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UH, TMT Ask BLNR Not to Initiate Sublease Hearing

December 8, 2017, 4:27 PM HST
* Updated December 11, 11:48 AM
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In a letter to Hawai‘i Attorney General Doug Chin, the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH) and TMT International Observatory LLC (TMT) have asked that the state Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) not initiate a contested case hearing regarding BLNR’s consent to a sublease to TMT builders on Maunakea.

On Dec. 16, 2016, Hilo Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura vacated BLNR’s consent to a sublease by UH to TMT because no contested case was held. A contested case had been requested by E. Kalani Flores. UH and BLNR appealed Judge Nakamura’s decision and the appeal is now pending before the Hawai‘i Supreme Court.

In a separate appeal, several parties, including Flores, have asked the Hawa‘ii Supreme Court to overturn BLNR’s approval of a conservation district land use permit to UH to build the TMT on Maunakea, after a lengthy contested case proceeding before retired state Judge Riki May Amano,

In today’s request that a contested case hearing regarding the sublease not be started, lawyers for UH and TMT stated:

“Given the passage of time, the [Flores] case is pending before the Hawai‘i Supreme Court on appeal, and the full contested case hearing in [the conservation district land use permit] has been completed, with Mr. Flores’s full participation. While initiating a contested case proceeding was not limited by any court, as a matter of judicial economy and to avoid duplication or conflicting results, it is appropriate to allow the Supreme Court to fully consider the fully briefed appeal and await the decision-making process.”

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A copy of the letter from attorneys for UH and TMT to Attorney General Doug Chin, with a courtesy copy to the attorney for E. Kalani Flores, can be downloaded here.

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