County Council advances Wailuku apartment project

Affordable housing project put on a fast-track trajectory

The 324-unit Wailuku apartment project planned across from Longs Drugs in Kehalani advanced Thursday as the Maui County Council approved a resolution and a bill to pave its way.

The resolution was approved 9-0 for the 201H fast-track housing project processed with exemptions available for affordable housing developments from certain land use and other governmental regulations. The council had until Sunday, or 45 days from when the application was submitted to the council, to act on the application. Otherwise, it would be deemed approved as submitted.

Also, on first reading during a special council meeting, council members unanimously approved a state land use district boundary amendment from agricultural to urban district for approximately 14 acres for the project. It will be bordered by Honoapiilani Highway to the west, Kuikahi Drive to the north and Waiale Road to the east. A second-and-final reading will be needed for final council approval.

The project will consist of 195 affordable rental units with various income qualifications and 129 market-rate rental units. It will include nine residential structures, a recreational and leasing center, four outdoor play areas, a pool and a community center.

The parcel is owned by Kehalani Agricultural Investors LLC. Legacy Wailuku is the developer with Schatz Collaborative LLC as the developer’s contact.

Schatz Collaborative is led by Linda Schatz, wife of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

Council Member Riki Hokama voted in favor of the project and the amendment, but said he had “reservations.”

He said he supports the affordable rentals, but he said he could do without the market units.

He also said the location is not the “smartest,” referring to the heavy traffic buildup in the area during rush hours.

The county will “get the calls” when traffic is impacted, he said.

The council’s Land Use Committee met three times — Oct. 17, Oct. 31 and then Nov. 2 — to vet the project application.

During those meetings, the committee established some conditions, including having the developer complete all of the 195 rental residential workforce housing units with all related infrastructure no later than the fifth anniversary of the effective date of the 201H resolution. Only one time extension may be granted.

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