savemakenaskimboarder

Annual skimboard competition offers good fun for an even better cause

by Anuhea Yagi writing for Maui Time Weekly
June 09, 2011 | 01:13 PM

Makena Get A Witness
Annual skimboard competition offers good fun for an even better cause

Fourth Annual Save Makena Skim Board Contest
Saturday (June 11), 8am, Oneloa (Big Beach) at Makena State Park; free for spectators

“On the island / We do it island style / From da mountain to da ocean / From da windward to da leeward side.” — Ka’au Crater Boys, “Island Style”

Like battles, friends and noses, skimboarding is all about picking the right wave. With skimboards in hand—i.e. the surfboard’s stouter, skinnier, skeg-less sister—riders stand on the sand several yards from the shore break and await the perfect moment.

Just after the wave breaks, but before it recedes (to maximize their relative speed), skimboarders run toward the surf, thrust their boards onto the wet sand and—with funambulists’ deft—leap-on for a hydroplaning ride into the rest of the oncoming set.

Skimboarding’s history can be traced to the 1920s in California (think adventurous—and maybe slightly bored—Laguna Beach lifeguards plus a pile of plywood). As the sport grew in popularity, the technique evolved as well. And those who’ve earned mad skills can then show off their amphibious acrobatics, carving and catching air off the coiling crests.

Organizations like the Hawaii Amateur Skimboarding League (HASL) aim to further the sport by encouraging members to make the step to sponsorship and professional competition; and local businesses like Maui Skimmers—a board manufacturer with a quarter-century tenure—not only outfit enthusiasts, but help give the local scene clout.

So it makes sense that both the HASL and Maui Skimmers are key sponsors of the Valley Isle’s own competitive installation, the ‘ohana-friendly, all-ages Save Makena Skim Board Contest—which this year marks its fourth installment with the Maui Melee 2011.

But as the event’s name implies, the contest is about more than sensational sport (and spectating)—it’s about the environment that inspires it. Makena—namely Oneloa (colloquially, Big Beach), part of the 164.4 acre Makena State

Park—is one of our isle’s rarefied jewels, and partnering event presenters Save Makena and Maui Tomorrow aim to keep it that way.

***

The state park doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” says Angie Hofmann, Save Makena’s community organizer and Youth Advisory Board member for Maui Tomorrow. “It exists within a whole community of places to live and be and work.”

Hoffman says her passion for the Makena area stems from having grown up in South Maui. And, as an avid skimboarder herself, the event is especially near and dear to her heart. Her holistic idea of Oneloa, too, aligns nicely with the theme of this year’s competition, “Malama Makena from the mountains to the sea.”

As described by Project Ka’eo—a research effort supported by a grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs with matching funds from Maui Tomorrow—archaeological evidence shows that aboriginal Hawaiians lived in and cultivated the area’s natural abundance for more than a millennium, planting staple sweet potato patches in sandy loams and utilizing the abundance of the forests for “materials for housing, tools, medicine and canoe building.”

However, Project Ka’eo reports, despite its scientific significance, knowledge of the area is still severely lacking, with “the majority of archaeological reviews [appearing] hurried, fragmented or unsupported,” as these “studies [have] been conducted to meet permitting requirements for golf course, resort and home construction.”

“Over the years, there’s been booming development,” says Hoffman. “It’s quite an interesting community in the sense that there are a lot of issues that surround an area with that kind of rapid growth,” she adds, citing hot button development projects like Wailea 670/Honua’ula.

“I think what really blows people’s minds is when they see how much growth has already occurred and then learn how much more has been approved on the land they call home,” says Hoffman. “[Save Makena’s] basic goal is that we want people to be aware of the issues as well as know how they can get involved to voice their opinion.”

At the same time, Hoffman emphasizes, the goal isn’t to stop all development. Rather, she says, “it’s about identifying what it represents, who it represents and what we want future generations to inherit.”

