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City Council approves Koa Ridge development plan

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:18 a.m. HST, Nov 14, 2013

Koa Ridge, a plan allowing Castle & Cooke Homes to build up to 3,500 homes and develop commercial areas between Waipio and Mililani, was approved 9-0 by the City Council Wednesday. 

Council members Carol Fukunaga, Ann Kobayashi, Joey Manahan and Ron Menor voted with reservations, citing lingering concerns about traffic and the affordability of homes in the project.

The Sierra Club Hawaii chapter, which has long opposed the project, has two pending legal challenges to the project.

Castle & Cooke vice president Bruce Barrett said the company is confident it can overcome those appeals. If so, groundbreaking is scheduled for 2015 with the first homes available for occupancy in 2016.

Supporters of the project, including representatives from various labor and trade unions, said the project will bring badly needed homes and jobs to the area.

Opponents said the project will take away agricultural lands and open space, and add to the traffic problems in the area.

The developer has agreed to $100 million in traffic improvements, including a new "Pineapple Road" H-2 Freeway interchange between the existing Ka Uka and Mililani interchanges. It also agreed to provide a 90 percent subsidy for an annual bus pass for those purchasing homes at Koa Ridge.

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al_kiqaeda wrote:
Too bad this story got swept under the carpet because of the same sex law.
on November 13,2013 | 01:03PM
MKN wrote:
Yup! Pretty messed up. For those of you buying in that area, have fun driving in even worse gridlock (rail will not help you because during a gridlock situation, the bus still has to get from the new development to Leeward Community College) and living right down the road from a minimum security prison where there were multiple escapees that were deemed armed and dangerous! Not to mention the dead body found on the side of the road to Mililani Cemetary. :P If you don't believe me, read the stories below:

Luis Garcia

Raphael Hernandez

4 Escapees from Waiawa

Body Near Mililani Cemetary

on November 13,2013 | 01:43PM
808behappy wrote:
So are you saying there's no crime in your neighborhood?
on November 13,2013 | 02:21PM
MKN wrote:
What I am saying is there's no prison in my current neighborhood with really lax security that has a lot of successful escapes of violent criminals. A lot less people have escaped over the years from OCCC than Waiawa. The links I provided show at least 6 (and there are more than 6) escapes since 2011. I could only find 1 escape in recent memory from OCCC. Crime in my neighborhood is mostly cars getting broken into and the occasional drug deal or domestic violence, but I don't have to worry about criminals wandering into my building because of the security and precautions that are present unlike the future residents of Koa Ridge (Especiall the Waiawa portion).
on November 13,2013 | 02:33PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
GOP favorite spin, FEAR. Lol.mkn
on November 13,2013 | 06:22PM
MKN wrote:
@NanakuliBoss: Maeda Timson! So you supporting this project too huh? Is FHB underwriting the development? LOL!!! FYI, I don't represent the GOP or the Democrats. If you don't believe me, you're more than welcome to go buy a home in the area. Make sure to buy the Waiawa phase. Don't say that I didn't warn you. LOL!!!
on November 13,2013 | 11:38PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Lol,mkn forgot to mentioned all the murders and rapes in Waikiki.
on November 13,2013 | 06:21PM
MKN wrote:
@NanakuliBoss: Well Waipahu has had it's share of murders, rapes, and gang activity. The last time I checked, This development will still be a part of Waipahu. LOL!!!
on November 13,2013 | 11:43PM
sjean wrote:
sick to my stomach
on November 13,2013 | 01:28PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Now, now...if you try I am sure you and everyone can save up the down payment for a $650,000 "affordable" house. I mean, that's only $130,000 so no problem. As the C&C guy said in his speech, this development is for the policeman, the firefighter, the teacher who is trading up.
on November 13,2013 | 04:25PM
dmillerfilms wrote:
This is another example of THE BIG FIVE -- the Corporate Companies that still control Hawaii's economy and government -- paving over Hawaii and destroying land that should be used to grow food for all Hawaiians! It is time we stand up and STOP developments that build homes for the rich while destroying Hawaii's dwindling vital agricultural resources. There is another way! Imagine -- instead of luxury homes -- bountiful farmland sprouting affordable food for all. We can change course -- we can grow more food at home and end our addiction to imports And most important, our young farmers need land to build their farms and a place to plant crops that will nourish a growing population that desires and needs healthy and sustainable sources of food. I invite you to learn more about these issues tomorrow night when PBS Hawaii airs the film NA KUPU MANA‘OLANA: SEEDS OF HOPE (Thursday, Nov 14th at 9pm) on PBS Hawaii Presents. This documentary provides real stories of those farmers and educators and Hawaiian kupuna who are creating solutions for Hawaii's food crisis through traditional agricultural practices and creating models for growing food in a sustainable Hawaii.
on November 13,2013 | 01:32PM
Mythman wrote:
The irony of this film is that Dole is in the food business. Pay to play.
on November 13,2013 | 01:48PM
808behappy wrote:
Plenty ag land for sale going towards the north shore for the farmers to buy.
on November 13,2013 | 02:23PM
MKN wrote:
The problem with that statement is most farmer's can't afford to buy it. At best, they might be able to lease it, but even leasing the land is a pretty expensive business venture. Not to mention the lack of water resources in the area. In the main section of the proposed Koa Ridge development, there are fresh water canals (with water almost clean enough to drink) running from the mountains (the famous Waiahole Ditch) that presently go straight through the development that could be used to irrigate any farms that could be setup in that area. My question is what is going to happen to the ditch since it runs directly through the Koa Ridge project? That is the main and only significant source of water for irrigation on the Ewa plain. A neighborhood running through that irrigation canal could result in the pollution of that water resource since people tend to dump stuff into canals and streams that they live by if they are too lazy to dispose of things properly. Has the developer come up with a plan to address this? I didn't see any of that discussed in their documentation.
on November 13,2013 | 02:57PM
808behappy wrote:
MKN, you do realize that Waiahole ditch also runs thru Mililani is that water polluted? The Wahiawa Reservour irrigates ag lands out there the lands heading toward the North Shore, were once fields that grew pineapple & sugar cane so you know there is a source for irrigation.
on November 13,2013 | 03:18PM
MKN wrote:
@808behappy: How can Waiahole ditch run through Mililani when Kipapa Gulch is between the two developments? Waiahole ditch has no pumps and has existed for over 100 years and the last time I checked, water cannot go up. You may want to check your facts before making statements like the water is polluted when it's not. One of my friends actually drank the water and he didn't get sick. LOL!!! If you need further proof, read this article:

