While the Commissioners were divided on offering a “finding of no significant impact,” (FONSI) on the filed “Environmental Assessment,” for this South Kïhei Condo-hotel project, ultimately in passed with a vote of approval. This has been the continuous pattern to date- see http://gokihei.org/development-project-review/victory-addresses-disgruntled-residents-on-s-kihei-project , http://gokihei.org/environment/kca-has-strong-presence-at-mc-planning-commission and http://gokihei.org/environment/kca-design-review-committee-drc-scores-again for some history
Maui News has a professional report on the meeting:
Nani Loa condominium project to advance in South Maui
Still, infrastructure questions linger about development
By EILEEN CHAO – Staff Writer (email@example.com) , The Maui News
The Maui Planning Commission on Tuesday advanced Victory Development’s proposal to build a 39-unit hotel-condominium project in Kihei, but commissioners cited concerns they hope will be addressed before the project receives its final approvals.
The commission voted 5-3 to issue a finding of no significant impact on the developer’s final environmental assessment for the Nani Loa condominium hotel, which is mauka of the Kihei Kai Nani vacation resort along South Kihei Road. Located mauka of Kamaole Beach Park II, the area is known as the “Kamaole Superblock” and contains other vacation condominium properties.
The Nani Loa’s vehicle access will be through an easement along Kihei Kai Nani’s access way from South Kihei Road, according to project documents. Plans call for 11 units in a three-story building and 28 units in a four-story building on the 1.44-acre site. The lower floors of both buildings will be used for approximately 83 parking spaces.
The project is valued at $13 million.
The project still needs a community plan amendment and a special management area use permit. During processing of those permits, some of the issues related to water supply, drainage and traffic may be hashed out, commissioners said.
“I think they’ve addressed all of the things they can address relevant to the site itself,” commissioner Wayne Hedani said. “What I’d like to see in the future is willingness by the developer to participate in improvements in the area (via) fair share agreement.”
He and others expressed concerns that drainage in the area was not ideal for a resort area. Currently, most of the stormwater runs through the middle of the site toward the westerly boundary into a ditch that cuts through the middle of the site. Commissioners questioned whether the current drainage system could sustain the added development. Project consultants said runoff generated by the proposed project is not expected to negatively impact the existing drainage infrastructure.
Consultants also said a traffic impact study revealed traffic at nearby intersections would be only slightly impacted during rush hours in the morning and afternoon. The study found that the development would add 24 vehicles during peak morning hours, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., and 28 vehicles in the afternoon hour, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The study looked at intersections at South Kihei Road at Keali’i Alanui Drive, South Kihei Road at a Kamaole Shopping Center side street, South Kihei Road at Kihei Kai Nani and South Kihei Road at Keonekai Road.
Some intersections received a failing grade for traffic flow, but the report determined that the issues were not due to the project but other developments in the area. The report said that no traffic mitigation measures were needed for the project.
Commissioners and Kihei Community Association President Mike Moran disagreed.
“Claiming that the project will have no impact because the intersection is already F-rated seems absurd. If it’s already a failure, wouldn’t adding more vehicles make it worse?” Moran testified at the start of the meeting.
Though commission members approved the environmental assessment Tuesday, they will have a chance to revisit the project, and any amendments made, when it appears before the commission for its special management area use permit.
“Commissioners felt there were areas where they wanted to see more detail so they could see the project. That level of detail would be more appropriate at the SMA level than at the EA level,” Deputy Planning Director Michele Chouteau McLean said after the meeting.
In other action Tuesday, the commission approved a second phase of the county’s Iao Water Treatment Plant replacement project. The new facility will nearly double the amount of water handled by the current plant, officials said. Construction on the $12 million to $15 million project is expected to begin in the spring and take about two years.
* Eileen Chao can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.