Home Depot plan before Planning Commission

Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. is seeking a Kaua’i County Planning Commission permit to construct a commercial retail center/warehouse and garden store on about ten acres by the Kukui Grove Shopping Center.

The commission has scheduled a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Lihu’e Civic Center for Home’s request for a Class IV Zoning permit.

If approved, the project will generate more competition among island businesses, but would provide improved buying options for island consumes, county officials say.

Home Depot said the project will be a home improvement warehouse store providing products and services for homeowners and contractors. In addition, plants and garden equipment will be sold.

Home Depot proposes to developed its project on land located immediately west of the shopping center and near the Grove Farm Pavilion and Puakea Golf Course.

Grove Farm proposes to sell the land to Home Depot once the project receives final subdivision approval by the Kaua’i County Planning Commission and approval by the state Land Court, according to Kaua’i attorneys Michael Belles and Max Graham Jr. , who are representing Home Depot.

To create the project site, Home Depot is proposing to consolidate a driving range and six surrounding vacant lots and resubdividing them into three lots, according to the Kaua’i County Planning Department.

The single-story building will consist of 119, 200 square feet, of which 95,200 square feet will be used for a retail home improvement warehouse.

As with any “warehouse-type store,” almost all products will be put on the sales floor, with minimal storage of inventory, Belles and Graham said.

Connected to the main building will be a garden center of about 24,000 square feet.

The store will consist of a customer sales area within the building, a customer sales area outside the building by the garden center, a receiving area and office space.

The project will employ 75 full-time and 75 part-time employees, all of whom would be entitled to work benefits, including participants in health care plans.

The store plans to open seven days a week, between 5 a.m. to midnight.

Home Depot proposes to build 468 parking spaces, of which 425 would be customers, and 43 would be for employees.

The proposed project is compatible with urban and commercial uses the state and county have allowed for the property, according to Belles and Graham.

During the same afternoon session, the commission has scheduled a public hearing on a request by the Kaua’i County Council to restrict subdivision or development of open-zoned land in Princeville, unless specified otherwise. The proposal involves more than 300 acres.

The proposal has drawn opposition from Harry A. Trueblood Jr., a former chief executive officer with the Princeville Development Corporation and a resident of Denver, Colo.

In an e-mail to the Garden Island, Trueblood contends the proposal attempts to “confiscate property rights of owners, including Princeville Corp., by retroactively changing those rights based on some mythical interpretation of Eagle County Development Corporation’s original intent as to the building of structures within a certain so-called “open space lots within Princeville’s phase I.”

During an earlier scheduled session, the commission also plans to formally accept a request by EWM Kauai LLC. to withdraw its application for a 460-acre residential, commercial and golf course project proposed on coastal lands north of Hanama’ulu Bay.

Among the reasons for withdrawing his application, the developer, Ernest Moody, cited Hawaiian rights issue and its timing.

Moody said he plans to revise the project and bring it back to the county for reconsideration at another time.

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and lchang@pulitzer.net

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