Waiahole Ditch
on November 13,2013 | 11:49PM
808behappy wrote:
@MKN, What I was saying is that the ditch runs thru Mililani and I was asking you if that water was polluted? You need to check your facts straight, because the ditch does run thru Millilani, I've seen it with my own eyes as I lived there. In fact here is a link of a map that shows your the ditch location. LOL! (: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/arm/files/2012/12/Map5.pdf
on November 14,2013 | 04:01PM
Charliegrunt wrote:
I was once told that if you want to know what's really happening FOLLOW THE DOLLAR. Are our politicians, schizophrenic, stupid, greedy, corrupt or a combination of the preceding. When there is dissatisfaction with the high cost of food because almost all food products are imported from the mainland or foreign countries, the politicians support those who demand self-sustainability and "buying local"; when there is a hue and cry about scarce affordable housing, they support building; when there is frustration over our traffic problems, they support developing West Oahu and building Mufi's choo choo train. I guess most have got the idea. Politics is one of the world's two oldest professions. Politics is legal, the other is not.
on November 13,2013 | 02:46PM
808behappy wrote:
@charliegrunt It's funny how when things don't go one's way, that they always accuse people of corruption. If you have proof that a council member is corrupt, show your evidence. If you want others to believe you show your evidence don't just throw out your accusations. Show me proof first before you expect me to belive you.
on November 13,2013 | 03:22PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Cue the whining from the usual characters and groups.
on November 13,2013 | 01:35PM
Anonymous wrote:
The vote was 9-0. Forget the four that voted with reservation, they still voted For. Can all of them. I put them in the same category as the Land Use Commission (LUC). Another chance for the City Council to do what is best for O`ahu citizens, only to fail miserably. I wonder what Castle & Cooke promised the City Council. Couldn't have been a subsidized bus pass. Or could it? Of course they never have supported sustainability.
on November 13,2013 | 01:41PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Promised? isn't it obvious? .... campaign money thru a PAC. The outcome of this was determined long ago by Hawaii's democratic party leaders.
on November 13,2013 | 05:08PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Maybe it was constituents indicating their kids needed homes. That it was a good area for growth and raising a family.
on November 13,2013 | 06:27PM
MKN wrote:
@NanakuliBoss: How can you say that it's a good area for growth when this project only adds to Oahu's current traffic woes and increases urban sprawl? Not to mention that rail will not easily serve this additional development and makes traffic for Mililani residents significantly worse. LOL!!!
on November 13,2013 | 11:55PM
juscasting wrote:
Like I said in my other post! Where was all the protest when they built West Oahu new campuse right in the middle of prime AG LAND in Kapolei! And now they ok'd a College for Foreigners or something like that to get built right next door!
on November 13,2013 | 01:45PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Why do some of these councilmembers vote "with reservations"? What good is that except to cover their a&s#s)e%s when problems arise. Instead, they should attempt to resolve the issues they have before allowing the developer to go ahead. They should have approved the developer's plans on the mauka side of H-2 instead of the makai side where there is a Costco, an industrial park, and the farmland. Split the traffic not compound it!
on November 13,2013 | 01:49PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Because they are weasels. That is why.
on November 13,2013 | 04:23PM
twitter6 wrote:
Not a representation of the majority, again. I guess C&C will be buying lots of holiday gifts. Thanks for adding at least one additional hour to travel time. So much for forward thinking.
