Published in The Maui News February 2, 2014
By DON GUZMAN , for The Maui News
The Land Use Committee will consider bills to facilitate the development of the proposed Kihei Residential Community Project by A&B Properties Inc. at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers.
The proposed project will consist of a mix of 600 single-family detached and multifamily residential units, a 1.4-acre commercial center, parks and open space. Project renderings include pedestrian and bike-path linkages to promote a walkable community.
The 94.3-acre project site is located mauka of Piilani Highway by Kaiwahine Street in north Kihei.
One proposed bill before the committee would amend the Kihei-Makena Community Plan designation for the project site from agriculture to multifamily, single family and commercial. A second proposed bill would change the zoning for the site from Agricultural District to A-1 Apartment, A-2 Apartment, R-1 Residential and B-2 Community Business districts.
On Dec. 18, the committee held a site inspection, during which it heard from two testifiers, followed by a district meeting at Lokelani Intermediate School with testimony from 26 people.
Some members of the construction industry and local trade unions testified in support of the project for the job opportunities it would bring. Other testifiers said their loved ones can’t afford to come home to Maui from the Mainland because of the island’s current high homeownership costs.
Some residents expressed concerns about potential traffic impacts and infrastructure constraints, which became the focus of the committee’s discussion. A&B Vice President Grant Chun explained that the company has been working with the state Department of Transportation and the state Land Use Commission to develop a timeline to develop the project in phases.
In February 2009, the LUC approved the landowner’s petition to reclassify the property to the state Urban District. In December 2010, the Maui Planning Commission recommended that the council enact ordinances providing the proposed land use entitlements.
In other housing news, on Jan. 24 the council’s Land Use Committee recommended adoption of a resolution approving with modifications the proposed Kahoma Village project along Front Street in Lahaina. The project would provide 102 affordable-housing units along with 101 market-rate units on 21.6 acres owned by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
The Kahoma Village project resolution will be considered by the council on Friday.
On behalf of Committee Chairman Robert Carroll, I want to thank all the residents who have provided testimony thus far. To submit written testimony on the Kihei residential community project, send your testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing LU-7. For the Kahoma Village project, please submit your written testimony to email@example.com.
* Don S. Guzman holds the Maui County Council seat for the Kahului residency area. He is vice chairman of the council’s Land Use Committee. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters.
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