SPRECKELSVILLE - The introduction Saturday morning of the long-anticipated draft of Maui's first-ever urban boundaries drew some sighs of relief from conservationists and likely knocked the wind out of a few developers - at least temporarily.
Several members of the public watched as the 25-member Maui General Plan Advisory Committee got its first look at a subcommittee's Maui Island Plan at the Kaunoa Senior Citizens Center.
"Absolutely nothing is finalized right now," said GPAC Vice Chairman Dick Mayer, who made the presentation for the Island Plan's 12-member Investigative Review Committee.
Mayer gave the committee's presentation on the 19 Island Plan maps with fellow member Susan Moikeha. The full GPAC will likely begin examining the maps during meetings at the senior center at 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
The GPAC has a March 1 deadline to get its voluminous long-term master plan to the Maui Planning Commission. The commission will then have it for six months before forwarding the General Plan and Island Plan to the Maui County Council for final approval. Plenty of time and opportunities remain to ratify the document, Mayer said.
One of the projects that the subcommittee wanted scaled back was Maui Land & Pineapple Co.'s Pulelehua near the Kapalua-West Maui Airport. Because of concerns about its proximity to the airport, a gulch and Hawaiian homelands, the subcommittee recommended cutting Pulelehua from 1,100 housing units to 696, Mayer said.
ML&P spokeswoman Terri Freitas Gorman said this was just an initial report, and the company is reserving comment at this time.
The subcommittee also made a request to scale back Makila Land Co.'s Launiupoko on the Hill 200-lot subdivision above Honoapiilani Highway. The developers, Peter Martin and Rory Frampton, own land that eventually will be makai of the highway once it's realigned by the state. The subcommittee said it might approve Makila if the developers would be willing to place that land in conservation.
Frampton said they think their development has merit on its own since they would create a public agricultural park. However, he said they would be open to negotiations but really want to keep the right to build homes on the parcel's west side next to Lahaina's existing homes.
Here are several of the other high-profile developments that were included, rejected or scaled back:
= Yes to Olowalu. The 1,500-unit project might be the most controversial, since the tiny town is isolated between Lahaina and Maalaea.
= Allow as many as 800 units north of Lahaina town.
= Yes to Alexander & Baldwin Inc.'s 2,552-unit Waiale subdivision makai of Waikapu and Honoapiilani Highway.
= Yes to A&B's 600-unit north Kihei project near the intersection of Piilani and Mokulele highways.
= No to Pu'unani Subdivision, which is 754 units between Waikapu and Wailuku mauka Honoapiilani Highway.
= No to Maalaea Village or Maalaea Mauka project. It is supposed to be 257 acres and 1,000 units, but the Planning Department has called for preserving agricultural open space in that area.
= No to a similar-sized A&B project that would have been on the other side of Honoapiilani Highway and North Kihei Road. It was in the Kihei Community Plan but has never been given entitlements.
= All of Paia would receive the special country business town designation, which for the most part promotes buildings with businesses on street level and apartments or condominiums upstairs.
= The only recommended addition in Makawao is to Seabury Hall's campus.
The Maui County Planning Department should have the maps up on its GPAC Web site, www.co.maui.hi.us/index.asp?NID=1142 in the next few days, Mayer said.
Mayer said that the Island Plan subcommittee essentially took into consideration three main factors when determining where future growth should occur. Maui's population is expected to grow to 183,000 people by 2030; the county has already approved about 24,000 unbuilt housing units; and most people do not want to see more urban sprawl.
Maui activist Angie Hoffman admitted she didn't know much about economics but said she wants to see more existing buildings remodeled with green technology.
The subcommittee divvied up the island into six community plan areas: west, south, central, Upcountry, north and east. Based on existing County Council project approvals or entitlements, some of which are decades old, the subcommittee determined what the future housing unit supply and demand should be for each area.
For instance, because council members recently approved the Makena Resort and Wailea 670 (Honua'ula) projects, with a total of 2,400 housing units in South Maui, subcommittee members recommended building only another 1,326 units in the growing community.
In East Maui, they advised constructing only another 200 units, most likely all of which would be done in a 100-acre parcel planned for a yet-to-be-determined site in Hana by the county.
The anticipated new housing unit supplies for the other community plan areas were 5,937 units in West Maui; 3,267 units in Central Maui, or Wailuku and Kahului; 641 Upcountry; and 537 units in the northern area that includes Paia and Haiku.
"The question we had to answer was, 'Where do we want appropriate growth, not for today but for the future," said Moikeha.
Often the subcommittee opted to create bands of green open space to help better distinguish between communities, such as Kahului and Wailuku.
However, before the meeting started, GPAC members - many of whom have been meeting for 3 years to create these plans - showed signs of staggering to the earth just a couple of weeks before they cross the finish line.
GPAC Chairman Tom Cannon chastised some GPAC members, saying they hadn't been upfront about who their employers are and whether they had any conflicts of interest.
A couple Gof PAC members struck back, saying Cannon had no right to make such unfounded and even sickening accusations. Construction workers and developers should have a seat at the table since this effects them as well, said GPAC member Frank Sylva.
Mayer downplayed the squabble. He said it's normal for people who have been working on a project for so long to get on one another's nerves sometimes. And besides, county corporation counsel clarified that according to GPAC rules all conflicts of interest must be disclosed and members must recuse themselves from any vote that violates those guidelines, Mayer said.
Chris Hamilton can be reached at email@example.com.