on November 13,2013 | 02:02PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Outstanding. Now, let's get to work.
on November 13,2013 | 02:03PM
RandolphW wrote:
For all of his crying and hand wringing, Councilman Ron Menor voted YES, for the Koa Ridge development. What difference does it make to say, WE voted for the project with RESERVATIONS? I suppose the readers will have to figure this one out, as many of them will have the time to do so when they are tied up in traffic. Many more drivers will now be eating and drinking on the road as a result.
on November 13,2013 | 02:04PM
808behappy wrote:
the solution to traffic is to foce everyone to catch the bus, car pool or take the rail. Problem solved. Who will step up? Any of you who complain about traffic. Be proactive and stop whinning. Be a solution to the problem, better yet move closer to your work place. Me, I'd rather deal w/ the traffic rather than live in a high rise or in town.
on November 13,2013 | 02:27PM
MKN wrote:
@808behappy: So do you take the bus or carpool right now? I will bet that you drive to work like everyone else. I on the other hand do not contribute one tiny bit to the traffic problem because I decided to move into town. Can you say the same for yourself? Promising to ride the rail when it comes online in 2019 is not adequate enough especially with your statement of who will step up because you probably won't be one of them! LOL!!!
on November 13,2013 | 03:03PM
808behappy wrote:
@mkn. I'm not one of the complainers, complaining about traffic, because I CHOOSE TO LIVE in Waikele and deal with the traffic the benefit of living where I do far outweighs the traffic issue, you solved your problem with the traffic by moving. I don't allow traffic to be a problem for me. As I said if you are going to complain, then be a part of the solution rather than complain or better yet they can be like you and solve their situation by moving elsewhere.
on November 13,2013 | 03:30PM
houdini wrote:
@808behappy Do you live close to where you work? I know some people live in Waikele, and if they have to go to Pearl City, it can take them 45 minutes or longer. It should not take traffic 45 minutes to move 4 miles.
on November 13,2013 | 04:17PM
MKN wrote:
@808behappy: So you choose to be a part of the traffic problem since you obviously don't ride the bus or carpool? LOL!!! Your so called choice makes traffic worse for everyone else that doesn't live ahead of you on your route to wherever you drive to for work. All I can say is, even though you say you don't allow it to be a problem for you, it WILL be a problem for you and everyone else traveling to town using the H1/H2 interchange when you have several thousand more cars ahead of you in the pipeline going to town. LOL!!!
on November 14,2013 | 12:04AM
Mediocrates wrote:
What a travesty. Is it a surprise? No. Is there a concrete linkage between the donations of those who profit from this and every single one of the council members? ABSOLUTELY. Star-Advertiser, how about some genuine investigative journalism on that????
on November 13,2013 | 02:27PM
Skyler wrote:
Nah. Gotta go to KHON 2 for that one.
on November 13,2013 | 03:59PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Wow. What a shocker.
on November 13,2013 | 02:46PM
whs1966 wrote:
We'll, we'll....what a surprise!
on November 13,2013 | 02:49PM
hokuahi wrote:
on November 13,2013 | 03:38PM
awahana wrote:
Tragic and short sighted.
I'm talking about the commission.
on November 13,2013 | 04:08PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Menor is the one who looks the weasel. He comes out and show boats and makes all the noise about protesting the development bu when it's nut cutting time (as my paniolo grandfather would say) he voted YES. Oh yeah, he had reservations, but probably at a cocktail lounge. Fact is he played this for publicity and has earned the Big Weasel Award.
on November 13,2013 | 04:22PM
Skyler wrote:
"Oh yeah, he had reservations, but probably at a cocktail lounge."

