KAPAA — An program on Kealia Mauka Homesites is on tap for Saturday.
The Wailua-Kapaa Neighborhood Association is hosting the free discussion on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the 253-lot subdivision from 2 to 4 p.m. at Kapaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in the community room.
Guest speakers are Moana Kinimaka Palama of Hawaii Management Services, LLC, the Kauai representative for Kealia Properties LLC, and Scott Ezer of HHF Planners, Honolulu.
“This is a valuable opportunity to assess the project and look closely at the details,” said Wailua-Kapaa Neighborhood Association Chair, Rayne Regush.
The Draft EIS Appendix include studies such as a Traffic Impact Analysis Report, Preliminary Engineering Reports for Wastewater and Drainage, Archaeological and Cultural Assessments, Botanical and Biological Surveys, and a Kapaa Housing Market Study.
The subdivision will be located off Kealia Road, uphill from the Kealia post office and adjacent to the existing neighborhood of Hopoe and Kaao Roads.
The Draft EIS is required by the State Land Use Commission for a District Boundary Amendment to reclassify 53 acres of a 1,000-acre agricultural district parcel to urban district for the developer’s residential housing plan. Public review and comment is also part of this process.
According to the Draft EIS, the sale of lots cannot be restricted to Kauai residents and it is estimated that 42 lots (18 percent) will be purchased by nonresidents. In total, the estimated population build-out is 700 persons.
The DOE provided early comments and stated that Kapaa Elementary School has classroom capacity for 29 additional students over the next five years; Kapaa Middle School has capacity for 125 additional students during that time; and Kapaa High School is currently over capacity by 100 students.
Roadway and traffic related improvements will include the installation of a traffic signal at the Kealia Road and Kuhio Highway intersection “when warranted” and a right-turn lane onto Kealia Road for Kuhio Highway southbound traffic.
Regarding possible soil contaminants from chemical pesticides and herbicides used by the former sugar plantation, no soil testing has been done yet. However, the report recognizes that undesirable human or environmental health risks may persist in the soil at unacceptable levels for decades, and if found, mitigation will be needed.
The project’s 53-acres comprise just 5 percent of the 1,000-acre tax map parcel, and according to the Draft EIS there are no plans to develop those surrounding lands which are currently used for grazing.