“Waikapū Country Town” Proposed for Development on Nearly 500 Acres
By Wendy Osher
Waikapū Properties, LLC is proposing the development of nearly 500 acres for a mixed-use residential community within and around the Maui Tropical Plantation.
The applicant filed an Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice with the State Department of Health saying the proposed project calls for housing, neighborhood commercial development, employment uses, an elementary school, parks and open space.
According to the document the Waikapū Country Town will be built in two five-year phases, both mauka and makai of Honoapiʻilani Highway.
The EIS preparation notice states that development mauka of the highway will “focus inward onto a village center, incorporating the existing buildings and grounds of the Maui Tropical Plantation.” Development makai of the highway “will focus onto a pedestrian-oriented main street, a nearby elementary school, and parks.”
According to the document, the makai development is bound to the east by the planned extension of the Waiʻale Road, which will intersect with Honoapiʻilani Highway.
The proposed project calls for 1,433 residential units, plus about 146 ʻohana units, in addition to neighborhood retail and 200,000 square-feet of commercial space, a school, parks and open space. The document also notes that the project calls for an estimated six-mile network of pedestrian and bicycle paths.
According to the EIS preparation notice, the project’s agricultural component encompasses about 1,077 acres. These lands are being used for diversified agriculture, sugar and cattle grazing. Under the proposed project, the bulk of the agricultural lands (approximately 800 acres), will be dedicated in perpetuity to agricultural use.
The document further states that the Applicant hopes to establish an agricultural park, farmers market, and a limited amount of renewable energy production on the lands.
There are currently three commercial farms farming Maui Tropical Plantation lands, according to the document, including: Kumu Farms, Hawaiʻi Taro LLC, and HC&S. The document states the following:
“The proposed urbanization will require both Kumu Farms and Hawaiʻi Taro to relocate their agricultural operations to the proposed agricultural park and other suitable agricultural lands within the project. The project will also impact a portion of the current lands being leased by HC&S. It is anticipated that these lands will gradually begin to be impacted in about three to five years. Over the long-term, HC&S may lose approximately 330 acres to urbanization and up to an additional 75 acres to a private agricultural park.”
According to the document, master planning for the community was initiated in January 2009. A 30-day public review and comment period on the EIS preparation notice runs through June 22, 2015.