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LETTERS for July 19 issue

By Staff | Jul 19, 2012

LUC to take up Kahoma subdivision

The state Land Use Commission meeting is coming up soon regarding West Maui Land’s proposed Kahoma subdivision. It is currently zoned agriculture by the state and open space in the West Maui Community Plan. It is the last of the open space in Lahaina, and it has been approved by the mayor, County Council and the Maui Planning Department to be developed. If you want it left as open space and a possible future park, then you must act now.

The first meeting is at the Marriott Courtyard Maui (by Costco) on July 19-20 starting at 10 a.m. There will be opportunity to testify publicly at all the meetings. You may get as much as three minutes to share your views and concerns. You can also share your thoughts by writing to the State Land Use Commission at P.O. Box 2359, Honolulu, HI 96804-2359, or by e-mail to LUC@dbedt.hawaii.gov; the chairperson is Normand Lezy. The written testimony should have your reasons to deny West Maui Land Company their petition to rezone this land. You will need to refer to this project as Docket No. A12-795. It is located at Tax Map Key (2) 4-5-010:005. If you look at www.co.maui.hi.us, go to Maui County Property Tax, click on “FOR RESIDENTS,” then property tax records, then click on “search records,” next is, “yes I accept,” search by map, Lahaina, go to the dark area off Lahainaluna Road and next to Kahoma Stream/Emerald Plaza. It is green and outlined in red and named “Kelawea Mauka III Park.”

If you do not mind that the West Side of Maui is going to be covered in pavement over the next 30 years with developments, then you do not need to do anything, as that is the way it is going. However, if you want to keep some green open spaces, then you need to act now.

There will be a few more meetings, hopefully, on the West Side. The tentative future dates are Aug. 23-24, Sept. 6-7 and maybe even Sept. 20-21 (depending if we finish before that).

Please, let your concerns be heard. If you want Lahaina completely developed into urban use, then let the Land Use Commission know that as well.

My dream would be to have a natural environment with a historical Hawaiian theme playground and community garden. The water could be diverted from the Kahoma Stream to allow for the trees to grow again, water the garden and plant native plants to educate and be enjoyed by the community. It is home to many birds already and was the home to the endangered Hawaiian owls, as well as other endangered species. It already is used as a path for the local residents, a dog park and playground. It could be made into a really awesome park for the entire West Side community and schools.

Thank you for taking the time to help create the community you want to live in and share with your families for generations to come.



Unfinished road work leads to speed trap

Last fall, the state Department of Transportation began road work on Honoapiilani Highway from Ho’ohui Road to Kapalua (Job 1). Earlier this year, work on the same highway from Honokowai to Ho’ohui (Job 2) started. The question is: is anyone tracking the completion of the contracts?

Job 1 still doesn’t have permanent lane markings at Office Road, nor have the pylons at the foot of Kahana Nui Road – meant to discourage illegal left turns – been reinstalled. No work is ongoing, and yet the reduced construction speed limit through the area is still in effect.

Job 2 would appear to be complete with the exception of restoring the lowered construction speed limit back to the normal 45 MPH speed limit. I saw a car pulled over by the police and had to wonder if they’d been busted for exceeding 35 MPH, when the 45 MPH speed limit should have been restored two months ago.

I remember when the detour south of Puamana was in place to finish the flood control channel under the highway. It took more than a year after the job was finished to get the speed limit restored.

So, it would be appreciated if someone who has the ear of the right person at the state Department of Transportation could find out what the problem is. It would be helpful if there was a checklist, and final payment of any contract couldn’t be made until everything on the checklist was done!



Chance to change Launiupoko from ag to rural

The County Council is scheduled to start deliberations on the West Maui land use maps for the Maui Island Plan on Monday, July 23, at 9 a.m. in the County Council Chambers in Wailuku. One of the issues being considered is whether to change the planning designation for Launiupoko from state agricultural to county rural.

Most Maui residents automatically equate “rural” zoning with “half acre.” Actually, Maui County recently adopted rural two-acre, five-acre, and ten-acre zoning classifications, specifically to allow for this transition to be able to happen without any change in density. Two-acre ag will become two-acre rural.

What’s the purpose of this proposal? There are a number of reasons:

1) Most Maui two-acre ag lots are not farms. They are rural homesteads. It is time to call them what they are.

2) Because they are classified as farms, under state law the owners are required to be farmers, even if they have no intention to farm. That requirement results in the phenomenon of “fake farms.” If these properties are classified as “rural,” the requirement that they be farmed goes away. It will be up to the owner whether to farm or not.

3) It costs the county tax dollars, time and energy to force these residents to pretend to farm. The change to rural would end that absurdity and its associated cost.

4) Because there are special protections for agricultural lands in Hawaii, the laws governing these properties are written by the state legislature. This level of land use control needs to be done at the local level, under the County Council. Because most state legislators come from other counties and are clueless about Maui’s rural districts, the legislature is capable of passing restrictions on ag lands that would be harmful to communities like Launiupoko.

The chief concern most owners have when hearing about this proposal is how it will affect their neighborhoods and the use of their property. The short answer: it will not cause a change in neighborhoods, outside of eliminating the requirement for fake farms. There will be no change in taxes, density of development, the right to farm or building rules. It will actually make it easier to get permits.

For more information, contact me at gad@ramaui.com or 243-8585.

DAVE DeLEON, Government Affairs Director, Realtors Association of Maui