public benefit from more than just the beautifully undeveloped view planes. This will allow for educational and cultural visits by school and community groups, but first a highly-anticipated cultural survey will have to take place.

Who are Livable Hawaiʹi Kai Hui and Ka Iwi Coalition and what are their roles?
The Ka Iwi Coast Mauka lands will be owned by the 501(c)3 nonprofit Livable Hawaiʹi Kai Hui. The Livable Hawaiʹi Kai Hui stewards special natural places in Maunalua including Kamilonui Valley, Pahua heiau, the Hāwea heiau complex and Keawawa wetland where it is also the owner. The Livable Hawaiʹi Kai Hui’s motto is sensible growth and respect for the land. One of Livable Hawaiʹi Kai Hui’s committees is the Ka Iwi Coalition whose volunteers have been advocating and working to protect Ka Iwi Coast for 40 years. More information on Livable Hawaiʹi Kai Hui can be found at www.hawaiikaihui.org.

Still have questions?
Feel free to contact Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, (808) 864-8081, hawaiikaihui@aol.com

Mahalo for your interest and care for Ka Iwi Coast.