Group Seeks Full EIS on Proposed 47-acre Mākena “Resort Complex”

January 25, 2016, 3:54 PM HST · Updated January 25, 3:54 PM
Wendy Osher · 0 Comments
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By Wendy Osher

The Maui Tomorrow Foundation is speaking out against a planned “Resort Complex” in Mākena that is proposed for development on three parcels located on 47.15 acres of undeveloped land makai of Mākena Alanui Road and mauka of Mākena-Keone‘ō‘io Road.

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    Project Description:

    The project, proposed by ATC Mākena Holdings LLC, describes the development as a mixed-use project involving single-family, multi-family, resort commercial, transient vacation rentals and related improvements.

    Parcels M-5 (TMKs: (2)2-1-008:098, 100, and 106) and M-6/S-7 (TMK No. (2)2-1-008:099) are proposed for development into a mix of multi-family and single-family units as well as single-family custom estates and recreational amenities.  Parcel B-2 (TMK No. (2)2-1-008:080) is proposed for use as a resort-oriented commercial village consisting of condominium units, retail/commercial space, and transient vacation rental units.
    The project is proposed on both sides of Honoiki Street, (the road that leads to Mākena Landing).
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    Findings of the Draft Environmental Assessment:

    A Draft Environmental Assessment was filed for the project earlier this month and was transmitted to the Office of Environmental Quality Control with an Anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact.

    According to the DEA, Archaeological Inventory Survey Reports have been prepared for each of the three development parcels by Scientific Consultant Services Inc.  “In terms of traditional land use patterns, the project site is located within Papaʻanui and Kaʻeo ahupuaʻa in the moku, traditional land district, of Honuaʻula.”

    The document notes that coastal areas of this dry, leeward region of the island “were known for their fertile fishing grounds and widespread cultivation of sweet potato.”

    The DEA notes that the AIS reports documented a variety of sites in and around the project site dating back to the Pre-Contact, Post-Contact, and Historic Periods.

    According to the DEA, AIS fieldwork recommended preservation for seven sites, data recovery at nine sites, and archaeological monitoring for any ground-altering activities across the project. According to the document, “sites recommended for preservation will be protected by established buffer zones and erected construction fencing prior to and during all construction work.”  Preservation plans will also be submitted to the State Historic Preservation Division for review and acceptance prior to project initiation.

    The AIS field work under three separate reports found the following:

    • Parcel M-5: According to the DEA, AIS fieldwork led to the identification of 14 historic sites within the M-5 Parcel that were composed of 20 archaeological features. The sites included a pre-contact ceremonial site, a pre-contact temporary habitation site, a historic ceremonial site, and a pre-contact habitation/ceremonial site that are all four of which are recommended for preservation under the State Historic Preservation Division. Three other sites were recommended for data recovery.
    • Parcel M-6 and S-7: The AIS for two other parcels, M-6 and S-7, led to the identification and documentation of five historic sites composed of six archaeological features. One of the sites, a pre-contact ceremonial platform and mound is recommended for preservation.
    • Parcel B-2: The AIS for parcel B-2 led to the identification and documentation of 17 historic sites composed of 23 archaeological features.  Preservation was recommended for two sites including a pre-contact permanent habitation and a historic ranching site. Data recovery was recommended for six other sites within the parcel.

    According to a Marine Water Quality Monitoring report filed by Marine Research Consultants in October of 2014, “the Mākena Resort fronts approximately 5.4 miles of coastline of southeastern Maui, extending from Papanui Stream (Nahuna Point) on the north and Puu Olai (Ahihi Bay) on the south; however, only 0.58 miles of the resort reaches to the actual shoreline.”

    A flora and fauna survey conducted by Robert W. Hobdy in December 2014 found 49 plant species, two of which were indigenous: the ʻuhaloa (Waltheria indica), and the ʻilima (Sida fallax), both of which are widespread throughout the state. The study also documented five species of mammals (axis deer, feral cats, house mice, mongoose, and roof rats) and 11 species of avifauna, described as non-native birds.

    According to the DEA, construction is targeted to begin following receipt of all applicable entitlement and construction permit approvals, with an estimated duration of 36 to 60 months. According to the document, the total construction cost of the project is estimated at $354.8 million before land costs, financing costs and impact fees.

    Maui Tomorrow Foundation Calls Draft EA “Insufficient”
    The Maui Tomorrow Foundation has expressed concerned with what they called an “insufficient” Draft EA and Finding of No significant Impact regarding the project saying it would contain “above market-priced homes, condos and Temporary Vacation Rentals (that are) unaffordable by majority of our island residents.”
    The organization is asking that the Planning Commission require a full EIS on the project saying a Draft EA, “does not adequately address true traffic and infrastructure impacts and it does not take the archaeological and historical sites located in the area into any serious consideration.”
    The organization outlined six points of contention relating to the current Draft EA including:
    • Mitigation measures relating to drainage and runoff impacts to ocean waters;
    • The group says no affordable housing units are included in the plan;
    • “Inadequate” attention to traffic/infrastructure;
    • Claims traffic studies are “insufficient” with just three intersections adjacent to project site analyzed for inclusion;
    • Only 7 of 41 currently identified cultural sites will be preserved under the current DEA; and
    • The group claims public parks/trails/access is “not adequately addressed.”
    The Maui Tomorrow Foundation says that the “bottom line” is that the last full EIS was done in 1974, more than 40 years ago.  The organization issued a call to opponents saying, “The Planning Commission needs to request a full ‘big picture’ EIS that will address traffic, drainage, ocean impacts, access/impacts to historical/archaeological sites (customary and traditional cultural access) and mitigation measures pertaining to this 47-acre project, plus the hundreds of acres of surrounding land that Mākena Resort owns…”
    Upcoming Commission Meeting: Jan. 26, 2016

    The Maui Planning Commission is scheduled to hear the developers comments about the recently submitted DEA at 9 a.m. meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016) at the Planning Department (downstairs room) located at 250 South High Street in Wailuku.

    Mākena Landing (located near project site). File photo by Wendy Osher.

    Mākena Landing (located near project site). File photo by Wendy Osher.

    Mākena Resort Complex project area. Image credit: Munekiyo Hiraga via Draft Environmental Assessment prepared for ATC Mākena Holdings, LLC.

    Mākena Resort Complex project area. Image credit: Munekiyo Hiraga via Draft Environmental Assessment prepared for ATC Mākena Holdings, LLC.

    Mākena Resort Complex project area. Image credit: Munekiyo Hiraga via Draft Environmental Assessment prepared for ATC Mākena Holdings, LLC.

    Mākena Resort Complex project area. Image credit: Munekiyo Hiraga via Draft Environmental Assessment prepared for ATC Mākena Holdings, LLC.

    Mākena Landing (located near project site). File photo by Wendy Osher.

    Mākena Landing (located near project site). File photo by Wendy Osher.

    Mākena Landing, file photo by Wendy Osher.

    Mākena Landing, file photo by Wendy Osher.

    Wendy Osher
    Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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