I was surprised that the Maui County Council General Plan Committee did not even make a motion on item No. D-062 "Pukalani Urban Area Addition 1" (The Maui News, July 6), especially after the long discussion about the next lengthy implementation process
involving Upcountry Community Plan Amendment and Change In Zoning, both of which require legislative approval by the Maui County Council.
On the other hand, I am very thankful for the professional support of Planning Director Will Spence and the mayor for understanding an important smart growth principle of the Maui Island Plan to direct growth as a logical urban in-fill adjacent to the already existing urban development makai of the Pukalani bypass as a defined edge of urban growth. This principle fosters orderly and efficient growth and protects the existing open space separation between Makawao and Pukalani.
It is also important to clarify a few misconceptions about the Upcountry Town Center project. Existing views from Haleakala Highway will be protected by a greenway that is twice the recommended community plan width and the 40-acre site slopes significantly toward Makawao Avenue; therefore views will not be impacted by the planned low-rise senior housing project makai of the highway. The project will also widen existing streets and provide a much needed safe route to King Kekaulike High School from Makawao Avenue as well as providing the opportunity for Makawao Avenue to become a Pukalani pedestrian-oriented main street. There will be no shopping center; the only commercial development is intended to be in-fill commercial with service businesses and offices fronting Makawao Avenue.
This brings me to the issue of our relationship with the Nakashima family and Pukalani Superette. During this process, we spent more than four hours in meetings with Aric and Myles Nakashima. Two of those hours included a telephone conversation with my client, Joseph Daneshgar, whom I have found over the years to be a family man of honesty and integrity. The meeting was very cordial but apparently unproductive.
As an alternative to the apparent action by the General Plan Committee, I recommend that Item No. D-062 "Pukalani Urban Area Addition 1" be included within the Upcountry Urban Growth Boundary as a logical urban in-fill, and that a condition of the Change In Zoning process be established as a unilateral agreement protecting Pukalani Superette from all future free enterprise competition. This could simply be accomplished by limiting the permitted uses.
* Chris Hart is a representative for Pukalani Associates, the developers of the Upcountry Town Center.