Wailea Timeline

Wailea 670/ Honu‘aula
A twenty-seven-year planning view…..
Informational time line prepared by:
Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Inc from archival document review

Today Project District 9 includes approx 670 acres of land spanning three traditional ahupua‘a at the 400 to 800 ft elevation, It is just South of Maui Meadows, above the Wailea Golf Course. In pre-contact times this elevation was utilized as a cultivation area.

(Project District 9 from Kihei-Makena Community Plan)
Land owned by a Japanese partnership.
300 acres total- all makai of proposed Pi’ilani Hway expansion.
6 -acre school site promised
Mix of single and multi-family housing types & price ranges
Total Build out – 1,050 units

New owners (GCR/VMS Realty Partners) propose adding 370 acres
Master planned Residential Resort project
(Proposed to delete Community Plan language specifying mix of single and multi- family housing types for a range of consumer groups)

  • Planning Commission agrees to delete school requirement
  • Offsite affordable housing replaces mixed community language of community plan
  • 2 golf courses
  • Commercial center -mix of commercial, resort & visitor oriented uses
  • Resort accommodations & tennis center
  • Single and multi-family developments- resort oriented.
  • 1450 single & multifamily units
  • 250 lodge units
  • 300 village-mixed units

Decreased density from 4.5 units/ac to 3.0/units/ac
Total Build out: 2,000 units (limited by County.– Developers wanted 3,500)

(Discussed in Community Plan Amendment Application EIS, 1989)

  • Low unemployment rates (3% in 1989) would slow building
  • 50-60% of potential resort employees could experience difficulty in finding affordably- priced housing (est.given on p. 13)
  • Affordable housing proposed offsite in Kihei.
  • County cant guarantee sewage or water service to the project.
  • EIS states the area has no archaeological sites
  • No acknowledgement of any traffic impacts

from Community Plan Amendment Application submitted to Maui Planning Commission (Jan 1989)

  • Protection promised of several native species considered rare, uncommon or depleted in the extreme south west corner of the site (discussed on p.10 : promise to protect these species and their site. (southern portion of property)
  • Project represented logical residential expansion at Kihei’s south edge that would be served by the projected Pi’ilani hwy extension (now non-existent)

FINAL DECISION: Planning Commission approves, urbanizing additional 370 acres. Total build out proposed: 3,500 units.
County limited number to 2,000. units on 280 acres plus golf courses
Targeted for the more affluent buyer.
Wailea 670 Project was criticized by both public and some Planning Commissioners
for lack of info re: water, affordable housing & traffic

Wailea Ranch (New owners: Palauea Bay Partners)
From Community Plan Amendment (approved 1992 by Maui County Council)
Added 370 acres to Kihei-Makena Project District 9 or Wailea Ranch,


  • Onsite mix of affordable housing for low income and gap groups & market priced homes
  • Commercial center geared to local community.
  • Council members are told that there are no archaeological sites or native plant habitat.
  • Golf course will improve drainage.
  • Traffic concerns are down played.
  • Heavy pressure on Council by unions needing work
  • Provide new 1-acre. Fire station site.

Wailea Ranch (Palauea Bay Partners)

  • 402 of the 670 -acres approved for golf courses (Maui Planning Commission)
  • One private, one public use course (at reduced fees 50% of the time to local residents),
  • Clubhouse and other facilities requiring 2 million gal of water a day.
  • Two onsite private wells were called brackish by the developers agent. – suitable for golf course.
  • Project was required to pay to upgrade county wastewater facilities

1993 State Land Use Commission (LUC) approved Wailea Ranch master plan

State Land Use Commission CONDITIONS:

  • New archaeological survey required (sitework done: April 2000)
  • Contribute to road, school, water, sewage facility funds
  • Donate fire station site
  • Help fund monitoring of near shore ocean water quality
  • Affordable housing requirements left vague
  • Traffic concerns, down played
  • Master Plan Approved by LUC:
  • 383 acres of golf courses
  • 138 acres single family
  • 11 acres multifamily
  • 24 acres village mixed use (173 acres total)
  • Beginning lot price: $204,000- $250,000.
  • Intended market: Primary home residences, retirees and second home residents.

