Waikapu light industrial project advances

A proposed 31-acre baseyard and light industrial subdivision project in Waikapu received initial approval Tuesday from the Maui County Council.

Waiko Industrial Investment is seeking a community plan amendment from agriculture to light industrial and a change in zoning from agricultural district to light industrial district. The land-use measures would make way for construction of the 41-lot Waiko Baseyard Light Industrial Subdivision project at East Waiko Road.

If given final approval, the project’s lots would range from approximately 10,000 to 78,000 square feet, and there would be one 8.5-acre parcel. Related improvements would consist of grading, drainage, internal roadways, utilities, a private wastewater system and off-site roadway improvements, according to information previously filed with the state Land Use Commission.

The commission already has imposed a condition prohibiting apartments in the project.

The property is adjacent to an industrial baseyard complex and is between Kuihelani Highway and vacant undeveloped lands.

The land-use measures advance to second and final reading before the council.

In other matters, council members gave initial approval to:

* A bill to amend the Affordable Housing Fund for this fiscal year by appropriating $400,000 for the Hale Lokelani Ohana Project to purchase property or build a home for special needs tenants earning 80 percent or below the area median income. The home would accommodate at least five adults with developmental disabilities. Two acres in Waihee have been selected as the home site.

* A measure to prohibit vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds from traveling on Makaala Drive in Waiehu. Residents in the area are concerned of the excessive, heavy-truck traffic traveling on the highway. An alternate route is available via Waiehu Beach Road and Kahekili Highway.

* A bill amending the county’s neighborhood and country-town business district ordinances by establishing permitted uses, accessory uses and special uses and establishing development standards and providing the planning director with rule-making authority. Added permitted uses would include small-scale energy systems on an adjacent lot as an accessory use. Also permitted are transient vacation rentals from one to 20 bedrooms in neighborhood business districts (one to 12 bedrooms in country-town business districts) as a special use, except on Molokai, where TVR uses would be determined by the Molokai Planning Commission. (As a special use, an application to the appropriate planning commission would be required for TVR operations.)

The bills dealing with neighborhood and country-town business districts are part of a series of bills the Department of Planning has proposed to update, streamline and standardize for zoning in the Maui County Code.

The bills advance to second and final reading.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.