10 • 01 • 2020
Restore Public Beach Access at Koʻolina
Restore public parking and beach access to Ko'olina Lagoons.
Since March 2020, Koʻolina Resort has closed access to all public parking spots and restricted access to Koʻolina's four lagoons. Koʻolina is home to four resorts: Four Seasons, Aulani, Koʻolina Beach Villas, and Marriott Vacation Club. According to the Department of Planning and Permitting, the resorts' Special Management Area Minor Permit requires them to maintain access to public parking areas and public access to the lagoons. Koʻolina does not own the shoreline and the Oahu Chapter implores the resort to re-establish public beach access.
Koʻolina Resorts' actions since March are a clear violation of their permit and agreement with the City of Honolulu. For months, Koʻolina has ignored the community's call to restore public beach parking and beach access. They even ignored a letter from the City of Honolulu in August 2020 requesting the same. As a direct violation of their permit, the City of Honolulu issued an official violation notice to Ko'olina Resort on October 8, 2020 requiring the resort area to immediately provide public access to the parking and shoreline areas. In response, Ko'olina opened one of three public parking lots, allowing the public to access two of the resort's four lagoons.
To make matters worse, Koʻolina continues to use COVID-19 and public health as an excuse by restricting public access in the long-term. According to a “plan” released by the Resort in early October, only Lagoon 4 will be open for the public once Hawaii re-opens to visitors, leaving Lagoons 1, 2, & 3 exclusively for resort and condo guests. The City and County of Honolulu have reopened beaches and beach parking, and Koʻolina must do the same. Their actions are unacceptable and Koʻolina should simply do what they are required to do: restore beach parking and beach use for the public.