LUC to reconsider denial for Kahoma

The state Land Use Commission voted 6-0 Friday to grant a request to reconsider its Dec. 5 vote that denied a state land use reclassification for a proposed 68-lot Kahoma affordable housing project in West Maui.

The commission will reconsider the matter March 7 at a hearing on Maui, according to Rory Frampton, planning consultant for project developer West Maui Land Co.

Members of the land use panel heard arguments from Kahoma attorneys Friday that the commission’s decision and order in December had errors on a number of facts, Frampton said. The panel, which met on Maui, also took into consideration the Maui County Council’s approval of the Maui Island Plan and the county’s adoption of best management practices for storm water quality.

Commission members determined that there was enough new information to warrant reconsideration of the proposed reclassification of 16.7 acres from agricultural to urban, Frampton said.

At the meeting in December, the project received four votes from commissioners in favor of the land reclassification, two short of the six needed. The panel’s vote came despite the project having the support of the county Department of Planning and the state Office of Planning.

Opposition came from interveners Michele Lincoln, a Lahaina resident who lives near the project site, and Routh Bolomet of Oahu. They argued that the project site should remain an open area mauka of Honoapiilani Highway and adjacent to the Kahoma Stream flood control channel.

In 2011, the Maui County Council approved the Kahoma development as a fast-track affordable housing project. Plans called for selling the homes to families with incomes of up to 160 percent of median income.