State briefs for July 15

Construction of military sea wall challenged

HONOLULU — The Surfrider Foundation Oahu and neighbors of a military installation are challenging the proposed construction of a sea wall, raising concerns about possible impacts of the shoreline alternation.

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Marine Corps Base Hawaii conducted an environmental assessment that found the wall at its Puuloa Range Training Facility would have no significant impact on the human or natural environment at Ewa Beach.

The steel barrier was proposed to protect part of the Honolulu training facility from beach erosion.

The Surfrider Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for surfers, and area residents disputed the base’s August 2019 environmental assessment of the proposed wall.

Ray Aivazian III, chairman of the organization’s Oahu chapter, said the previous environmental assessment failed to thoroughly examine potential beach loss, coastal erosion and the impact on nearby reefs, surf spots and marine harvesting.

A petition calling for an environmental impact study gathered 1,414 online and 362 hard-copy signatures.

Homeowners sue over vacation rental restrictions

HONOLULU — A vacation rental association and four homeowners filed a federal lawsuit against Maui County, claiming their rights are being violated by restrictions placed on short-term vacation rentals on Molokai.

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In a statement released Monday, the group said Maui County violated their rights to due process. Some of the homeowners, the lawsuit said, must cancel reservations and answer “potential claims” from customers as a result of the county’s action. Some owners had permits that would have allowed them to operate into 2021, the statement said.

The lawsuit names the county, Mayor Michael Victorino and the director of the Maui County Planning Department. Calls to those officials seeking comment were not immediately returned.

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