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Topliss v. Planning Commission

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii
842 P.2d 648 (1993)


Facts

Larry T. Topliss (plaintiff) filed two petitions with the Planning Commission of the County of Hawaii (Commission) (defendant). The first petition (Permit Petition) was for a Special Management Area (SMA) permit pursuant to Hawaii’s Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) in order to develop two multi-story office buildings on Topliss’s property. The stated purpose of the CZMA was to protect the environment and resources of Hawaii’s coastal zone, including by protecting line of sight to the sea. Topliss’s property came under the purview of the CZMA when the Commission designated his property as part of an SMA. The Commission denied the Permit Petition. Topliss appealed, and the third circuit court remanded the matter to the Commission for entry of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Meanwhile, Topliss filed his second petition (the Boundary Petition) with the Commission to amend the SMA boundaries to exclude his property. The Commission then issued findings of fact and conclusions of law denying both the Boundary Petition and Topliss’s request for reconsideration of the Permit Petition. The Commission held that Topliss’s property merited inclusion in the SMA because the area had been found in 1980 to be subject to rapid growth, and because further development would interfere with “scenic viewplanes.” The Commission further held that the Permit Petition should be denied because the development of Topliss’s property would have adverse effects on the public roadways in the area, including increased congestion, decreased pedestrian safety, and increased vehicular accidents. Topliss appealed both denials to the third circuit court, which affirmed both denials. Topliss appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Heen, J.)

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