***

Though the deadline for entry into the 4th Annual Save Makena Skim Board Contest has passed, attendance is encouraged (park in the second, southernmost state park parking lot, and walk south). Spectators will enjoy light refreshments courtesy of restaurants like Flatbread Co. and Lulu’s Kihei, and get a chance to learn more about Save Makena and Maui Tomorrow’s initiatives at their informational booths. And who knows? You might be inspired to take up skimboarding yourself.

Maui Tomorrow’s Comments on Wailea 670 EIS

Maui Tomorrow foundation, Inc June 28, 2010
555 Church St Suite 5-A
Wailuku, HI 96793

PBR Hawaii
Attn: Tom Schnell, AICP
1001 Bishop Street, Suite 650
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Comments on DRAFT EIS for proposed HONUA‘ULA Project

Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Inc appreciates the opportunity to offer comments on the Draft EIS (DEIS) for the Honua’ula/ Wailea 670 project. We request that the accepting agencies find this document premature and incomplete, and require the applicant to follow the EIS process as described in HRS Ch 343 and HAR 11-200—7, 16 and 17. Our specific comments are presented below.

SEGMENTATION OF ACTIONS:

HAR §11-200-7 Multiple or Phased Applicant or Agency Actions

A group of actions proposed by an agency or an applicant shall be treated as a single action when:

  • The component actions are phases or increments of a larger total undertaking;
  • An individual project is a necessary precedent for a larger project;
  • An individual project represents a commitment to a larger project;

Environmental review of the following actions proposed by the applicant and/ or required as a condition of rezoning by the Maui County Council must be included in the DEIS in order for it to be complete.

Merely mentioning or describing an action in the DEIS does not constitute evaluation of its environmental impacts as specified in HAR 11-200-17(E). The law makes it clear that individual actions, which are part of a larger project, cannot be segmented from the whole.

In Section 1.6 the DEIS outlines the scope of the document.

“SCOPE OF THIS EIS
This EIS covers potential impacts relating to Honua‘ula, “the Property” (TMK (2) 2-1-08:056 and (2) 2-1-08:71) and potential off-site improvements, including:

• Extending Pi‘ilani Highway from Wailea Ike Drive to Kaukahi Street. (TMK (2) 2-1-08: 999 (portion));

• Wastewater transmission line alignment for possible connection to the Makena Resort Wastewater Reclamation Facility (WWRF), which is located approximately one mile south of Honua‘ula (TMK (2) 2-1-08: 090 (portion)); (TMK (2) 2-1-08: 108 (portion);

• Off-site wells, storage tanks, and transmission lines (TMK (2) 2-2-02: 050 (portion)); (TMK (2) 2-2-02: 054 (portion)) (TMK (2) 2-1-08: 054 (portion)); (TMK (2) 2-1-08: 001 (portion)); and

• Possible expansion of the Maui Electric Company (MECO) electrical substation located within the Honua‘ula property (TMK (2)2-1-08: 043).”

We note below the status of required environmental review for these actions, as well as others not mentioned:

  1. Use of the state right-of-way for the Pi’ilani extension through the property to connect with Kaukahi Dr.

STATUS: This project is one of the “triggers” for the current DEIS which has some evaluation of drainage, traffic and other impacts connected with the new road, but other essential information is not provided.

It does not appear from the AIS that the proposed corridor has had specific archaeological review, in the past five years. In fact, of the 7 cultural sites originally located along the Piilani extension corridor in a 1972 survey, only 4 have been relocated by the present project. It is not discussed whether any portion of the Piilani corridor is part of the endangered Blackburn moth habitat.

The DEIS should also supply specific agreements the developers have with the State of Hawaii DOT for use of the right of way, to insure a transparent process. Was the state compensated for the valuable right of way land?

Will the Piilani Right of way remain public land, or be considered one of the project’s “private roads.” What agreements does Honuaula LLC have with Upupalakua Ranch for future shared use of the majority of the right of way still under Ranch ownership? None of these topics are included in the Draft EIS. The DEIS should also indicate if any federal funds were involved in acquisition of the state right of way for the Piilani extension, and if a federal EIS process would be triggered.

