2010 WAILEA 670 UPDATE

The future of Wailea 670 and Makena Resort Developments is still being decided. Stay Involved. Your Voice Counts!

Key dates coming up:

June 1 10am: Urban Design Review Board reviews Wailea 670 Master Plan downstairs meeting room 250 S. High St (Planning Commission meet room) testimony taken. UDRB has jurisdiction over landscaping, protection of exceptional trees, drainage, community design etc.

June 30 Wailea 670 Draft EIS comments due (date extended from June 7) for an easy view of sections of this 1000 page document go to: dynamics.org/Wailea670/2010/

Need support in sending comments? email us

Sierra Club’s Comments

Send the Draft EIS comments to each of these addresses or emails:

  • Applicant: Honuaula Partners, LLC, Charles Jencks, P.O. Box 220, Kihei, HI. 879-5205 or via email:   Charlie Jencks
  • Accepting Authority: County of Maui, Planning Department/Planning Commission, 250 South High Street,Wailuku, HI 96793. Kathleen Aoki, Director, 270-7735 Address comments to Deputy Director: email: Ann Cua
  • Consultant: PBR HAWAII, 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 650, Honolulu, HI 96813. Tom Schnell AICP, 521-5631 sysadmin@pbrhawaii.com

Wailea 670 is required assess environmental conditions for its 670 acre proposed golf course development before further approvals can be granted. Although considerable questions remain regarding water supply, drainage, buffer zones for neighboring properties, traffic impacts, protection of native flora and fauna and cultural sites, the draft EIS concludes there are no problems.

June 22 9am: Maui Planning Commission: Wailea 670/ Honua’ula Draft EIS will be discussed by Maui Planning commission 9 am downstairs meeting room 250 S. High St (Planning Dept Building)


What does the EIS Prep notice say?
In a nutshell, it appears from the maps and the text of the EISPN, that up to 20 species of native Hawaiian dryland forest plants, endangered native fauna, inter-related complexes of cultural sites and traditional access routes are being minimized and dismissed as not worthy to survive in their own home.

As such, the current development plan would squeeze indigenous creatures and cultural sites down from around one fourth of the 670 acres to less than 4% of the land.

Major impacts and issues discussed during the county council hearings, like viable water source analysis, possible desal facility, sewage disposal, drainage, land titles, lack of emergency evacuation routes, traffic impact to Kihei and Wailea neighborhoods and recreational access to nearby beaches are not seen as a problem. What do you think?

This EIS will eventually go to our Planning Commission as part of their review of Phase II of the W-670 Project District Approval. We have waited 20 years for updated Environmental review of this project. It should address the real issues and offer mitigations.

EIS prep notice for Wailea 670- Honua ‘ula was issued on March 8, 2009 in OEQC bulletin. Comments are due by April 7, 2009.

See Unilateral Conditions (No. 9, 13 & 27) that run with the W-670 County of Maui rezoning approval, in case you have need to refer to them.

 

Read the Final Conditions Approved for Wailea 670 (aka Houa’ula)

Wailea Affordable Housing a Lie

WAILEA 670 – Preliminary INJUNCTION GRANTED by Judge Cardoza

Attorney Lance Collins represented five individuals who questioned whether the County Council acted properly in holding a long succession of recessed meetings, — allowing the developer to make comments and participate, but NOT allowing the general public to testify again.

Wednesday morning, April 23, Judge Cardoza agreed and issued a preliminary injunction halting further action on Wailea 670.

See Reality Check to dispell the misinformation.

Wailea 670, Honua’ula, is a proposed development of 1400 units, a golf course, shopping center and sewage treatment plant which would sprawl from Maui Meadows to Makena. The Maui County Council is expected to hold a public hearing and vote on this project sometime in June, 2007. Please take action now.

Sign the Petition

Native Dryland Forest
Last eminent of Native Dry land Forest Will Be Destroyed

See more photos of this Remnant Dryland Forest

Reality Check on Wailea 670 Empty & Broken Promises

PUBLIC
ACCESS:

W-670
will provide pedestrian and bicycle access ways within the roadways
throughout the Wailea 670 project.

REALITY: who will have access to these pathways and during what hours? The
original Change in Zoning approval conditions (1992) specified
public access as follows:

Traditional
native Hawaiian beach and mountain access trails across the property
shall be provided; and additional access trails may be required as
determined by the Council.”

In
Feb 2007 W-670 substituted new language for this condition to ensure
that all access would remain private and regulated by the landowners.
The council Land Use committee voted to accept the following new
language. Six
members of the council voted in January to accept the following new
language.

