Honuaula Developer Files EIS Preparation Notice

October 25, 2009, 6:15 AM HST · Updated October 25, 9:52 AM
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The developer of the planned Honua’ula project in South Maui has filed an Environmental Assessment and an Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice.  After 20 years, a change in ownership, and multiple public meetings, the project has been downscaled considerably since its start in 1988.

View towards the ocean from the Honua'ula property. Site Photograph Courtesy: Honua’ula Partners, LLC, and PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc.

View towards the ocean from the Honua'ula property. Site Photograph Courtesy: Honua’ula Partners, LLC, and PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc.

The project drew contentious debate on both sides before gaining zoning approvals in March of last year by a slim 5-4 council vote.  The 670 acre development calls for the construction of 1400 homes and an 18-hole homeowner’s golf course.

Supporters say the project will increase economic activity and add workforce affordable homes.  Opponents argue the project will result in increased traffic, electric consumption and environmental impacts.

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A 30-day-comment period on the preparation notice began on Thursday, October 8, 2009 and continues through Friday, November 6, 2009.

As approved by the Council, the project includes provisions for 1,400 homes (including affordable workforce homes, 250 of which will be provided off-site, thus reducing the total number of homes on-site to 1,150).

A total of 40 archaeological sites comprised of 60 component features have been recorded within the total 670-acre Property. The site types include: small enclosures, modified overhang shelters, modified outcrop platforms and terraces, steppingstone trail segments, long walls, and multiple feature complexes.

With the exception of the two complexes of multiple features that contain relatively prominent structural features for this intermediate inland area, the

majority of the sites correlate well with the expected site types for the area.

The majority of the sites/features appear to primarily represent prehistoric-period semi-permanent and temporary habitation functions associated with marginal intermediate inland-zone agricultural pursuits and/or mauka-makai transits between the coastal and inland permanent habitation zones.

A few sites, such as the complex of meandering free-standing walls, may represent historic period activities, most likely associated with ranching.

All of the sites are considered to be significant based on at least one Hawai’i Register criterion, the potential to yield information. Several of the sites; such as the multiple feature complexes, steppingstone trail segments, and the long walls; are considered significant based on multiple criteria.

The Draft EIS will contain a draft Archaeological Preservation Plan, summarizing the surveys and setting forth recommendations for the preservation of selected sites.

Upon completion of the consultation and recovery procedures, the Archaeological Preservation Plan will be submitted for review to Na Kupuna O Maui and the Maui County Cultural Resources Commission. The plan will require approval by State Historic Preservation Division prior to implementation.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information obtained from EA & EIS Preparation Notice.  Site Photographs Courtesy: Honua’ula Partners, LLC, and PBR Hawaii & Associates Inc.)

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