2. Wastewater transmission line alignment for possible connection to the Mäkena Resort Wastewater Reclamation Facility

STATUS: Botanical survey reportedly done of various routes. No map or report included, and no mitigations proposed. No map or report of archaeological survey of pipeline route in Makena Resort area. No discussion of impacts to drainage features, air or water quality or other natural features or resources. No discussion of secondary or cumulative impacts. No discussion of impacts to wastewater availability for present or future residences or businesses in Makena Resort or Makena village, or to irrigation requirements for Makena golf course. No discussion of social implications such as homeowner’s wastewater fees.

  1. Off-site wells, storage tanks, and transmission lines

STATUS: Discussion of hydrology of off-site well area and maps of well, tank and transmission line sites included in DEIS. No flora or fauna survey, archaeological survey, no discussion of impacts to drainage features, air or water quality or other natural features or resources. No discussion of secondary or cumulative impacts. No discussion of impacts increased storage and transmission capacity may have on present or future irrigation well owners in the Wailea/South Maui area. No discussion of social implications, such as homeowner’s water fees.

Tanks and lines for the offsite potable/non potable system are located in the Upcountry Community Planning area, The Upcountry Community Plan has policies which permit such structures only if the water is intended for use in the Upcountry Planning area. Honua’ula is located in the Kihei-Makena plan area. This lack of compliance with the Upcountry Community Plan is NOT discussed in the EIS.

4. Possible expansion of the Maui Electric Company (MECO) electrical substation located within the Honua‘ula property

STATUS: Map and brief discussion provided in DEIS, but no analyses of impacts to drainage features, air or water quality or other natural features or resources. No discussion of hazard risks from pollutants, secondary or cumulative impacts. No discussion of impacts increased electrical transmission capacity may have on plans for future projects such as the Auwahi windfarm transmission line or a proposed pump storage project being discussed for south Kihei area. No discussion of social implications, such as effect on homeowner’s electric fees.

  1. Construction of 250 affordable units and other improvements offsite at Kaonoulu Light industrial area to satisfy a portion of the project’s affordable housing requirements.

STATUS: DEIS provides a brief description and conceptual map of the 13 acre affordable housing project site in the TMP report (Appendix M). It is not discussed whether separate environmental review has been done for the property. If this has been done, no summary is provided in the DEIS. Only analyses provided is of traffic impacts- during construction and post construction. There are no analyses of energy demand, impacts to cultural sites, flora and fauna, drainage, air or water quality or other natural features or resources. No discussion of hazard risks, demands upon public water, wastewater and solid waste disposal facilities, public safety services, secondary or cumulative impacts.

  1. Use of State of Hawaii right-of-way way for the widening of Pi’ilani Hwy between Kilohana and Wailea Ike Dr.and Wailea Ike/Piilani Hwy intersection improvements.

STATUS: Final EA accepted January of 2010 for Wailea Ike/Piilani Intersection improvements.

Regarding the Piilani widening project, according to the DEIS: “State DOT is currently reviewing the draft EA before notice of the draft EA is published in the OEQC’s The Environmental Notice and the public comment period commences. A Special Area Management Permit application is also being processed.“

Neither document is provided as an appendix to the DEIS, nor is a summary of environmental impacts evaluated included. Only a summary of traffic impacts addressed by the projects is included.

  1. Onsite Wastewater Treatment Facility

STATUS: No mention is made regarding the assessment of potential impacts from an on-site wastewater reclamation facility, even though the applicant has stated that its’ possible development is a trigger for this DEIS.

As noted above, no detailed assessment is mentioned or offered for the Makena Resort WRF, even though this facility will become part of the project if Honua’ula connects to it. This is the applicant’s preferred option, yet no detailed analysis is offered and no analysis of potential impacts and mitigation measures is provided. Authorization from Makena Wastewater Corporation for this option has not been obtained.