Private,
non-dedicable, resort-residential roadway and pedestrian access
standards that meet health and safety requirements shall be reviewed
for purposes of phase II approval”

The
change
:

  • No commitment to public access.
  • No overview by Council and
  • No
    final plan till Phase II
  • Beyond public scrutiny.

NOTE: This bad language is not a done deal.
It has only been accepted by a Council Committee. The original 1992
protection still remains in effect, unless the whole Council votes
to change language. There
is still time for the committee to revisit this new language during
committee deliberation. 


TRAFFIC & ROAD IMPROVEMENTS

W-670
will partially fund design and widening of Piilani Highway from
Kilohana Road to Wailea Ike Drive to four lanes, and intersection
improvements such as installation of traffic signals. $5,000/unit
voluntary contribution ($7 million total ) will be paid by W-670 for
traffic improvements.

Reality;
If W-670 is ever approved, golf course construction starts in 2009.
Piilani widening planning starts in 2012. You do the math. It is
unclear whether the $5k a unit is paid each year as units are
finished. If so, the 100 unit a year build out will only give a slow
dribble of road funds that sound’s impressive, but is unable to
accomplish much.

Widening
of Piilani Hwy through the existing Maui Meadows and Wailea
neighborhoods will be expensive, noisy, dusty and very disruptive of
neighborhood traffic. Questions also remain about available right of
way and impacts of blue rock blasting on neighboring homes.

CONSTRUCTION
TRAFFIC

W-670
promised  to
provide construction access from Piilani Highway to the construction
sites and prohibit construction vehicles from roads within the Wailea
Resort area.

REALITY: This is great for Wailea, but doesn’t help address impacts of heavy
construction traffic on the substandard and already crowded Piilani
Hiway.

EMERGENCY
EVACUATION ROUTE

W-670
shall participate in the pro-rata funding and construction of
adequate civil defense measures as determined by the State and County
civil defense agencies.

REALITY: This
will likely result in a civil defense siren. There is no evacuation
route that can handle the current population at this end of South
Maui.
Civil defense told the Council if an emergency evacuation is
necessary, people should put on tennis shoes and run. The roads will
be gridlocked under
current population loads and approving large developments which put
more potential residents at risk will only worsen the situation.


Educational Fees

W-670
agreed to pay the Department of Education school fees of $3000 per
dwelling ($4.2 mil). This
will be paid per unit built, at 100 units over a 14 year period.

REALITY: W-670 originally had a school site included. That condition was
deleted by the State Land Use Commission who agreed to the fee
amounts as part of W-670’s 1994 approval. This amount won’t buy
much now.


CULTURAL
RESOURCES PRESERVATION

The
Cultural Resources Preservation Plan (CRPP) being prepared by W-670
“shall be completed in consultation with Na Kupuna `O Maui and
approved by the Cultural Resources Commission and State Historic
Preservation Division. The approved CRPP shall be submitted as part
of the Phase II application.

The
CRPP shall primarily address items pertinent to preservation,
including:

  • i)
    Access to specified sites;
  • ii)
    Appropriate protocol for visitations; and
  • iii) Manner and methods of preservation.

REALITY: The south part of W-670 connects directly to the culturally important
lands of coastal Palau’ea and Keauhou. Cultural review of W-670 has
been very incomplete. The
application requirement for this proposal requires a completed and
approved preservation plan.  A complete survey and mapping of
sites is still needed before a preservation plan can even been
submitted. No consultation with
OHA has been done since 1988. A broader section of the community
wishes to participate in decision-making about the preservation of
sites and support exists for a native plant and cultural site
preserve area of around 100 acres.


 

OCEAN
WATER QUALITY

W-670
shall fund a near shore water quality monitoring program in the
waters fronting the Wailea Resort area. The monitoring program shall
be approved by the State Department of Health and the State Division
of Aquatic Resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources.

REALITY: All the above named agencies are too busy to give much review to the
monitoring reports that have been turned in by the W-670/Wailea
Resort consultant. His reports are not structured to monitor some of
the areas where greatest impacts would be seen. He has noted no
problems from run-off that could be attributed to existing resort
development.

During
the last ten years that the same water quality consultant submitted
monitoring reports for Makena Resort and claimed no adverse effects
to the nearshore waters. However, these same reports were submitted
to the Department of Health as evidence that the nearshore waters of
Wailea/Makena now carry pollutant loadings that exceed state water
quality standards. These waters are now listed as Impaired Water
Bodies by the EPA. Local
residents have experienced a shocking degradation of marine water
quality and habitat.


Affordable Housing

In its 2001 rezoning Application W-670 described the 670 acre site
as “not a particularly appropriate place for affordable housing,
even if there was a need.”

The
project market was described as from off-shore – “international, upper-class
vacation or second home purchasers/builders who are attracted to the
area for a variety of existing reasons. The planned quality and membership character of the community will necessarily minimize off-site property value
impacts.”

