Country Club Hawaii makes lease payment


Country Club Hawaii, a condominium complex on Hilo’s Banyan Drive, will be allowed to keep its land lease after paying most of the rent it owed to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Russell Tsuji, DLNR land administrator, said a request to terminate the land lease was withdrawn after country club president Herbert Arata provided a check for about $34,000. About $10,000 in rent is still owed, he said.

The condos’ owners association is responsible for lease payments, Tsuji said.

The country club currently has two separate associations stating they represent owners, and a dispute about management of the complex is being handled in Hilo Circuit Court, according to DLNR. In the meantime, their accounts were placed on hold, prompting the recent default.

Tsuji said Arata indicated he will make the remaining payments until the matter is resolved.

Condo owners also accused Arata and others in a civil suit of improper use of maintenance fees.

While the state Board of Land and Natural Resources took no action on the lease Friday, the county club still might not have much time remaining at the location.

Its lease for the land is set to expire in 2015 and DLNR is still contemplating whether it should continue to allow residential, rather than resort use, on Banyan Drive.

“We are studying that right now,” Tsuji said.

DLNR hired a consultant, Munekiyo and Hiraga, to assist in drafting a plan for future development of Banyan Drive, he said. A Banyan Drive task force also was formed to provide input.

If the lease expires before that process is finished, a month-to-month revocable permit would be granted to the country club, Tsuji said.

The task force advised DLNR it does not want to see long-term residential use on Banyan Drive, according to the department.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

 

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