Design commission clears Holiday Inn signage resolution

  • The current sign at the Holiday Inn Express on Sarona Road hangs as the hotel continues to wait for approval to hang the franchise's trademark sign. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — The Kailua Village Design Commission on Tuesday cleared a County Council resolution on signs for the local Holiday Inn Express and Suites, moving forward an application that turned 5 years old that day.

A County Council committee last month forwarded the resolution to the commission, asking it to affirm that it aligned with what commissioners originally gave the green light in 2015.

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The resolution would grant a variance to the applicant, Kona Hospitality LLC, allowing for two wall signs and two directional signs for the hotel. According to the text of the resolution, the application for the variance that was submitted to the Department of Public Works was dated April 9, 2014.

Intercontinental Hotel Groups, which licenses Holiday Inn franchises, has its own requirements for signs, but has been willing to compromise with the standards of local law. Fritz Harris-Glade, the applicant’s designated representative, said they collaborated with the local commission to create a signage plan and meet the goals and objectives of Kailua Village’s sign ordinances.

In November of the following year, the Kailua Village Design Commission considered the matter at one of its meetings. Commissioners during that meeting voted to send to the DPW director a favorable recommendation with specific revisions or recommendations for all of the signs, according to minutes from that meeting.

But in a hearing last month, county council members criticized the Department of Public Works for its handling of documents and the long delay in processing the application.

“What we have before us is a resolution that has been sitting around this body for five years,” said Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy at the March meeting.

Lee Loy had also redrafted the resolution, saying that the one the agency had provided was full of errors.

Following the meeting, the council Public Works and Mass Transit Committee forwarded the revised Resolution 92 on to the Kailua Village Design Commission to make sure it was the same as the application commissioners approved in 2015.

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Planning Department staff on Wednesday confirmed that the commission voted that their recommendation stands.

Harris-Glade said Wednesday he’s pleased with the commission’s action and looks forward to the County Council ultimately granting variance.

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