In
other words, the developer was planning a low risk, “low-key,
privately-built, membership community
for his investors, that did not include affordable housing.

In 2007, W-670 promised to comply with the Residential Work Force
Housing Policy, and provide 50%- 700 of its 1400 units as
“affordable.”

Reality:  250 of the 700 “affordable” units are proposed as
apartments built in the Kaonoulu Industrial park near Kihei Gateway
Plaza.

Of the
remaining 450 promised “affordable” units, around 280 of them
will be for folks who can “afford” to pay between $400,000 and
$535,000 for a home, not the average Maui family.

It’s
possible that there MAY be 170 units that could be priced between
$300,000 and $400,000. Some local families might be able to afford
these. But when would they be built?

If
the 250 apartments are built first, the developer’s one market
price unit-for-one affordable unit deal, means that 250 market priced
($1million, and up price range) houses will be built matching the
apartments before one affordable home goes on sale. At 100 units a
year buildout- that’s 2 to 3 years from the 2011 proposed project
start date. The
first “affordable” house on site could be around 2015.

THE
IRONY
:
In 1992, as a condition of the Planning Commission’s Community Plan
Amendment approval, W-670’s former owners agreed to:

Provide 60 percent affordable housing allocated on the basis of 10 percent very low to
low income, 30 percent low- moderate income and 20 percent moderate
income.”

Is
this condition still enforceable?


Water Source Development

W-670
proposes a private water source, storage facilities, and transmission
lines. If supply is available, and subject to approval of the
Department of Water Supply, the project may utilize the County water
system for domestic use only.

Non-potable
sources of water, including the use of effluent from the Kihei
Wastewater Reclamation Plant shall be utilized for irrigation
purposes and dust control of construction activities when it becomes
available to the Wailea 670 project.

REALITY:
There is no proven source for the 1.5
mgd of potable water that would be needed by the 1150 to 1400 proposed
units onsite. W-670 has confidential studies that they contend show
future wells will produce drinkable water, but these studies have
not been disclosed or reviewed by independent experts. Desalinization is mentioned as a back-up, but
County studies have shown it to be expensive and not without
unanswered questions, like increased electric demand and waste
product disposal.

The
use of treated wastewater for irrigation and other non-potable needs
would require W-670 to fund a transmission pipe to their site from
the county Wastewater Treatment facility to the north, something
they have not yet committed to do. They can truck the reclaimed water
in for dust control.


PARKS

Any
large public park areas that W-670 offers to provide are currently
proposed off site. A few small parks accessible to the public are
proposed on site. $20 million in Park fees for the new Kihei Regional
park off Welakahao St. is also promised. $5 million in funding for a
Little League field in the future Kihei Regional Park is tied to
subdivision approval.

REALITY:
No park is proposed to address the needs of Maui Meadows residents
for an adequate buffer. The $20 mil in park fees will come gradually,
as units are built and sold, meaning that it will be many years
before enough funds are available to build the park.

The
Little League field was promised on the W-670 site as a condition of
the project’s earlier approval process. Now that “condition” is
being changed to an
in-lieu fee of $5M to help start the first phase of the regional
park. None
of the money is earmarked for a Little League field. Kamalii school students might have enjoyed having more playing fields
in South Kihei as was originally intended.


GOLF
COURSE

Private
golf course, clubhouse and facilities are planned for “Member’s
Only.
” Original approvals included 2
golf courses with 50% of tee times reserved for HI residents on one
course, at 50% kama’aina rates for play and carts.

In
lieu of public play at reduced rates, as originally required of the
developer by a previous council, the Developer now proposes instead
to provide an instructional program 3 days a week from September
through January for the Maui Junior Golf Association. Also, they
will sponsor one Maui Junior Golf Association fund-raising tournament
per year. Additionally, they will permit four other non-profits to
hold a fund raising tournament each year. Council
is also asking for 1 day a week for public play on the private W-670
course

REALITY: The trend towards exclusive private golf courses that exclude
“non-members” (such as most local residents) is now coming to
various sectors of Maui. Golf courses consume land – in this case
native dryland forest plant habitat. They also consume scarce water-
brackish or reclaimed water that could be used for food crops, fruit
and shade trees. Is this the best plan for our future? Where is the
public benefit of this private golf course? What
does it tell our kids, who can learn there, but never play there?


Animal Mitigation/Control

W-670
owners may construct perimeter fencing to keep out deer, goats &
pigs.

REALITY:
Without secure fencing, deer are like to continue access the lands in
great numbers.

NATIVE
& ENDANGERED ANIMAL SPECIES

W-670
promises to “assess” presence of Hawaiian hoary bat, Pueo (native
owl) and Blackburn Sphinx moth on their lands and take steps to
mitigate any harm to these species.