It is also noted that the DEIS states under the listed “triggers” for the project’s EIS;

“In addition, creation of Honua’ula may involve or impact state and/or County lands or funds relating to infrastructure improvements for public facilities, roadways, water, sewer, utility, drainage, or other facilities. While the specific nature of each improvement is not known at this time, this EIS is intended to address all current and future instances involving the use of State and/or County lands and/or funds relating to Honua’ula.” (Emphasis added).

Under what future instances might the proposed action utilize public monies? This must be disclosed and included in the assessment of potential impacts relative to its use.

If the “specific nature” of a project action that may involve State and/or County land and/or funds is not known at this time, it is premature to submit a DEIS. A DEIS must include consideration of all phases of the action and consideration of all consequences on the environment (11-200-17 (I) HAR]. Again, the EIS must provide the information necessary to permit an evaluation of potential environmental impacts. (11-200-17(E) HAR].

CONCLUSION:
DEIS APPLICATION IS INCOMPLETE AND PREMATURE

Accepting agencies should find that the Honua’ula DEIS application is incomplete and premature. Critical components of the proposed action have not yet been decided and are therefore not discussed in sufficient detail to permit an evaluation of potential environmental impacts – the very purpose of an environmental impact statement and a requirement under Section 11-200-17(E) HAR.

Wastewater Treatment

The applicant has not yet determined if it will build an on-site wastewater facility (as it represented to the County Council when obtaining a change in zoning) or run sewage lines to MWRF, which may need to be expanded to accommodate Honua’ula. Neither option is sufficiently discussed to determine potential adverse impacts, or even the feasibility of successful operation. Furthermore, the applicant has not provided authorization for the use of Makena Wastewater Facility.

Until the actual wastewater system is determined, it is premature to submit a DEIS for evaluation and review.

Roadway Agreements

The DEIS states on the bottom of page 104, “Proposed agreements regarding the roadway improvements will be incorporated in the Phase II application and will be finalized as part of Project District Phase II approval.” As noted above, he applicant cannot postpone the disclosure of roadway agreements effecting the assessment of traffic impacts. Any roadway agreements must be disclosed in the DEIS.

Water Systems

The DEIS includes extensive studies and reports supporting analysis on traffic, noise, air quality, economics, and marketing but the Preliminary Engineering Report does not provide enough quantitative data on wastewater or water systems to permit any impact analysis. The DEIS provides declaratory statements about these systems without supporting technical studies to substantiate its claims. There are no hydrology reports or a wastewater system analysis for a very elaborate system, no matter which option is utilized.

Noise Impacts

The DEIS does not address noise impacts from the widening of Pi’ilani Highway. The DEIS states on page 173, “An EA specifically addressing the impacts (including noise impacts) of the widening (of) Piilani Highway is being prepared and will be submitted to the State OEQC for public and State agency review.”

The applicant cannot segment portions of the project into separate reviews. The widening of Pi’ilani Hwy is a necessary precedent to any construction of the proposed project (Change in Zoning Condition 2.a.) and must be included in this DEIS. The suggestion that noise-attenuating walls are recommended along the highway presents a serious impact that should be fully discussed in this DEIS. Section 11-200-7 HAR requires that a group of actions proposed by an applicant shall be treated as a single action when the individual project is a necessary precedent for a larger project.

Electrical Infrastructure

The DEIS does not provide discussion of the “possible” expansion of the existing electrical substation even though it states on page 133 that “the Wailea Substation is nearly filled to capacity.” The DEIS states that MECO needs more information before confirming the need for expansion. The applicant needs to provide the necessary information to include full discussion of the projects electrical needs and the actions needed to fulfill those needs. What will the expansion of the Wailea Substation entail? What will be the impact to ratepayers for the expansion of the substation?

SUMMARY OF NEEDED ACTION:

An applicant cannot ask for Chapter 343 approval for a possible trigger that has not been adequately evaluated within the scope of the DEIS.

The applicant cannot define or limit the scope of the EIS for his own purposes. Title 11, Chapter 200, Environmental Impact Statement Rules, prescribes the scope of an EIS. The proposed project and any proposed actions associated with it, whether “possible” or factual, form the scope of the EIS and must be included.

