KCA submitted testimony on two items
Brief Examination Of Honuaula Affordable Housing Move By Bare Quorum Of Five Commissioners
In the county Planning Department conference room this morning, we submitted testimony to the planning commission on two items. The first was ITEM D, 2 HONUAULA PARTNERS requested amendment on location of required workforce housing.
KCA is generally opposed to the location of required workforce housing to a site other than the location of the original project. Thus when the formerly named Wailea 670 project was granted permission to move this segment from the project’s location (mauka of Pi’ilani Highway adjacent to Wailea) to a light industrial location in North Kihei, we saw this as unjust, unreasonable and probably elitist.
So now when we see the developer requesting permission to possibly and partially reverse this move because of a recent unanimous decision of the State LUC against the Piiliani Promenade project in North Kihei, we see a potential to possibly rectify the original objectionable decision.
Since the developer has now proposed that having a mixed community in the more desirable project area (adjacent to Wailea) can in fact be achieved, that our workforce residents can in fact live in the same area as our more affluent residents, we asked the commission to consider if the entire workforce housing development can be included at the project site adjacent to Wailea, and leave the North Kihei light industrial area for just that, light industrial.
We envision our workforce families living very close to where many of them will work in the visitor industry. We see greatly reduced motor vehicle traffic on the Pi’ilani Hwy, as workers could potentially bicycle or walk to their jobs at the Wailea resorts. We see equality among our residents in where they reside, not elitism.
So what did the Commission decide? By a vote 5-0 (there were only 5 present and the law requires that many for a decision) they approved the request as expected.
Extension for the Alahele Estates Subdivision
The other item of less note was an “administrative” action by the Planning Department concerning a request for another two year extension of an SMA permit for the Alahele Estates Subdivision. See our report four years ago – http://gokihei.org/development-project-review/local-residents-exhibit-distress-on-proposed-neighboor-development.
We went on the record to state, as the Director stated earlier this year right in this same room, that the Community Plan does have the force of law. The Kihei Makena Community Plan (KCMP) of 1998 clearly states that infrastructure must be concurrent with development, and the residents of this street in South Kihei clearly expressed to the developer at a public meeting that it is already overwhelmed and not equipped to absorb this added development likely to bring 100 to 200 more vehicles daily.
When a large number or residents turn out for a public meeting the evening before Christmas eve (2013), you know there is strong concern. The proposed project is now over ten years old, and now wants a two year extension. Yes we all want affordable housing, and there seems to no opposition to it, but ignoring the KMCP is not acceptable.
Yes, an SMA permit was granted for this location, but not this proposed project, and well over a decade ago. Are these permits infinite? Is there ever a time limit when we say too much has changed since it was granted and it must be redone? Does the Department ever say no to time extensions?
Unfortunately we could not remain to hear that decision, but we expect that request would be approved as well.