- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Maui County officials have rejected an application for a special-use permit by a zip line business they say has been operating illegally for six years at the site of a former World War II-era military camp in Haiku.

The Maui Planning Commission denied Northshore Zipline Co.’s permit Tuesday, citing zoning and safety concerns, The Maui News reported (https://bit.ly/29FzaZ0).

The commission’s decision makes Maui County the latest municipality to put a stop to Derek Hoyte’s zip line business. He got into trouble twice in Washington state for his operations and was jailed in Skamania County for five days in 2009. He was also sued by the U.S. Forest Service in 2010.

Hoyte did not attend Tuesday’s commission meeting and did not respond to requests for comment, but his son and manager of the business, Chris, was there. Chris Hoyte said the company’s goal is “to combine education with fun.”

Northshore Zipline Co. is run by the Hoyte family’s D&S; Ventures and has averaged 50 visitors a day, according to its permit application. Its Haiku location occupies a 17.5-acre parcel that was once part of Camp Maui, a 1,600-acre camp where Marines once trained.

The company began operating there in 2010 and was issued a warning in 2013, followed by an official notice of violation in 2014, according to the county planning department. The Hoytes applied for the special-use permit last October and have since racked up about $565,000 in fines, Deputy Planning Director Michele McLean said.

The commission voted unanimously to deny the permit Tuesday.

“When you’re disingenuous … this is what happens,” commissioner Keaka Robinson said. “A lot of people get special-use permits here. But they do it in a different way.”

Chris Hoyte did not say Tuesday whether he would take down the poles and lines. The company is considering an appeal.

If the Board of Variances and Appeals says Northshore Zipline does not need a permit, the county’s notice of violation would be void, McLean said.


Information from: The Maui News, https://www.mauinews.com

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