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Final EIS published for Villages of Leiali‘i

By Staff | Nov 8, 2012

LAHAINA – The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Villages of Leiali’i Affordable Housing Project was published in the Oct. 23 Environmental Notice, the state Office of Environmental Quality Control’s bi-monthly publication.

The 1,033-acre West Maui development is located in the Wahikuli ahupua’a on ceded lands owned by the State of Hawaii and the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation (HHFDC).

It is bordered by the Wahikuli subdivision and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands’ Leiali’i subdivision to the west, Kelawea subdivision to the south, state and various privately owned lands to the east and the future expansion of Kaanapali Resort (Kaanapali 2020) to the north.

The acreage is currently vacant; it was used in the past for sugar cultivation.

The state land use designation for the subdivision is Urban. Maui County zoning maps designate the parcel as mostly Agricultural and some Residential.

The HHFDC is responsible for developing and financing low- and moderate-income housing projects and administering homeownership programs.

The mixed-use Leiali’i community will primarily serve households employed in West Maui. The concept includes affordable and market-priced housing, open space, commercial and light industrial, parks, schools and other miscellaneous public facilities.

Three alternative development schemes are offered. Sharing the same physical layout, two concepts were drafted in 2008 and were designed with a focus on “Smart Growth” principles, encouraging pedestrian, bicycle and transit movements.

In 2009, a third scenario was drafted to meet criteria of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND).

Alternative one includes 788 medium-density/multifamily units and 2,135 low-density/single-family units for a total of 2,923 dwelling units. Concept two includes 997 high-density/multifamily units, 1,524 medium-density/multifamily units and 1,522 low-density/single-family units for a total of 4,043 dwelling units. The third proposal has 2,719 high-density/multifamily units and 1,386 low-density/single-family units for a total of 4,105 dwelling units. The third scheme includes a solar farm.

There are two phases in all three concepts: 1) Phase A, located below the alignment of the future Lahaina Bypass Highway; and, 2) Phase B, located above the bypass. In all three plans, Phase A will be initiated before Phase B.

The timeline is largely controlled by the estimated production of 200 residential units each year. Groundbreaking for the first 200 units in Phase A is projected to be in 2016.

Project lands will be leased or otherwise managed in compliance with laws governing ceded lands.

To view the over 1,000-page Final EIS, go to oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared_Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/Maui/2010s/2012-10-23-FEIS-Villiages-of-Leialii-Affordable-Housing-Project-5B.pdf.

There is no comment period attached to the publication of the FEIS. There are, however, a number of major approvals and permits required prior to moving forward, including, but not limited to: Maui County change of zoning; subdivision approval; plan approval; grading and building permits; and the potential of a Special Management Area Permit.

“The Villages of Leiali’i will create a community based on sustainable building and design principles to serve West Maui residents,” the project summary reads.

Additionally, it “responds to the limited supply of housing for workforce and lower- and moderate income residents” and reduces the number of commuters and alleviate traffic congestion.