A Hualalai Road development, which its owner withdrew two years ago after significant negative community reaction, is headed back to the Leeward Planning Commission Thursday.
Hualalai Partners filed in April its latest application for a land use boundary amendment to change the 14.9 acres from agricultural to urban, then to rezone the land from 5-acre agricultural lots to 15,000-square-foot residential lots. The plan hasn’t changed significantly since the developer filed, then withdrew, a 2012 application.
Hualalai Partners first filed such an application in 2006, then seeking 25 lots. The 2010 application, which is the one owner Ted Barrett withdrew in the face of public opposition in 2011, the 2012 application and this year’s all aimed to create 42 to 43 lots.
“After conducting several community meetings, the applicant would like more time to address community concerns,” attorney Steven Lim wrote in February 2012, asking the Planning Department not to act on that year’s application.
The 2012 and 2013 applications both include contradictory language about the primary vehicular access to the subdivision.
The first reference to primary access puts the access via a connection at Paulehia Street, which connects with Puapuaanui St. The latter street has a signalized intersection with Queen Kaahumanu Highway. This first reference also said the developer will build a connector road between Paulehia Street and Hualalai Road.
A later reference about primary vehicular access said the subdivision will use Hualalai Road for the main ingress and egress.
That’s one of the top issues neighbors raised in 2011 and something a Leeward Planning Commission questioned when the development came before that board in 2010.
Leeward Planning Commissioners split on whether to send the development to the County Council with a positive recommendation; the failure to generate a majority of yes votes sent the development with an unfavorable recommendation.
Traffic is still a concern, nearby property owner Mac McInnis said, as is density. Hualalai Partners developers, in their application, note that Pualani Estates, to the south, is zoned for 7,500-square-foot single-family residential lots, with the bulk of those lots falling between 6,000- and 7,500-square feet.
Critics of Hualalai Partners and the three developments that sit between it and Queen Kaahumanu Highway in 2011 voiced concerns that former land owners took a 96-acre parcel and subdivided into lots just shy of 15 acres to avoid having to take a single, larger development in front of the state Land Use Commission.
McInnis noted the 2004 Planning Department granted the subdivision request, with the caveat that a development agreement be recorded with all of those smaller parcels.
That agreement calls for the developers to coordinate access, water and sewer system work and drainage improvements.
McInnis has been tracking Hualalai Partners’ proposals since 2010 and met with the developer several times since then. The developer has held five community meetings since 2011. McInnis still hasn’t seen a comprehensive drainage plan for the developments, he said.
Hualalai Partners’ application said the company intends to file a Planned Unit Development application if the county grants the land use boundary amendment and rezoning requests.
That PUD would ask for smaller lots of about 10,000 square feet, the application said.
The company would begin infrastructure construction within about a year of final subdivision approval and anticipated selling homes and lots for $400,000 to $800,000 within two to three years. The infrastructure is expected to cost about $6 million, the application said.
The Leeward Planning Commission meets at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the West Hawaii Civic Center.