2/23/2021   #kihei

Maui Coast Hotel proposed unattached expansion

Aerial view of existing Maui Coast hotel and proposed expansion lot (on right)

On February 22, 2021 Kihei Community Association (KCA) representatives Harry Hecht and Laura Dunham met via videoconference with Pacific Rim Land, Inc., (PRL) representatives Erin Mukai and Leilani Pulmona the developers of Maui Coast hotel’s proposed 170 room unattached expansion.

The conceptual site plans were available to discuss KCA’s prior recommendations:

  1. Natural environment – All in attendance agreed the adjacent gulch which is part of the Southwest Maui watershed in the Wailea district of the Kamaole Gulch system, remains in its natural state.
  2. The small building fronting South Kihei Road adds vitality to the biking and walking activity. PRL says a coffee shop-style restaurant and two (2) small conference rooms are planned inside.
  3. The KCA continues to applaud the hotel’s current and future commitments to complimentary bikes available for guest use, rental cars on site, and a complimentary guest shuttle bus service to and from the OGG airport. These programs all contribute to decreased traffic congestion on Maui’s roads and South Kihei Road in particular.
  4. Pulmona will verify that the expansion site plan calls for coniferous tress because of the extensive hardscape. This is a passive cooling strategy to decrease the project’s heat-island effect.
  5. KCA suggests the pedestrian path from the proposed expansion hotel to South Kihei Road include tropical, indigenous, & well-maintained flora and fauna. Additional signage educates visitors on the hotel’s efforts towards a net-zero future. All signage encourages walking and biking.
  6. A matching roof style similar to the main hotel for the small restaurant building is recommended. Moreover, KCA suggests the restaurant building incorporate a west-facing awning wide enough to provide an additional passive cooling strategy.
  7. Increase the use of green streets concept.
  8. KCA suggests possible widening of bike lanes fronting South Kihei Road to increase bicycle safety.
  9. There is no plan to use open air transitional spaces on each floor of the hotel in the hallways to allow cooling trade winds to blow through building as another passive cooling strategy.

New discussions between KCA and PRL were held on these suggestions:

  1. Permeable concrete parking lot allows storm water runoff to flow back down to the aquifer instead of into the ocean.
  2. Along with the planned photo-voltaic system, include bioswales in the permeable parking lot.  Bioswales divert rainwater back into the aquifer instead of becoming storm water runoff into the ocean.
  3. Maui County code currently requires a certain number of car parking stalls on developed property. Is a reach out to the Maui planning department appropriate to possibly offset coded parking spaces for something else of county value to decrease the amount of parking stalls?
  4. In addition, KCA discussed including these energy-savings opportunities: interior LED lighting, heat-exchange systems in the laundry and kitchen facilities as an energy efficiency measure.
  5. There is a road easement on the eastern side of the planned expansion. Perhaps this easement can be utilized as an entrance for employee parking and take some traffic away from South Kihei Road.

PRL’s next meeting will be before the Maui Planning Commission on March 23, 2021.  The hearing will be for the project’s Special Management Area (SMA) permit.  KCA and PRL agreed to meet again after March 23, 2021 to continue the collaboration.