We request that reviewing agencies compel Honua’ula LLC to follow the law, The EIS should not segment or avoid discussion, evaluation and mitigations for these complex components of the whole project.

We request that the DEIS be redone to include required environmental evaluation of the planned and proposed offsite infrastructure and housing projects that are part of its original scope of approval.

With the exception of the EA for Piilani / Wailea Ike intersection improvements, the public has had no chance to evaluate these proposed actions. Even with the EA issued for the Wailea intersection improvements, there has not been an opportunity provided to evaluate need, impacts and mitigations in light of the larger scope of the Honua’ula project. It is not enough that these topics are included in the Final EIS where all opportunity for meaningful comments by the public and reviewing agencies will be foreclosed.

Comments on Other DEIS Sections:

Flora and Fauna

The DEIS does not evaluate the relative merits of allowing hundreds of native plants to continue living in their preferred habitat, as was intended by Condition of Rezoning No. 27, against the biological viability of damaging existing habitat, and then transplanting or out planting native species in other locations in a 120 acre suburban setting. Conservation biologists do not support fragmenting existing habitat as a preferred survival strategy.

The EIS does not disclose that the 143-acre “Native Plant Enhancement area” will have no legal protection. The 143 acres cannot, and should not be compared to a 130 acre contiguous, well established, naturally occurring dryland forest habitat area. If the project wishes to utilize native plants for landscaping in parks, gulches, golf course rough and common area, that is sensible. But the EIS provides no basis to conclude that this would be a more effective way of insuring viability of native species than preserving their existing habitat. The proposed out planting should be practiced in conjunction with in situ preservation of 130 acres, not in lieu of that preservation.

Condition 27 requires that the entire 130 acres of native lowland forest receive review and recommendations from Department of Land and Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Corps of Engineers before determining the scope of the preservation easement. It appears that the responsible agencies are being brought into the decision making process after the landowners have already made their preservation decisions.

Without this review and determination by the reviewing agencies as to the portions of the property that do not merit preservation, the DEIS must conform to the legal requirement of Condition 27 which states “The Easement shall comprise the portion of the property south of latitude 20/40/15.00 N,.”

Again, the applicant is postponing required authorizations in order to avoid full disclosure of necessary and critical information. This should have been done prior to submitting a DEIS in order to allow for full project disclosure.

No discussion is offered regarding the report titled “Remnant Wiliwili Forest Habitat at Wailea 670, Maui, Hawaii prepared by Dr. Lee Altenberg substantiating the need to preserve the 130 native lowland forest and which the County Council directed the applicant to submit to DLNR, USFW and USACE for their review prior to submitting recommendations on what does not merit preservation.

Section 11-200-16 HAR requires the DEIS to include opposing views. “In order that the public can be fully informed and that the agency can make a sound decision based upon the full range of responsible opinion on environmental effects, a statement shall include responsible opposing views, if any, on significant environmental issues raised by the proposal.”

Cultural practitioners, who are part of Maui Tomorrow, have commented for many years regarding the deep connection between the native plants and animals found on the Wailea 670 site and its importance as a traditional cultural landscape. Substantially destroying or altering the biological ecosystem alters the cultural integrity of the site and restricts the full practice of traditional and customary customs.

ACTION:

We request that the DEIS not be found acceptable until the “Alternatives” section includes a discussion and map showing the project layout if a 130 acre contiguous preserve area, located south of 20 degrees 40’15”, was set aside as critical habitat for endangered fauna, native plants and cultural preservation.

 

Cultural Resource Review

The cultural review documents, although very bulky, are one of the most incomplete and inadequate sectors of the DEIS.

Archeological Inventory Survey

The AIS for this proposed project has been under consideration through HRS Chapter 6E historic preservation review process since 2000. It has received three review letters on its inventory survey from State Historic Preservation Division dated August 29, 2000, August 28, 2001 and January 17, 2002, with each letter asking for revisions, including further inventory survey of both the northern and southern portions of the property, additional testing and specific justifications for significance evaluations.

