11/26/2014: S&G client files suit against County of Maui & Maui Planning Commission
The Spirit of Aloha Temple, located in the Paia-Haiku area on Maui, has filed a RLUIPA suit against the Maui Planning Commission and Maui County, Hawaii challenging the denial of their special use permit to hold small religious gatherings of 24 to 40 people on its 11-acre property. The property, which is currently being used to provide botanical tours for greater numbers of people, was determined by the Planning Commission to not meet Maui's special use permit criteria based on "traffic" impacts.
The Complaint filed in federal district court in Honolulu states:
The Maui County Planning Department, based on substantial review, comments by other governmental agencies, and proposed conditions to mitigate any land use impacts, recommended approval of the Plaintiffs’ application for a State Land Use Commission Special Permit to allow the religious use. Nevertheless, the Planning Commission denied the Permit based on the affirmative vote of three of its eight members, and the abstaining of two of its members.
Storzer & Greene represent the Temple together with Jonathan Durrett of the the Honolulu firm Durrett, Rosehill & Ma, LLP.