NOT APPROVED BY LUC: Citizens request that Palauea Bay Partners be required to dedicate a portion of land they held at Palauea beach for a beach park, as condition for LUC approval.

1994- golf course construction was slated to begin- but, never did. Mike McCormack & Palauea bay Partners faced financial downturns from other ventures and the slow real estate market on Maui made the project impractical.

Project District 9 (Wailea 670/Wailea Ranch)

During Kihei-Makena Community Plan update, the 670 acre project was included with language emphasizing mixed income neighborhood for residents.

From Kihei-Makena Community Plan approved (1998):

  • A neighborhood for mixed income brackets
  • 1 public and 1 private golf course
  • Commercial facilities primarily serving local community.
  • Build-out density not specified.

1999- McCormack & Palauea Bay Partners faced foreclosure by the county for nonpayment of about $500,000 in property taxes. Everett Dowling purchased 44 acres of partnerships land mauka of Palauea Beach. (One Palauea Bay) New partnership
purchases Wailea 670 lands.

670 ac. Sold to WCPT/GW Land Associates.

NEW PROJECT LOOK: Planning Commission presentation:

  • Gated community with 1,400 units
  • 600 single family & 800 multi-family.
  • No reference to mixed income levels in the project.
  • Wailea 670 described in Maui News as aimed at wealthy buyers of second and third homes.
  • Wells on site (formerly called brackish) proposed for a private drinking water system,
  • Private sewage treatment system will be provided.
  • County testifies that Piilani Hwy extension is being re-evaluated. (i.e may not be built) Traffic concerns downplayed.
  • Wailea 670 proposes amendment to Community Plan:
  • limit number of dwellings in Project District 9 to 1,400
  • not burden government with costs of needed infrastructure
  • Language regarding a mix of income levels in the project is changed to read; comply with Maui County affordable housing requirements (could allow offsite units)
  • New archaeological report released: Oct 2000: 18 new sites found on 190 acres.
  • Requirement for second golf course and public access and lowered fees for golf course is eliminated.
  • Native plant preservation area described as no longer viable-impacted by bulldozing

County Planning Commission approves Phase I Zoning
268 acres for housing development (originally part of the second golf course) this includes area originally promised to protect native plants in 1989.


  • Wailea 670 partners agree to include affordable housing on site
  • May drill wells on Ulupalakua ranch land in Auwahi for their private system.
  • only portions of community gated
  • Revised Archaeological review for rugged South portion of land issued 2001


  • Native plant habitat preservation
  • Reliable water source
  • Traffic impacts
  • No emergency access/evacuation routes
  • Sketchy archaeological review: New supplemental survey completed June 2001 (4 new sites)
  • Effect of fees from private utility (water & sewer) on lower income residents
  • (Lack of) Need for more luxury development

Wailea 670 name changed To Honuaula modestly assuming the traditional place name for the entire Southeast Maui region for
their one development.

Maui County Council Planning Committee asked to rezone 268 acres for housing development (originally part of second golf course)


  • Smart growth community design
  • Mixed use community
  • Residents golf course (exclusive private country Club for project resident members only)
  • Bikeways, walking paths, natural drainage ways (featured in the Community Plan language for south Maui)
  • Fees for schools, parks and roads and various donations to benefit the general community- only if approval was given.
  • Relocation plan for native plants
  • Preservation of six cultural sites contingent on the results of further data recovery.
  • Private water system: 2 new wells proposed north of the project, above Maui Meadows
  • Private wastewater treatment system


  • Return to a luxury resort development focus for project is not mentioned or downplayed.
  • Six cultural sites may be preserved (2000 Arch Survey p. 43)- what will they connect to What else may be hidden
  • Water quality and availability (will private wells need de-sal treatment)
  • Native plant habitat- no protection- relocation proposed.
  • Traffic impacts: does widening of Piilani Hwy solve the problem 1,050 units were planned in 1980 with extended Piilani Hwy as main artery. Now (c. 2006) 1,400 units are planned with no Piilani extension.
  • Affordable housing: How much How affordable How long will homes remain affordable
  • Emergency access routes
  • Is there a need for first Country Club development in South Maui
  • Ocean Quality studies promised in 1994 LUC conditions




For More Information contact Maui Tomorrows Smart Growth Committee