Input Sought on Kahoma “Fast-Track” Affordable Housing

January 2, 2014, 4:45 PM HST · Updated January 3, 2:27 PM
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Kahoma Village Project, informational flyer. Image courtesy County of Maui.

Kahoma Village Project, informational flyer. Image courtesy County of Maui.

By Wendy Osher

The Maui County Council’s Land Use Committee announced a public hearing  and site inspection in which it will consider the proposed Kahoma Village Project in West Maui.

The project, which includes 203 residential units, is proposed for fast-track approval under a statute that promotes affordable housing.

The council’s 45-day deadline to reach a decision on the application is Feb. 13.

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The site inspection is planned for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, on the mauka side of Front Street, south of the Kahoma Channel, and will be followed by a separate meeting in the Council Chamber in Wailuku at 1:30 p.m., the announcement said.

“Our goal is to provide access to high-quality housing for residents, while preserving environmental and cultural assets,” said Committee Chair Robert Carroll in a press release. “Public input will help the committee decide whether the Kahoma Village Project meets this standard.”

A Final Environmental Assessment for the project was published in September, with a finding of no significant impact.

According to the FEA, the 203-unit project was proposed by Stanford Carr Development on behalf of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

The $60 million project is proposed for construction on 21.6 acres of land, situated makai of the Honoapiʻilani Highway, and bordered by Front street to the west.  It is also situated between Kenui Street to the south and the Kahoma Stream and the Lahaina Cannery Mall to the north.

According to the project need section of the FEA, a market study concluded that the project will address future population growth and the need for housing as economic recovery occurs.

Of the 203 units, 102, or 51%, are proposed as multi-family units, meeting affordability criteria for the County of Maui.  The remaining 101 units are proposed as single-family, market-rate units, according to the announcement.

An archaeological assessment notes that the project site is currently vacant but has been previously impacted by “sugarcane cultivation, heavy equipment clearing, construction of informal homeless shelters and camps, and piles of construction related debris.”

The Xamanek Researches, LLC document cited in the FEA also spoke of the Alamihi Pond, which is identified on historical maps just west of the development.  The previously released draft environmental assessment noted that the pond was traditionally used for mullet, but was filled in during the 1922 Mala Wharf construction when an access road was installed.

Carroll noted this project should not be confused with an earlier project identified as the Kahoma Residential Subdivision that was approved by the Council under the same Chapter 201H process in December 2011. The earlier project, Carroll said, is located mauka of the Honoapiʻilani Highway, and was smaller at 68-units.

According to the FEA for the Kahoma Village Project, construction is anticipated to take 48 months following receipt of Special Management Area use permit and construction-related permit approvals, the committee announcement said.

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