Maui Discussion

reWAILUKU Tries a Different Approach to Planning

February 6, 2012, 9:13 AM HST
* Updated February 9, 5:36 PM
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By Susan Halas

County Planner Kathleen Kerr points to a diagram to help viewers understand the parking situation in Wailuku. Susan Halas photo.

Remember-Reimagine-Renew are the themes of an ambitious effort to involve the public in planning for the future of Wailuku Town. The project, dubbed reWailuku, is a joint effort of the County of Maui and the Wailuku Community Association. It involves an extensive display and series of workshops and other events at 1980 Main Street.

This more inclusive approach is a welcome development given that that many of the current  plans for Wailuku are highly controversial and that wisdom of past plans continue to be questioned.

Currently local area residents, merchants and workers are deeply divided over the design and location of the proposed multi-story parking garage in the heart of town projected to cost over $15 million and add less than 250 new stalls.

Likewise, despite the endless flow self-congratulatory PR emanating from the Maui Redevelopment Agency (MRA), many Mauians were less than enthusiastic about the recent changes to Market Street. This extensive capital improvement project took years, spent additional millions, eliminated parking, narrowed Market Street corridor, and used plans that were over a decade old to deliver “improvements” that many thought were neither top priority nor in the town’s best interest.


ReWailuku, which actively seeks input, visually displays evidence of the town’s history and previous incarnations and allow for comment in a variety of ways, hopefully will be a better approach.

days gone by maps

Antique insurance maps and historic photos from days gone by helped to show what the town had looked like many years ago. Susan Halas photo.


Perhaps this more inclusive format will bridge the gap between grandiose top-down thinking that issues from the MRA and the real desire of those who use, live, work and own property in Wailuku.

The display has been up since the end of January and is well worth a visit.

There have also been on-going sessions to encourage dialog. On February 4th the headquarters stayed open in the evening for First Friday. Attendance was healthy as a broad cross-section of Mauians stopped-by and added their comments.


More Workshops This Week

Coming up this week are more workshops at 1980 Main St. Again the public is invited to meet with a variety of architects, planners and other design professional to discuss and review what has been received so far and think about what the future might look like.


An additional series of planning workshops are scheduled for this week. Susan Halas photo.

The workshop dates are:

February 6 — 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

February 7 — 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

February 8 –11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

February 8 — 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Walking Audit with Dan Burden

February 10 — 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Closing Reception.

On Friday, February 24th the MRA will review the preliminary results and status of the design workshop at its monthly meeting. A public presentation of the reWailuku project will be held Wednesday, March 28, at the Iao Theater.

For additional information contact Erin Wade-Small Town Planner for the County of Maui at 270-5517 or visit the reWailuku website at

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