March 14, 2012
By BRIAN PERRY – City Editor , The Maui News
The project calling for development of 636 acres of mostly dry, rock-strewn agricultural land has drawn fire because developers have sought to have it included within the Maui Island Plan’s urban-growth boundaries, although it is not adjacent to a major population area.
Now, in information provided by the developers for the project, they say that “from the very onset” of the Maui General Plan update they have been “committed to wait and respect the process, and actively participate in meetings and workshops.”
The project’s information sheet notes that the Olowalu Town development was included in urban and rural boundaries by the General Plan Advisory Committee and the Maui Planning Commission. It acknowledges that the county planning director has recommended removing the project from those development boundaries.
The General Plan update remains under review by the Maui County Council. Plans for the Olowalu Town project call for the development of a variety of dwellings, including single-family homes, apartments, townhouses, live-work units, cottages, rural homes and farmsteads – all offered for a wide range of income levels, both for rent and fee-simple ownership. Plans include senior housing and 50-percent affordable housing, project developers said.
The development’s transportation plan includes relocating Honoapiilani Highway away from the shoreline, with a design to accommodate mass transit or light rail, if needed, in the future.
Honoapiilani Highway’s existing highway monkeypod corridor would be preserved as a second coastal highway. An interior roadway system would have interconnected greenways and bikeways, reducing the use of motor vehicles.
The project includes plans for 300,000 to 375,000 square feet of commercial space. Developers said they expect 4,770 overall jobs for the project’s construction and build-out, and 1,000 long-term jobs after the project is completed.
Infrastructure plans include the development of a ground water well to supplement an existing well and an extensive drainage system to capture storm water runoff. Developers plan to build an onsite wastewater treatment facility, which would include a recycled water storage tank, a wetland area and a soil aquifer treatment system.
“The wastewater treatment facility will produce clean recycled water for irrigation and thereby eliminate the need for injection wells,” the developers’ information sheet says.
Planned public facilities include a school, police and fire stations, medical support facilities, community centers, social services and nonprofit organizations, churches and a library.
Other plans call for leaving more than 220 acres in open space for park and other recreational uses, including surfing, swimming, fishing, hiking and diving as well as interconnected greenways and bikeways.
The project is seeking a state land use district boundary amendment, a community plan amendment, a change of zoning, project district approvals and a special management area permit.
The development will need to go before the state Land Use Commission, the Maui Planning Commission and the Maui County Council for land-use approvals. Public comments on the draft environmental impact statement are due April 21.
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