Committee to consider fast-track affordable housing on Front Street
The County Council’s Land Use Committee has scheduled a site inspection for Wednesday at 10 a.m. on Front Street next to Lahaina Cannery Mall to view the proposed Kahoma Village affordable housing project.
Following the site inspection, the committee will deliberate the matter in the Council Chambers at 1:30 p.m.
The project is proposed under Chapter 201H, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which grants special status to qualified affordable-housing projects, including the opportunity for fast-track approval. Proposed by Stanford Carr Development, the project includes 203 residential units on 21.6 acres.
One hundred two units (51 percent) meet the county’s affordability criteria and have proposed sale prices of $260,300 to $344,000. These multifamily units will be located within 17 two-story buildings, each containing six units with common trash enclosures.
The rest of the units – 69 single-family units in clusters of two to six with a common driveway and 32 single-family dwellings with a rear service alley – will be sold at market value, ranging from approximately $522,000 to $823,000.
The project also includes three private parks encompassing 1.75 acres. The property is owned by The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, and is bordered by Front Street, the Kahoma-Kai Stream Bridge, Kenui Street and Honoapiilani Highway.
The property is located within an existing urban area and has access to water, wastewater and drainage infrastructures. The project design is intended to promote sustainable land use planning, expand consumer choice and protect the county’s rural and small-town character, in compliance with the Countywide Policy Plan.
The final environmental assessment was filed with a “finding of no significant impact” last year and noted that project completion is projected at 48 months after permit approvals, with a cost of $60 million.
The nature of the affordable-housing project exempts it from the Maui County Code’s workforce-housing requirements. The committee will consider the developer’s request for other exemptions, including exemptions from fees for traffic and roadway improvements and grubbing and grading permits.
The project site is walking distance from several beach accesses and would provide shoreline recreational opportunities to residents without impacting beach-access parking. The developer is also giving consideration to include on-street parking that may be used by beachgoers.
Consistent with the Maui Island Plan, the project seeks to create a pedestrian-friendly environment, with transit-access points to meet senior citizens’ needs. Expanding the network of parks will also promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
The traffic impact analysis report found the proposed project isn’t expected to significantly impact intersections or the roadway network in and around Lahaina. The opening of portions of the Lahaina bypass may also alleviate some congestion along Honoapiilani Highway.
The council’s deadline to act on the proposal is Feb. 13. The last council meeting prior to the deadline is currently scheduled for Feb. 7.
As chair of the Land Use Committee, it’s my goal to provide access to high-quality housing for residents, while preserving environmental and cultural assets. Send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing LU-3(2), and join us at the site inspection in Lahaina or at the committee meeting in Wailuku.
* Robert Carroll holds the County Council seat for the East Maui residency area. He’s vice chair of the council and chair of the Land Use Committee. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters.