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No hotel, water company in Waikapu town project

Developers dispel rumors as project is deferred

There will be no hotel or bottled water company, but there will be a wastewater treatment system that looks like a greenhouse, consultants and officials with the Waikapu Country Town project told a Maui County Council committee on Wednesday.

In answering questions from members of the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee, project officials dispelled rumors and misinformation about a hotel and bottled water company to be built in the housing and agricultural project set for nearly 500 acres near the Maui Tropical Plantation.

Developers are seeking various land-use changes for the project that calls for 1,433 single-family, multifamily and rural units, as well as 146 ohana units, 200,000 square feet of commercial space, 82 acres of parks and open space; 8 miles of sidewalks, paths and trails; a 12-acre elementary school and separately, a 910-acre agricultural preserve.

On the agenda Wednesday was a bill to amend the Wailuku-Kahului Community Plan and Land Use Map from Project District 5, single-family and agricultural, to Waikapu Country Town.

Another bill would amend Maui County Code Title 19 by adding a new chapter for the Waikapu Country Town District and related definitions and development standards for the proposed mixed-use Waikapu Country Town project.

A third bill would change the zoning from project district 5 and agricultural to Waikapu Country Town.

Despite some committee members looking to take a vote on the bill Wednesday noting the project has been been discussed for 11 years, Paltin recessed the meeting until 9 a.m. next Wednesday in Council Chambers.

In announcing her intentions to defer the matter before discussing the bills, Paltin said she wanted more time so council staff and the applicant could meet and work to make the bills cleaner and more understandable and to use new formatting.

She noted the bills are important and would establish a new zoning code specifically for the project, so additional time is needed.

In the discussion of the project, Steve Parabicoli, a consultant on the project who retired from the county Wastewater Reclamation Division, said Waikapu Country Town will have its own private wastewater system, Organica Water, a system used in Europe.

Parabicoli, who is now with Mana Water, said the system is intended to blend into the urban landscape. He added the goal is to generate recycled water for irrigation and agriculture.

The system incorporates tropical plants in the treatment process, he said. According to Organica’s website, the facility does not carry the same odors as the traditional treatment systems and has a “gardenlike” appearance.

Council members said the system looks like a greenhouse.

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