Sad but true.
on November 13,2013 | 06:11PM
concerned1 wrote:
You must be from the mainland
on November 13,2013 | 04:22PM
concerned1 wrote:
When will the developing madness end. Enough already, we are a tiny little island being ravaged. Over development and overcrowding are the cause of our beaches erosion problems. How much more can this island sustain?
on November 13,2013 | 04:21PM
RKC808 wrote:
concerned1. Development will NEVER stop on Oahu. They gotta keep the construction workers working. The Unions and politicians are entertaining each other in hostess bars and making decisions and deals at the expense of us citizens. Oahu just has too many people. Im Glad I wont be here in 50 years. This is just crazy stuff. The neighbor islands just don't have the jobs to sustain a development boom. Human greed has taken over the island of Oahu. The BS "Affordable Housing" talk is just that , BS. Affordable my okole. Who do they think they are fooling?? We been through this affordable housing scam before. The middle class is dwindling slowly. One day there will only be two classes. Rich and Poor
on November 13,2013 | 06:03PM
nlromer wrote:
First I have to say that they are building houses not homes. The people in it make the house a home. 808behappy seems to be in the pocket of the developers as are all of the council members. Wonder about the water and sewer connections. NJ stopped all of the sprawl because the sewage plants couldn't handle any more. I went to one neighborhood board meeting here and asked about sewage capacity and everyone gave me a blank look. No one thinks ahead-will there be water and sewer capacity or just build and worry about it later. Perhaps Castle and Crook will build a new sewage plant? Just think then add in the 10,000 houses in between Kapolei and Ewa and no one will go anywhere.
on November 13,2013 | 04:46PM
kainalu wrote:
Agreed. The "solution" will be rationing, which is what ends up happening anywhere that the density reaches the level where we're headed. Like the Beatles song goes, "if you take a walk, they'll tax your feet".
on November 13,2013 | 05:38PM
Imagen wrote:
Rationing? Seriously? We are an island with finite resources. There will be nothing TO ration.
on November 14,2013 | 11:21AM
Ewaduffer wrote:
The fix is in.
on November 13,2013 | 04:53PM
RandolphW wrote:
There is no end in sight to the development that is going to occur on Oahu.
on November 13,2013 | 05:05PM
RKC808 wrote:
The residents of Waipio Gentry, Crestview, Seaview and Waikele must be sick to their stomachs right now. Imagine how crowded Costco is going to be after all this is completed.
on November 13,2013 | 06:10PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
I think they will welcome a medical facility.
on November 13,2013 | 06:32PM
RKC808 wrote:
They have Kaiser now.
on November 13,2013 | 07:05PM
MKN wrote:
@RKC808: True, but Kaiser is private, so they don't accept just anyone that walks in, so Nanakuli does have a point. I will say that having a medical facility is a small consolation to the amount of increased traffic that will impact that area without significant road widening and redesign of the Waipio Gentry on/off ramp and Ka Uka Boulevard.
on November 14,2013 | 12:08AM
justchecking wrote:
obviously, elected officials do not listen to their constituents in this state.
on November 13,2013 | 06:38PM
waikane75 wrote:
Concrete jungle from Kokohead to Koolina :(
on November 13,2013 | 06:57PM
harley1 wrote:
Traffic improvements now and first before a single new home goes up. Make castle and cooke build a spur for the train up the hill to this new development. County Council has no cajones to enforce these stipulations on any developer. Not like they haven;t studies this thing to there and beyond already........
on November 13,2013 | 07:03PM
niimi wrote:
Perfect timing for this vote. Slips under the radar nearly undetected.
on November 13,2013 | 07:18PM
niimi wrote:
H2 corridor is now the largest bedroom community on Oahu, and--SMIRK--Rail doesn't even go up through Waipio into Mililani.
on November 13,2013 | 07:19PM
AIEA25 wrote:
on November 13,2013 | 07:46PM
Bumby wrote:
How many in our city council? Is it 9? Oh my gosh 9 people dictating the future of the masses due to big business. It is a joke 90% subsidy for a bus pass for those purchasisng a home. For how long and if the company is not around in the future who will pay for this? Is it for 9 years maybe? Our leaders cannot plan it right. Too much green in front of them. What you need first is the roads not rail to handle the increase in traffic.
on November 13,2013 | 07:51PM
Bumby wrote:
New rules for politicians. Maximum years able to serve in City ,State & Federal government is 10 years no more. Federal politicians to have the same health care being pushed down the American people's throats. OBAMACARE. Why are they privelege to have the Rolls Royce of health care? Again 10 years total and that will make for a better America.
on November 13,2013 | 07:57PM
Bumby wrote:
Anyone made a study on how many people can live on this island due to our water, sewer system, (roadways, highways, freeways)?
on November 13,2013 | 08:01PM
ResponsibleCitizen wrote:
Again, the so called people's 'representatives' of this city, selling you out to the highest bidder!!!!!!!!!!
on November 13,2013 | 11:35PM
Imagen wrote:
My response to this is "DUH"! These fools on the council are so predictable. And what is with the voting yes with reservations stuff? These fools seriously need to be replaced and the sooner the better. If you wanted a rubber stamp council, you should just go to Fisher Hawaii and get a RUBBER STAMP!
on November 14,2013 | 11:16AM
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