These letters and any other correspondences between the applicant and State are not included in the EIS. OHA also requested additional inventory level work on the site in several letters. These, also are not disclosed in the DEIS. Instead, the project’s AIS makes up its own version of where it stands in the State Historic Review process.

Cultural practitioners have documented many additional historic sites and site complexes that have not been recorded in the applicant’s AIS and have forwarded pictures and locations to SHPD.

Cultural Resources Preservation Plan (CRPP)

 

Significance Evaluations of Cultural Sites

No specific rationale is provided fin the AIS or CRPP assessing the significance of each site. To be in compliance with state Historic Preservation law, the AIS and this DEIS must provide justification for classifying the significance of each site with supportive documentation provided. (Section 13-284-6d (1)(B) HAR). For an example, why are some caves – described as overhang shelters in the AIS- slated for preservation and others are not?

Criteria used in evaluating significance in this AIS are those adopted by the Hawaii State Register. These are not exactly the same criteria specified by 13-284-6(b) 1-5 HAR, which this AIS and DEIS must comply with. Specifically, the Criterion “E” used in this AIS omits the following important language (underscored.)

(5). Criterion ‘e’ Have an important value to the Native Hawaiian people, or to another ethnic group of the state due to associations with cultural practices once carried out, or still carried out, at the property or due to associations with traditional beliefs, events or oral accounts – these associations being important to the groups history and cultural identity.

The AIS must evaluate the historic properties using this specific criteria, but it fails to do so. Instead, it appears the criteria used to determine site significance is the site’s location relative to planned development areas.

Site descriptions do not provide an assessment of site functions with reasonable and adequate supportive arguments or an assessment of site age as required by Section 13-276-5(d) (4) H & J HAR. The AIS must provide such assessments in order for this DEIS to have the information necessary to permit an evaluation of potential environmental impacts. (Section 11-200-17 [E] HAR).

The dearth of adequate site assessments in the AIS is in part due to extremely limited testing, inadequate mapping of site complexes and minimal background research regarding kuleana land owners in the ahupua’a of Pae’ahu, Palaua’ea and Keauhou. One example: no native or foreign testimony for the LCA awarded in the region is included. The excuse has been made that the rocky site terrain makes subsurface testing impractical, yet extensive testing has been done in exactly the same terrain throughout the makai sections of Palauea and Keauhou ahupua’a.

Any Cultural Resources Preservation Plan (CRPP) for the Honua’ula project is completely premature. The DEIS should contain a complete AIS reviewed by OHA and approved by SHPD, after public comments have been addressed, in order to ensure that environmental impacts to all sites on the property can be adequately evaluated. A Cultural Resources Preservation Plan (CRPP) cannot be completed until a complete inventory of cultural sites is documented, mapped, tested and evaluated, reviewed and approved through the AIS process.

Cultural Impact Assessment

The CIA, although lengthy, is missing key information needed by SHPD, OHA, the Maui Cultural Resources Commission and Maui Planning commission to make sound decisions regarding cultural preservation on the project site.

Protection for Historic Roads and Paths and Traditional Access

The CIA concludes that traditional mauka-makai access should be protected, but did not ask its interviewees specific questions about their knowledge of traditional trails and historic roads, such as the Kanaio-Kalama Park Rd. One CIA interviewee, Edward Chang Jr. has given public testimony on other occasions regarding his use of a trail from Ulupalakua junction, on Makena-Ulupalakua Rd, to Kalama Park in Kihei. Other kupuna have confirmed this use of a historic trail (older than 50 years) during public testimony. The CIA should advocate for preservation of the current portion of the Kanaio-Kalama Park Rd to comply with the Kihei-Makena Community Plan policy:

“Preserve and restore historical roads and paths as cultural resources, and require such resources to be available to the public.”

