UPDATE: KCA spoke (and wrote) to the County Council’s General Plan Committee, as did numerous individuals from the community, but for the most part the Committee voted against almost all points that KCA supported. The General Plan Committee added the mauka Makena 390 acre lot back into the Urban Growth Boundary, as well as approving 2 large projects in North Kihei mauka of the Piilani Highway with 2,750 units (1,250 in the R&T Park and 1,500 in Kihei Mauka). (The R&T park is going to submit its Draft EIS in 2 weeks on June 23.) The GPAC had turned down the Makena 390 acres project and included only 1,000 units. mauka of Piilani highway, as all that was necessary. Councilmembers Elle Cochran, Riki Hokama and Don Couch voted against the Makena increase. The following 6 Councilmembers voted for ALL the increases: Gladys Baisa, Mike Victorino, Joe Pontanilla, Danny Mateo, Bob Carroll, + Mike White.
See Maui News 6/6/12 for professional report: http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/561776/Panel-OKs-Makena-acreage-for-growth.html?nav=10
UPDATE; KCA offered additional testimony to the Committee yesterday morning (6/4/12) on Kihei and Makena. The Committee finalized decisions on our area today (6/5/12) beginning at 9:00 AM.
As the clock struck 9:00 AM this morning (5/29/12) in the Maui County Council Chambers for the scheduled start of the General Plan Committee’s hearing regarding South Maui’s section of the Maui Island Plan, much of the chamber was full with concerned community residents. However the nine seats reserved for the committee members remained empty. One by one Council members began appearing until a quorum was reached so the meeting could be gaveled in by Chair Gladys Baisa, although only six of the nine members would participate this morning.
KCA was well represented, led by Greg Strafford, who offered the official KCA testimony, but two other KCA BOD members testified as concerned residents, as did several KCA committee members. Numerous other individuals, and those speaking for community organizations, included support for KCA’s position on the Island Plan, as testimony stretched beyond noon, with two testifiers held over to close out public input when the hearing resumed at 2:00 PM, before deliberations and discussions by committee members commenced. Look for detailed report in 5/30/12 Maui News.
KCA TESTIMONY ON GENERAL PLAN:
RE: GENERAL PLAN UPDATE (GP-2(2))
The Kihei Community Association (KCA) has had the opportunity to review the last changes to Chapter 8 for the Kihei-Makena Community Plan region, the various Directed Growth Maps and the allocation of residential units to the Kihei-Makena planning area. Some of the changes (specifically D028 and D035) proposed for this revision were far too significant to be made at this late date. These last minute additions will make the task of generating and reviewing the upcoming Kihei – Makena Community Plan far more difficult, contentious and time-consuming. They should be considered separately as amendments to the Island and Community plan. The community needs to strike a baseline so that the future changes can be evaluated.
Kihei-Makena was allocated 1482 new residential units that are our share of those needed to satisfy the demand for population growth. This growth number is in addition to the over 4000 units already approved but unbuilt for Kihei-Makena. The Director’s plan allocated 1900 units, 1500 of them mauka of the Pi’ilani. This is far in excess of the fair share for Kihei-Makena of the needed housing growth on Maui. No other area has been allocated so much over the requirement. The KCA supports the GPAC allocation of 1000 units to Kihei- Makena mauka of the Pi’ilani. Combined with the estimated 400+ units from infill projects, it would satisfy the needed 1482 units.
Competing for the units to be built mauka of the Pi’ilani are now three planned growth areas, two of which are beyond existing planned developments but have been included inside the future Urban Growth Boundary. Proposed new residential units in these three planned growth areas are well in excess of the 1000 units, even far in excess of the Director’s 1500 units. If the Council is really committed to directed growth, they need to direct the growth by drawing the Urban Growth Boundary line to include only one of those areas. The other areas can be added by amendments to the plan in the future.
The North Kihei Residential Area is too small to provide all the additional units and thus would require another area to be included. It is the farthest of the three from the existing Kihei shopping/Civic center area. Access for the area is to the Pi’ilani at one of its most congested areas. It lies close to the future Enhanced North-South mobility corridor mauka of Pi’ilani Highway. It needs to be designed to use that road.
The Kihei Mauka Area is large enough to provide for the needed growth in the area mauka of the Pi’ilani. It is closer to the existing Kihei shopping/Civic center, and straddles the future Up – Country road. Its drawback is that it requires access from the Enhanced North-South mobility mauka of Pi’ilani Highway. Planning of that road needs to be done before this area can be allowed to develop. A future Plan Amendment for this Area would allow the public review to focus on the circulation and drainage issues, overcoming the noted challenge of the lack of urban design review.
