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Developers plan expansion in West Maui

By Staff | Jan 7, 2016

LAHAINA – We begin the year with a mini report on what is crucial to the preservation of West Maui: development.

With 2016 here, whatever happened to Kaanapali 2020 – the target just four years away? A Kaanapali 2020 community group provided input for years. Watch for more on this here next year.

Meanwhile, Peter Martin, the low-profile developer of Makila Land, has new plans for Launiupoko. Rory Frampton outlined new plans at the Lahaina Rotary Club a few weeks ago.

The developer has erected the required dust control fence (more than a mile long, which stretches nearly to Olowalu along the highway).

Plans call for development of about 250 acres with 150 rural residential lots and 50-75 single-family workforce housing units. Homes built on sizable lots are supposed to have an agricultural component that is not always apparent.

In 2017, the developer is hoping for what it calls a small zoning change. It wants re-zoning for a small commercial area. One wonders what this has to do with the promise that this is agricultural land.

Amazingly, Makila Land Co., according to its website, controls 4,500 acres – all the way to the “peak of the West Maui Mountains.” What a shame if all of that were to be developed. The website includes minimal information.

A reader recently complained about an item here on Olowalu, noting that opposing it is wrong, considering the need for more affordable workforce housing. Good point.

Perhaps there is a better idea. Why not rezone the Launiupoku development to include affordable housing? Housing would not have to be built very high on the mountain. This would be in line with the columnist’s idea that a green line be drawn at the bypass, prohibiting further development above it, so that we do not become another Oahu.

MORE ON OLOWALU: Readers are saying good things, and that the recent testimony on Olowalu is unprecedented. Those in opposition were people from all over the island, from Kula to Hana. One six-year-old even testified. A comment from the developers would be welcome.

SOLAR BEAT: The New York Times some months back reported that Hawaii has more solar installations than any other state. The latest to go solar is Whalers Village, which has placed solar out of sight above its parking garage, saving energy and providing shade. The University of Hawaii Maui College did the same thing on its big parking lot, which has gotten little publicity. The trouble is the State Public Utilities Commission has approved a change that reduces the savings homeowners can secure when they add solar.

CROWDED KAANAPALI: It is great to see visitors swarming over Kaanapali this season (in contrast to previous weeks). Visitors who populate the beach appear to be growing year after year. It’s great for people watching.