Resort hotel proposed for Waipouli beachfront lot

A proposal for a new time-share and hotel project in East Kaua’i is to be taken up by the Kaua’i County Planning Commission Oct. 8.

A key part of the project , as well, will be the establishment of a cultural preserve for 15 and more historical burial sites and finds.

The commission has scheduled a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. at the Lihu’e Civic Center to solicit comments on a request by Waipouli Beach Resort LLC. to develop 190 resort condominium units and 6 hotel rooms and other structures on 13 acres on the coastline located across the street from the Kauai Village.

The property is owned by Niu Pia Farm Ltd. of Kailua, O’ahu, but Waipouli Beach, as the applicant for the project, is seeking a special management area use permit, a project development use permit and a Class IV Zoning permit.

Representatives for Waipouli Beach said the proposed project is compatible with resort uses on surrounding properties. The project site is designated for resort use by the county and urban use by the state.

Waipouli Beach is proposing to build a family-oriented, timeshare resort development that will accommodate visitors and Hawai’i residents and is intended to maximize ocean views and open spaces, according to a consultant, Wilson Okamoto & Associates, a planning and engineering firm based on O’ahu.

The conceptual architectural design of the timeshare units is proposed to be reminiscent of “old Hawai’i,” with broad overhangs, hipped roofs and columns, the consultant said.

The resort will consist of eight buildings that will be four stories high, except for oceanfront ends of two makai buildings, which are to be two stories high, the consultant said.

The project also will include:

– A restaurant and wedding chapel totaling 10,800 square feet and an adjoining reception area, all of which could be used by visitors and residents.

The consultant said the wedding chapel is intended to bolster Kaua’i as a wedding and honeymoon destination.

– A recreational, outdoor swimming pool intended to be the gathering place for resort users. The pool will encompass 7,700 square feet and a 12,068-square-foot deck. Alongside the pool is proposed a 1,112-square-foot pool bar, a 350-square-foot snack bar and other amenities.

– A cultural preserve of less than an acre that will be established in the southeast part of the project.

The preserve is intended to protect as many as 21 burials, provide a place of reinterment of remains found elsewhere on the property and to serve as a place for valuable archeological deposits, the consultant report noted.

Sub-surface testing in 990-1991 revealed historical finds on 5.5 acres along the southern portion of the property, Okamoto said. The find included scattered burials as well.

It was between 1990-1999 that the 15 human burials were found, Okamoto said. The discovery indicates the areas was used as a burial site for about 300 years.

The Kaua’i Historical Preservation Review Commission reviewed the proposal of a transition zone between the cultural preserve and the resort project.

Long-term preservation plans will be addressed during the permitting process, Kaua’i County Planning Department documents noted.

Naupaka plants, other native plants and Hawaiian medicinal plants will be planted along the perimeter of the cultural preserve, documents noted.

Related to the historical finds, 12 reports or plans have been sent to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Historic Preservation Review Division, the consultant said.

– Public beach access.

– A sales center for the time share units will be provided within the complex.

– 440 parking stalls.

The state Department of Transportation requires road improvements by the property, including a left-turn lane on the southbound Kuhio Highway approach to the site, a widened roadway to accommodate deceleration by vehicles and a bicycle lane.

The developer will be represented at the public hearing by the Kaua’i law firm of Belles, Graham, Proudfoot and Wilson.

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

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