comscore Rezoning near Halawa rail station on Oahu to be reviewed | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News

Rezoning near Halawa rail station on Oahu to be reviewed

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

The Honolulu Planning Commission is being asked to rezone 227 acres around Skyline’s Halawa station to allow for mixed-use development and affordable housing sites near what will become the state’s New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District.

Based on a July 10 city Department of Planning and Permitting director’s report, the commission is expected to review DPP’s requests for zone changes near the Halawa station side of the first segment of rail, which is 10.75 miles of guideway and nine stations from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium.

Tim Streitz, DPP’s acting administrator of its transit- oriented development division, said the commission’s review is intended to implement the Halawa-area Transit-Oriented Development Plan’s recommendation for allowing mixed residential and commercial uses at higher densities and heights, while ensuring future developments are pedestrian-friendly — areas meant to feature storefront windows, entrances near sidewalks and parking to the rear of stores and other venues.

“These items are not related to any particular project, although they would support the state’s New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, or NASED, and Puuwai Momi public housing developments currently being planned in portions of the TOD area,” Streitz told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser via email. “Both of these large developments are also planned to include new affordable housing.”

The Halawa TOD Plan envisions dense, mixed- use development with a central gateway connecting the rail station to the future stadium, he added.

“The future neighborhood characteristics will be largely influenced by the state’s NASED project on the Aloha Stadium site because it encompasses such a large portion of the TOD area,” he said. “The city worked closely with the state on the Halawa TOD plan, and the state’s NASED project is expected to be generally consistent with the TOD plan, although certain details of the actual developments may differ.”

The vision of a compact, mixed-use, walkable neighborhood was recommended for the Halawa station area in the TOD plan, adopted by the City Council in 2020. It is also part of the city’s overall strategy to manage and direct future urban growth, particularly in West Oahu.

“Channeling development to rail transit station areas will help curb sprawl and encourage new higher density infill development that takes advantage of and supports the rail transit system,” the DPP director’s report states. “TOD and related regulations support and encourage compact, mixed-use development within roughly one-half mile of stations. Higher density and higher building heights generally surround stations, but step down in height and intensity the farther one gets from a station to be compatible with existing uses on the periphery.”

Additionally, planners will review DPP’s proposal to amend city laws related to land use covering a TOD Special District — which modifies zoning to regulate site design and layout, while allowing for additional building density and height in certain areas, the city says.

This proposal would expand the TOD Special District by adding the Halawa rail station area and “apply development standards related to site layout and ground floor building design once the boundaries are extended around this station,” the report reads.

City officials also remain concerned about sea-level rise along the rail route.

“The DPP has analyzed all TOD properties along the entire rail transit corridor for sea level rise impacts,” the report states. “If over half a property is impacted by the referenced 3.2 feet of projected sea level rise, it is being excluded from the TOD Special District and zone changes, even if recommended in its neighborhood TOD plan, since policies and regulations are still being developed to more fully address impacts.”

The city says no signifi­- cant impacts from sea-level changes will affect the Halawa station. Still, the city desires changes to types of development near the station.

“One of the most important changes involves rezoning from single to mixed uses,” the report reads. “The city-initiated zone changes will expand the types of allowable uses and are intended to stimulate appropriate development activity around the stations.”

The proposed TOD zoning for Halawa “generally provides additional development rights to incentivize TOD and achieved desired community benefits,” the report states.

In addition, the zone changes will cover envisioned land uses in and around the Halawa station that include NASED’s proposed 25,000-seat, multi-use stadium surrounded by mixed-use retail development on the existing 98-acre site.

According to Streitz, the Planning Commission will hold its public hearing to make recommendations for possible City Council review and approval. The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Mission Memorial Auditorium, Mission Memorial Building, 550 S. King St.

Comments (42)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up