REALITY:
If previously completed native plant and cultural site “assessments”
are any guide, the project consultants will find little evidence of
these creatures and little need to provide for their habitat.


Rare Native PLANTS

W-670
prepared a conservation and stewardship plan which emphasized propagation of native dry land forest plants and de-emphasized the need to
protect any sizable area of the plants own chosen native habitat area. where
they have been thriving for hundreds of years.

REALITY: 95% of Maui’s native dryland forest has disappeared. Every bit of
the remaining 5% is valuable, including the southern110 acres of
W-670. Developer’s
survey was done in 1988 and was completely inadequate, missing the
reporting of many native and endemic species, including the
threatened status of the wiliwili forest. Council needs to guarantee that this will be preserved, otherwise
final decisions will be made later, during Phase II project approval,
with no Council or public scrutiny.


Drainage
Master Plan

W-670
told community groups that gulches will be drainage ways with
retention basins built in. Original conditions from 1992 Change in
Zoning approval stated:

“Minimal
grading of the project site shall be encouraged in order to retain
the existing rolling topography and natural drainageways.”

“The
golf course shall be incorporated into the drainage master plan in
order to utilize the fairways and rough areas for storm water
retention.”

REALITY:
Both these conditions were deleted by W-670 (Feb 2007) and voted on
by six
members of the Council Land Use Committee while members Anderson and Johnson were
not present.

W-670’s new condition language weakens the original approval conditions:

“Existing
topography and natural drainage ways shall, to the extent practicable and feasible,
be retained during grading of the project site.”

The
drainage master plan shall incorporate the golf course and open spaces as areas for storm water retention and desilting basins.)

How
will this affect cultural sites in “open space” areas? Will
planned retention basins overflow into native plant preserves? All
further drainage system approvals will happen with no public scrutiny
during Phase II project district processing.

NOTE: This bad language is not a done deal.
It has only been accepted by a Council Committee. The original 1992
protection still remains in effect, unless the whole Council votes to
change language.


GOLF
COURSE IRRIGATION

W-670
plans to use treated sewage effluent to irrigate the golf course when
it becomes available. In the interim, non-potable ground water from
its two existing private wells on site may be used for this purpose.

REALITY:
W-670 golf course at current size will require a minimum of 1 mgd of
water. The project would need approximately 1000 units to provide
that amount. Under current timetables, 1000 units might be built by
2021. This golf course, if approved and installed by 2011, would be
using pumped brackish water for 10 years or more. The W-670 water
consultant stated that the on-site wells should only be expected to
provide .3 mgd each, not enough for the expected needs of the course.
If these wells are over-pumped it will affect other irrigation wells
in the area.


WASTEWATER
TREATMENT

Current
zoning on the land carries the following condition:

"The applicant
shall participate in its fair share development and funding of the
wastewater and effluent transmission system between the project site
and the Kihei Waste Water Reclamation Facility."

The
Developer now proposes a private wastewater system to be located in
the southwest corner of the property, on an a’a lava flow.

REALITY:
Private wastewater systems often are poorly managed and involve
injection wells that impact reefs.

A recent study released by DLNR’s Division of
Aquatic Resources reveals the devastating decline of the coral reefs
fronting South Maui
. Increased nutrients from injection wells and
runoff have resulted in the highest algae growth rates on shallow
reefs ever recorded for any ecosystem on the planet. In just ten
years, the coral reef coverage in Maalaea Bay went from 50% cover
down to 8%.

Plenty
of reclaimed irrigation water is available from the Kihei Wastewater
plant- but a transmission line needs to be funded

Council
Land Use Committee members voted (August 2007) to
require W-670 to hook up to Kihei Wastewater Reclamation Facility. Will this condition last through 3 council votes?


 

WHAT
GETS DECIDED WITHOUT FURTHER PUBLIC REVIEW?

What
stuff will be decided in Phase II or Phase III project approval…

far
from any Council input or public review?

  1. Golf
    course impacts on local groundwater and nearshore water quality
  2. Review
    of private wastewater system meeting health standards
  3. Storage of petroleum products on site.
  4. Conditionsî
    relating to use of fertilizers, biocides and pesticides on Golf
    Course.
  5. Noise
    from maintenance facilities
  6. Solid
    waste management activities and facilities
  7. Erosion control and drainage
  8. Location or relocation of MECO’s electrical facilities and
    nature of the facility upgrades necessary to provide the electricity
    needs of the project and what rate increases will be a result of the
    costs?
  9. Roadway
    improvements and agreements
  10. Proposals for pedestrian and bicycle access ways
  11. Protection plans for native plants and cultural sites.