The argument that Kanaio-Kalama is not a “Kingdom” Road on maps prior to 1892” is not of any consequence. The community Plan does not specify protection of only Kingdom roads. The argument that the current road does not follow the path of the original military road is not proven by any research or maps included in the AIS or CIA, and is also inconsequential. Old Makena Road, Hana Highway and other roads regarded as “historic” have also had their paths altered by time. A portion of Hana Hwy is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The CIA should do its homework and compile existing resources to comply with the community plan and advocate for protection of this important cultural asset.

The CIA also failed to insist on greater research regarding the relationship of the area’s cultural sites with extensive cultural complexes located seaward in the same ahupua’a.

The CIA refers to the Kumuhonua genealogy which is associated with Honua’ula through oral accounts and traditional beliefs, but fails to explain the extremely sacred connotation this genealogy confers onto the Honua’ula lands. This cultural connection with a famous genealogy must be disclosed and its significance to preservation decisions adequately discussed in the CIA.

Also, the CIA has made no effort to contact, interview, consult with and act upon recommendations of the numerous individuals who are cultural descendants of this land, although they have identified themselves during public hearings.

ACTION

We request that the Honua’ula DEIS not be found acceptable. The DEIS is premature because it does not contain a complete and approved AIS for the project area. Without a complete AIS, it is premature to consider a CRPP. With this process incomplete, the necessary information to permit an evaluation of potential environmental impacts, as required by (11-200-17(E) HAR), is not available.

Thank you for continuing to consider Maui Tomorrow Foundation Inc a consulted party in this matter

Irene Bowie, Executive Director

Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Inc.

Cc
Maui Planning Department
OEQC
Honua’ula LLC

Wailea 670/Honua’ula Timeline

November 2009: Wailea 670 sent out a notice that an EIS was being prepared.
A number of agencies and organizations commented that the Prep Notice gave so little information about what was proposed that it made it difficult to offer any meaningful comments.

April 2010: Wailea 670 issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
for an easy view go to: dynamics.org/Wailea670/2010/

Numerous individuals and organizations sent in comments on the EIS:

Maui Tomorrow’s comments on the Honua’ula Draft EIS
Sierra Club’s comments
Maui Unite comments

June 2010: Maui Planning Commission reviewed the Wailea 670 EIS
Commissioners asked for more information about the project’s water source and an alternative plan that showed a 130-acre preserve in the southern native forest area of the land.
Maui Planning Commission Comments

July 2010:
US Fish and Wildlife Service sent comments to the landowners specifying that a 130-acre contiguous preserve was warranted in the southern portion of the land to protect one of Maui’s few remaining native dryland forest habitats and the rare and endangered plants and creatures that lived there. The landowners proposed a 22-acre preserve in the south of the land and various “native planting areas” scattered around the property, to total around 140 acres.

Read the US Fish and Wildlife Service Comments, why scattered preserve areas won’t really help save these plants.

August 2010: State Historic Preservation Office conducts a site visit with Maui Cultural land members to document unrecorded cultural sites. A number are observed, in spite of the fact that the landowners say their survey is complete.

September 2010: State Historic Preservation Office informs the Wailea 670 archaeological consultants that they will need to submit better maps before the project’s Archaeological Survey can be evaluated.
see the poor quality map the consultant’s submitted (link)

April 2011: The Wailea 670 landowner’s consultant scheduled a site visit with a State-Federal wildlife team to evaluate the habitat for protection of rare plants and endangered Blackburn Sphinx moth.

Members of the public asked to attend and were at first denied, but anew opinion from the State Attorney General has reversed that policy. The site visit is now being rescheduled so knowledgeable citizens can attend.
see pictures of the rare plants and animals in the southern 200 acres of Wailea 670

The landowners have had a year to reply to all the 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.

Condition 27 on Honua’ula (Wailea 670)

That Honua’ula Partners, LLC, its successors and permitted assigns, shall provide the report “Remnant Wiliwili Forest Habitat at Wailea 670, Maui, Hawaii by Lee Altenberg, Ph.D.”, along with a preservation/mitigation plan, to the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the United States Corps of Engineers for review and recommendations prior to Project District Phase H approval. The Maui Planning Commission shall consider adoption of the plan prior to Project District Phase H approval.

