February 2017; Shimogawa: Hawaii Business News: When the billionaire co-founder of Oracle Corp., Larry Ellison, purchased the majority of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for $300 million in 2012, there was at least one major unresolved issue on the Pineapple Island — the water used at the Manele Golf Course near the Four Seasons Resort Lanai.
Nearly five years later, the issue is still unresolved. But this year, a final decision could be made by the Hawaii Land Use Commission, which could ultimately change the land classification of the Manele Golf Course back to rural and agricultural districts from urban districts — and effectively shut down the course.
Manele Golf Course is the only remaining major course on the island as the other course — Koele — which had been closed for renovations, will not reopen, as first reported by Pacific Business News. Ellison also has big plans for his Manele Golf Course, beyond just golf. The tech titan plans to hold up to 40 special events hosting hundreds of guests each year on two locations at Manele, as first reported by PBN.
In that year, the state Land Use Commission approved the reclassification of nearly 150 acres of land for the development of the 18-hole golf course. A condition of that ruling noted that Lanai Resorts, the entity that owned the course, could not use the potable water from the high-level groundwater aquifer for the golf course irrigation use. The ruling also said that the company will instead need to use only alternative non-potable sources of water such as brackish water and reclaimed sewage effluent for golf course irrigation requirements.
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