Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Maui Developer Proposes 660 Affordable Homes for Maui Project

Developer Jesse Spencer through his venture MVI, LLC, is proposing a 1,100 unit residential project for Maalaea, Maui, Hawaii. According to the project's June 2009 EIS Preparation Notice filed with the Office of Environmental Quality Control, the project is called the Ohana Kai Village Affordable Housing Project. It will include 440 market priced residential units, 660 affordable residential units, 7 acres of commercial space, and 16 acres of public space.

The project will take advantage of the state's 201H program, which allows qualifying projects to be exempt from "all statutes, ordinances, charter provisions, and rules of any government agency relating to zoning and construction standards for subdivisions, development, and improvement of land and the construction, improvement, and sale of dwelling units." See HRS Sec. 201H-41. In particular, the project will be seeking an exemption through the 201H process from a community plan amendment and zone change (both existing land use entitlements are inconsistent with the proposed project, particularly the commercial uses). However, 201H was adopted by the legislature to reduce the cost of developing affordable housing to encourage the private sector to invest in the affordable housing market.

Other notable comments in the EIS Publication Notice include the observed presence of foraging Nene geese on the site and 3 archaeologically significant resources. The project traffic will be fed from the Honoapiilani Highway. Water will be provided from a private well and waste water treatment will be processed onsite. A majority of the site has been designated as Prime Agricultural land under ALISH. Mitigation is discussed in the EIS Publication Notice.

The EIS Publication Notice was posted in The Environmental Notice on June 23, 2009 and is within the 30-day public comment period.

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