Kanahele v. Maui County CouncilAnnotate this Case
Petitioners, residents of Maui, challenged the Maui County Council's (MCC) passage of two bills related to the development of a residential community on 670 acres of land in Wailea (Wailea 670 project), arguing that MCC and its committee, the Land Use Committee (LUC) failed to satisfy the requirements of the State open meetings law, known as the Sunshine Law. Specifically, Petitioners claimed (1) the recessing and reconvening of two meetings without providing additional notice and opportunity for public oral testimony violated the Sunshine Law; and (2) the circulation of memoranda among the board membership outside a duly noticed meeting violated the Sunshine Law. The circuit court granted judgment in favor of Respondents, MCC, County of Maui, and the land developer. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the LUC and MCC did not violate the Sunshine Law by reconvening the two meetings beyond a single continuance without posting a new agenda and without accepting public oral testimony at every reconvened meeting; and (2) the MCC violated the Sunshine Law by distributing written memoranda among its members outside of a duly noticed meeting, but the violation did not require invalidation of MCC's passage of the Wailea 670 bills.