The Maui Research and Development Park is located at the current Kihei town center, adjacent to the major shopping and Civic Center activities. It is already part of the planned development for Kihei. The scope of the residential units is adequate to meet the needs of Kihei-Makena. The combination of the residential with the R&D Park would meet the challenge of the lack of mixed-use neighborhood centers. It would be the logical place to start the design of the Pi’ilani Mauka Roadway, and could lead the other areas in planning the connections to the Up-Country and Mokulele Highways.
Thus to avoid urban sprawl, the KCA would recommend the Urban Growth boundary in North Kihei only include one of those areas – the Maui Research and Development Park. This would focus future growth into the existing projects that are closer to the Pi’ilani, other shopping and services and have adequate circulation. The development of areas with no direct access to the Pi’ilani should wait until the location of the planned new North-South roadway is done. Enclosed is a new map to reflect that change.
The Urban Growth Boundary area in the south portion of the Puunene Growth area (the old Navy base) was recently reviewed by the KCA at a general meeting in mid May. Unfortunately, at that time the addition of 433 acres (quintupling the initial plan area) was not discussed. This change (D028) should be deferred to a future change to the plan.
Based on the plans that the County currently has that they shared with us, it would appear that the area was intended to be used for as Public/Quasi- Public, and recreational purposes. It should be designated as a Regional Park rather than as a potential urban growth area. This should include the property on both sides of the Mokulele. This would direct the future urban growth to the other Puunene areas. While the intended uses briefed to the public at our meeting were generally acceptable, with no residential and very limited commercial, there is concern that uses may be changed without proper review. Residential or Retail Commercial would not interface well with the noisy recreational activities on the site, eventually forcing them to close down.
It was noticed in the review of the staff report that there was an addition of 390 acres (D035) to the Makena area. There is no text associated with this addition. Versions of this plan were proposed to the GPAC and the Planning Commission and were rejected. The KCA would recommend that this change also be rejected and deferred to a future plan amendment.
The Director’s map no longer includes the major gulches and sensitive areas that were shown on the Planning Commission’s map to be protected during the planning process. While these are now on a separate map, that makes it more difficult for future decision makers and the public to evaluate proposed developments. Furthermore, only a few gulches were identified. Current studies have shown that all of the gulches are significant to handling flood waters in South Maui, and should be included, along with other wetlands. These gulches provide a natural separation between urban areas, and should be shown and expanded to serve a buffer zone. The property mauka of the new Kihei Police Station should be noted as Park. A map and added detail are included for your consideration.
KCA PROTECTED LANDS MATRIX
KCA RECOMMENDATIONS OF PROTECTION AREAS TO BE INCLUDED ON MIP DIRECTED GROWTH MAP
(SEE MAP ATTACHED TO KCA COMMENTS)
1. Add natural gulches to map (most marked in purple on KCA map). Many of these gulches are shown as “Open Space” in the 1981 and 1988 Kihei-Makena Community Plans.
2. Map should show “greenbelt” separating Kihei High School and Kulanihakoi Gulch for preservation of town character and identity, preservation of cultural importance of gulch and flood remediation. This was shown on the earlier (2009) Planning Directors recommendation MIP S-1 map.
3. Map should show greenbelt separating the new town at Maui Tech from Waipuilani Gulch for all the reasons state in point #2 above. This was shown on the earlier (2009) Planning Directors recommendation MIP S-1 map.
4. “Park” designated county lands in current Kihei-Makena Community Plan (site of new police station) should show the 50 acre parcel as a “passive park” and “sensitive lands” due to the presence of Kamaole Gulch, native wiliwili tree forest and the rugged lava flows.
5. Substantial greenbelt needed between existing Maui Meadows and new town of Wailea 670 for preservation of each communities unique identity and character.
6. Sensitive lands include significant endangered dryland forest on rugged lava flows and significant cultural and historical resources in Paluea Ahupu’a–proposed as an endangered species habitat by USFWS.
7. Include on map: Palauea Cultural Preserve: Twenty Two acres of cultural sites and native dryland habitat preserved in perpetuity as part of One Paluaea Bay.
8. KCA supports proposed Protect Areas in Kealia Pond Area and Makena-La Perouse-Kanaio being shown on Directed Growth Maps.
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