Groundbreaking for housing project in Lahaina could be underway in ’14

The proposed 203-unit Kahoma Village project received a finding of no significant impact in its recently completed environmental assessment, paving the way for the 22-acre Lahaina project with affordable housing for possible groundbreaking sometime next year.

The $60 million project, with half of its units market priced and the other half affordably priced, has two major entitlement hurdles remaining – 201H “fast-track” housing approval by the County Council and special management area permit approval by the planning commission.

Colleen Suyama, with project consultant Munekiyo & Hiraga, said that the special management area application has been submitted. Stanford Carr Development and landowner The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation hope to have the council take up the 201H measure before the end of the year.

The 201H application provides for an expedited review process for affordable housing developments. The process allows the council to grant exemptions from statutes, ordinances, charter provisions and agency rules.

The project is on a site bordered by Kenui and Front streets, Honoapiilani Highway and the Kahoma Channel and is near the Lahaina Cannery Mall. It is in an undeveloped area, surrounded by and planned for development, that has been a site for homeless camps and dumping, said Jay Nakamura, vice president-senior development manager for Stanford Carr Development. As a result, he does not expect the project to be controversial and expects it to obtain its entitlements smoothly.

“We are pretty confident there will be support of the project,” he said Monday.

As a result, Nakamura said ground could be broken on the project sometime next year. The environmental assessment puts completion of the project at four years, but Nakamura indicated that the pace of construction will be determined by sales.

The final environmental assessment notes that Kahoma Village was included in the urban growth boundary of the Maui Island Plan, adopted by the county late last year. The project sits on land that has a state urban designation and apartment zoning.

The final assessment of no significant impact was approved by the county Department of Human Concerns and published Sunday in The Environmental Notice of the state Office of Environmental Control.

Units at Kahoma Village will consist of a mix of three- and four-bedroom single-family dwellings, and two- and three-bedroom multifamily units.

The project will have three distinct home types.

Sixty-nine single-family dwellings will be built in clusters of two to six homes along a common driveway. Another 32 single-family dwellings will be “alley” units, with each dwelling having a rear service alley providing access to a garage.

The 102 multifamily affordable units will be located in 17 two-story six-plexes. Each building will contain four two-story units and two one-story units, which will be at each end of the building so that homeowners will have no one living above or below their unit.

The affordable units have a ceiling price of between $329,000 and $585,000, estimated JoAnn Ridao, county director of Housing and Human Concerns. She noted that the market will dictate the actual prices and that the developers of another 201H project, Waikapu Gardens, Phase II, currently before the council are offering their affordable residences at prices below the mandated ceilings.

The affordable homes will be for those making between 80 and 160 percent of the island’s median income. For a family of four, 80 percent of median annual income on Maui is $61,680; 100 percent of median income, $77,100; and 160 percent of median income, $123,360, Ridao said.

Kahoma Villages will have three landscaped parks, with the larger of the three also functioning as a drainage retention/detention basin. There are no proposed commercial uses for the site.

The two access routes into the project are off Front Street across Puunoa Place and a second from Kenui Place across Nakeli Place. The project is not expected to impact traffic in Lahaina, the report said.

The environmental assessment also includes results of an archaeological survey that found no material remains or evidence of intact cultural deposits. Still, the study recommends archaeological monitoring for all future earth disturbance activities because human burials have previously been documented on nearby parcels, including on the Lahaina Cannery Mall property.

* Lee Imada can be reached at