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Ka‘anapali 2020’s ten-year reunion bittersweet

By Staff | Nov 25, 2009

Kaanapali Land Management Corp. Executive Vice President Steve Lovelette (left) shares a laugh with Kaanapali 2020 supporter Robert Kawaguchi at the ten-year reunion.

LAHAINA — Last week Thursday, more than 130 West Maui residents and community stake holders from all over the island gathered to celebrate the ten-year milestone for the proposed Ka‘anapali 2020 project.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since we first embarked on this project,” said Steve Lovelette, executive vice president of Kaanapali Land Management Corp.

“While we continue to address the challenging entitlement process to obtain the necessary approvals for this project, it has been Ka‘anapali 2020’s community-based planning process that has truly sustained our spirits. To say we’ve come a long way would be an understatement.”

Back in 1999, Kaanapali Land Management Corp. (KLM) held a Future Search Conference called “Making It Pono” (better, more righteous), planting the seed for the Ka‘anapali 2020 project.

The company reached out to the community, shared information and invited residents to help shape the vision for the firm’s 4,000-plus acres in Kaanapali and Honokowai.

At first, many residents were skeptical to become involved, but later welcomed the idea as they saw an opportunity to help plan a community in West Maui with the landowner.

“We’ve made tremendous progress and we owe a debt of gratitude to the people who continue to support the vision for Ka‘anapali 2020,” said Howard Hanzawa, KLM vice president.

“These dedicated individuals have gone above and beyond, and continue to serve as role models for our community.”

Kaanapali Land Management recognized these volunteers during Thursday’s program: Eve Clute, Henry “Bruno” Ariyoshi, Roselle Bailey, Hans Michel, Ed Lindsey, Puanani Lindsey, John Kuia, Walter Delos Reyes, Robert Kawaguchi, Joe Pluta, John Cote, May Fujiwara, Buck Buchanan, Patty Nishiyama, Zeke Kalua and A. James Wriston III.

“All of us have put in a lot of time and effort in helping to develop the plans for Ka‘anapali 2020, Pu‘ukoli‘i Village, and the West Maui Hospital for the future of our community,” said Lahaina resident May Fujiwara to event attendees.

“Our community has many needs… affordable housing, senior housing, medical facilities, infrastructure, cultural facilities, parks and playgrounds, schools, and yes, even cemeteries. We need to continue this Ka‘anapali 2020 community-based planning effort, so that our dream of having our children and grandchildren live in a better place can become reality.”

“It’s bittersweet that not all of these individuals are here with us today to share this ten-year milestone,” said Hanzawa during the reunion event.

Ed Lindsey, an active community volunteer and dedicated Ka‘anapali 2020 supporter, passed away this year, and A. James “Jim” Wriston III, vice president and director of Maui Real Estate for KLM and an advocate for preserving West Maui’s agricultural roots, passed away in 2004.

“These individuals strongly believed that we can create a community that we can all be proud of,” said Hanzawa. “It is a dream shared by many dedicated stake holders. Ka‘anapali 2020 is their community.”

Through the years, the Ka‘anapali 2020 master plan achieved various milestones. The Malama Honokowai project was established in partnership with Maui Cultural Lands to preserve the cultural treasures in Honokowai Valley.

The agricultural subdivision of Ka‘anapali Coffee Farms began offering property owners the opportunity to purchase four- to seven-acre home sites with their own working coffee orchards.

The 240-acre Pu‘ukoli‘i Village Mauka project was separated from the Ka‘anapali 2020 land use development plan, and entitlements have been granted.

The West Maui Hospital & Medical Center received approvals, and the facility will help elevate the quality of health care in West Maui.

The company’s leadership also changed with the passing of Wriston, who worked closely with the community in the early years, and the appointment in 2006 Hanzawa, who continues to work with community stake holders on the company’s various projects.

For more information on the Ka‘anapali 2020 project, visit www.KaanapaliLand.com.