LUC grants backing to boundary amendment for subdivision project

A proposed 86-acre heavy industrial subdivision in Puunene received approval Thursday for a state district boundary amendment from agricultural to urban from the state Land Use Commission.

CMBY Investment has proposed the $20 million Pu’unene Heavy Industrial Subdivision for heavy industrial uses, including as a construction and demolition debris landfill.

Such a landfill in Maalaea has been filling up, and a new facility has been needed by the island’s construction industry, according to the project’s environmental assessment.

The project would be located off Mokulele Highway, four miles south of Kahului and three miles north of Kihei. The site would be accessed via the highway, Kamaaina Road and private roads owned by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.

The project site was part of the Puunene Naval Air Station during World War II. More recently, the property was used for hog farming and scrap metal storage. Those uses ended in 2007.

The project’s land would be subdivided into 28 lots, and there would be 9 acres for a drainage retention basin and 11 acres for an internal roadway system.

The property is vacant agricultural land, except for a 2-acre radio antenna site. That facility’s lease expires at the end of this year.

According to the environmental assessment, there’s a shortage of areas zoned for heavy industrial use in Central Maui. If the project receives all its government approvals, it would be the first purely heavy industrial development in Central Maui in more than a decade.

The project site is near the Central Maui baseyard, Maui Raceway Park and the Hawaiian Cement quarry.

With the state Land Use Commission’s approval this week, the development needs to get a change of zoning and a community plan amendment from Maui County. A hearing before the Maui Planning Commission has not been scheduled, but the project is expected to be reviewed by the panel in the spring. It will make a recommendation to the Maui County Council.

* Brian Perry can be reached at