Such plan shall include a minimum preservation standard as follows: ThatHonua’ula Partners, LLC, its successors and permitted assigns, shall establish inperpetuity a Conservation Easement (the “Easement”), entitled “Native PlantPreservation Area”, for the conservation of native Hawaiian plants and significantcultural sites in Kihei-Makena Project District 9 as shown on the attached map. The Easement shall comprise the portion of the property south of latitude20’40’15.00″N, excluding any portions that the State Department of Land andNatural Resources, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the UnitedStates Corps of Engineers find do not merit preservation, but shall not be less than18 acres and shall not exceed 130 acres.

The scope of the Easement shall be set forth in an agreement between Honua’ ula Partners, LLC and the County that shall include:

a) A commitment from Honua’ula Partners, LLC, its successors and permitted assigns, to protect and preserve the Easement for the protection of native Hawaiian plants and significant cultural sites worthy of preservation, restoration, and interpretation for public education and enrichment consistent with a Conservation Plan for the Easement developed by Honua’ula Partners, LLC and approved by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, the United States Geological Survey, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and with a Cultural Resource Preservation Plan, which includes the management and maintenance of the Easement, developed by Honua’ula Partners, LLC and approved by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (collectively, the “Conservation/Preservation Plans”).

b) That Honua’ula Partners, LLC, its successors and permitted assigns, shall agree to confine use of the Easement to activities consistent with the purpose and intent of the Easement.

c) That Honua’ula Partners, LLC, its successors and permitted assigns, shall be prohibited from development in the Easement other than erecting fences, enhancing trails, and constructing structures for the maintenance needed for the area, in accordance with the Conservation/Preservation Plans.

d) That title to the Easement shall be held by Honua’ula Partners, LLC, its successors and permitted assigns, or conveyed to a land trust that holds other conservation easements. Access to the Easement shall be permitted pursuant to an established schedule specified in the Conservation/Preservation Plans to organizations on Maui dedicated to the preservation of native plants, to help restore and perpetuate native species and to engage in needed research activities. These organizations may enter the Easement at reasonable times for cultural and educational purposes only.

e) That Honua’ula Partners, LLC, its successors and permitted assigns, shall agree to confine use of the Easement to activities consistent with the purpose and intent of the Easement.

(emphasis added)
See scan of this page

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Makena Resort Sold at Auction

Sold August 2010

Makena Resort: New Owners or the Same Creditors?


UPDATE: Makena Resort. What’s happing with nearly 1800 acres formerly owned by the Everett Dowling partnership? A new partnership took charge of the former Maui Prince Hotel and Makena Golf Course at the end of August 2010. Comprised mostly of former investors in the project, the new owner’s Trustee, Wells Fargo Bank, purchased the property at foreclosure auction for $95 million in July of last year. This was a fraction of the $575 million price paid by Maui developer Everett Dowling and Morgan Stanley for the same property in 2007 

Accounts claim the Dowling partnership invested at least another $100 million in plans and projects before their investment group failed to keep up the payments on a $192.5 million first mortgage last year.

The new owners include local developer Stanford Carr who has been part of both housing and resort development statewide, as well as Trinity investments, headed by local hotel developer Charles Sweeney. New York investment group, AREA Property Partners (formerly Apollo Real Estate Advisors), who specialize in distressed properties, is the third named partner in the new joint venture.

Both AREA and Trinity were investors in the former Dowling partnership and appeared to be waiting in the wings to snap up the property once foreclosure proceedings began. They currently own the Kahala hotel and Resort on O’ahu and formerly owned the Fairmont Kealani. In Maui.

The new owners have already announced that they find many of the 40 rezoning conditions that are attached to the project’s rezoning approvals too expensive and will try to get them changed.

More Info:
KITV: Wells Fargo Gets Makena Resort
Caldwell Banker Real Estate on Makena Resort Auction (nice aerial photo)

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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