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How would Leiali‘i impact West Maui?

By Staff | Jan 6, 2011

Can West Maui handle a 1,033-acre, 2,923- to 4,105-unit project between Lahaina and Kaanapali?

The Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corp. is back with new plans for the Villages of Leiali’i.

A draft environmental impact statement has been prepared for the massive project, and the public has until Feb. 6 to submit comments.

Plans call for 1,033 acres of ceded lands to be developed, with 451 acres below and 582 acres above the proposed Lahaina Bypass; single-family and multi-family residential housing with a range of densities; neighborhood parks; space for two elementary schools; more than 550,000 square feet of commercial and office space; and 17-21 acres of industrial uses.

“The project responds to the limited supply of housing for workforce and lower- and moderate income residents in West Maui. Provision of new housing near jobs in Lahaina and the Kaanapali Resort will tend to reduce commuting traffic, and hence congestion, in Lahaina and on the route to Central Maui,” HHFDC explained in the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s “The Environmental Notice” on Dec. 23.

The draft EIS and instructions to submit comments are available for review via http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/current_issue.pdf.

The recession halted Maui’s real estate boom in 2008, but concerns about the West Side’s infrastructure remain. The area’s roads are inadequate, and its sewage system is overtaxed and harms the environment.

Will HHFDC build the Lahaina Bypass from north Lahaina through Kaanapali? Will the county require the developer to improve West Maui’s sewage treatment plant and expand wastewater reclamation?

There are also valid questions about building a huge housing project with the glut of homes already on the market and availability of financing for new buyers.

What are your concerns or questions? Take time to comment on Leiali’i, because the project could have a huge impact on West Maui.