Malaekahana development to be discussed in meeting
Hawaii Reserves Inc. is expected to present publicly for the first time an alternative to its contentious Envision Laie plan at a meeting of the Honolulu City Council’s Planning Committee at 6:30 p.m. today at Hauula Elementary School.
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Hawaii Reserves Inc. is expected to present publicly for the first time an alternative to its contentious
Envision Laie plan at a meeting of the Honolulu City Council’s Planning Committee at 6:30 p.m. today at Hauula Elementary School.
HRI has tried for more than four years to push through its 300-acre proposal that would provide more housing and commercial development, most of
it in Malaekahana, the sleepy agricultural community next to Laie.
HRI is an affiliate of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, and manages Brigham Young University Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Proponents say expansion
is necessary if the community is to be sustainable.
Opponents, however, worry the development would destroy a key agricultural community and overburden the roads and other infrastructure in the region.
Bill 1, the proposed revision of the Koolauloa Sustainable Communities Plan that’s on tonight’s agenda, does not include any new development for the region. But Council Planning Chairman Ikaika Anderson, the bill’s author, said he’s agreed to HRI’s request to have
its new proposal unveiled
at the meeting.
Both Anderson and area Councilman Ernie Martin told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Tuesday that they want to hear the public’s feedback on the new plan before deciding whether to support it. Both have gone on record opposing the original Envision Laie plan. Martin has proposed his own amendment to Anderson’s bill that would designate Malaekahana as preservation land, which
he said would make it more difficult for HRI or future landowners to develop it.
What exactly HRI’s new plan entails is unclear.
HRI promised the committee at a February meeting that it would return “in about a month after preliminary feasibility studies are done,” according to the official minutes of the meeting.
But there is no information on an updated plan on either Envision Laie’s website or Facebook page, and HRI officials could not be reached for comment
Margaret Primacio, president of the Defend Oahu
Coalition, told the Star-Advertiser it would have been nice to see the specifics of HRI’s revised plan before the meeting.
But efforts by her group and other community organizations since February
to learn more about the new proposal have been unsuccessful, Primacio said. “We don’t know what’s being proposed,” she said.
Primacio said her group recognizes the need for more affordable housing to support the families now
living in Laie but thinks there’s ample HRI property behind the BYUH campus that can be developed without the need to change the Koolauloa plan.