Developers of the proposed Hoku Nui Maui community planned on 258-acres in Piʻiholo seek approval for a sustainable agricultural project with components that include affordable housing and a hula hālau.
The master plan calls for 43 dwellings, including 21 market homes and 22 affordable homes, to be developed under Section 201H-38, HRS. The affordable homes would be for households earning between 81-160% of the area median income.
According to the Draft EA, plans include a clustered housing development of 20 one-acre house lots to be developed under a condominium property regime to allow for separate ownership of the market and affordable units. The remaining 238-acre farm lot will be dedicated primarily to agriculture, but also includes plans for one market and two affordable units.
Other elements of the project include: approximately three acres to be dedicated to a hula hālau facility to perpetuate Hawaiian cultural practices; 118 acres reserved for native habitat, open space, green ways, gulch zones, storm water retention, and drainage; and a Farm Market and Commercial Kitchen to sell and process agricultural products.
A Draft Environmental Assessment for the project identifies the hula group as Hālau Keʻalaokamaile , the 501c-3 non-profit group that practices hula under the direction of Maui Kumu Hula and recording artist Kealiʻi Reichel. The award-winning hālau  was established in 1980 and focuses on the study of the Hawaiian cultural practices of dance, language, chant and fine arts. It currently has 140 students enrolled in classes in Wailuku and Lahaina.
According to the draft document, the hālau facility will encompass approximately 3,600 square feet of building space and is intended to accommodate up to 30 students and their supporters at a time. Preliminary hours of operation are anticipated to be between 6 and 9 p.m. four days a week.
The proposed project is located about a half mile from the central heart of Makawao Town and the project shares a common boundary with Piʻiholo Road near its intersection with Makawao Avenue. According to the Draft EA, St. Joseph Catholic Church is located below the northwest border of the property; the University of Hawaiʻi Haleakalā Research Facility is located to the south; a gulch is located to the west along with other agriculturally zoned properties; and agricultural lands owned by Maui Land & Pineapple Company and Waiahiwi Ranch Land Company are situated to the east of Piʻiholo Road.
According to the Draft EA, the project site was owned by Maui Land & Pineapple Company and was used for commercial pineapple cultivation for the past 70 years. The document states that the property was purchased by Piʻiholo South LLC in 2005 and was subdivided into 11 lots. In 2012, Hoku Maui Nui LLC purchased nine of the lots, or approximately 258 acres, which constitutes the current project scope.
The Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns submitted a Draft Environmental Assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact to the state for review.
Statutory 30-day public review and comment period started on April 23, and comments are due by May 23, 2016.