New housing for native Hawaiians proposed by DHHL

The development of 42 single-family homes for native Hawaiians is being proposed by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

The homes would be built on a subdivided 20-acre parcel located behind the Kekaha Gardens residential subdivision in Kekaha .

When developed, the project will help put more DHHL beneficiaries into homes on Kaua’i.

The number of beneficiaries on a DHHL waiting list for residential leases on Kaua’i rose from 1,384 people to 1,484 people between June and December.

Eligible beneficiaries pay $1 a year for 99 years for residential leases and can qualify for an additional 100 years if succeeding eligible leaseholders from the same family meet blood quantum requirements, according to DHHL regulations.

The lots for the Kekaha project would range in size from 10,000 to 15,000 square feet, based on septic tank requirements set by the state Department of Health, said Nadine Nakamura, president of NKN Project Planning, a Kaua’i consultant for the project.

“We are subdividing the land so that families who are on the waiting list can have access to these lands and build their own homes,” Nakamura said.

The land on which the homes would be built were recently deeded over to DHHL by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The land is currently vacant.

The homes would be developed by eligible leaseholders at their own cost, and Kaua’i County building permits would be required.

Also proposed for the Kekaha project is a school lot, a communication lot, a detention basin lot and five roadway lots, according to a Office of Environmental Quality Control notice.

The OEQC agency report noted that the project will alter the topography of the land. A detention facility proposed on 6.2 acres is intended to control peak water flow during storms.

Caution must be used in developing the project, the OEQC report noted for the subdivision is located next to a 20-acre site containing documented burials and native Hawaiian cultural resources.

On site archeological monitoring will take place during the grading and grubbing of the new subdivision, according to the report.

Saturday, Feb. 22 is the deadline for the public to comment on a draft environmental assessment for the project.

When completed, the project will augment the inventory of homes in west Kaua’i occupied by DHHL beneficiaries.

Families or individuals currently have residential leases for 69 completed homes on DHHL located on state land near the Kekaka church grounds of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Another 47 homes have been built along Moi Road on DHHL land in Hanapepe Heights, with 27 homes built for DHHL by Hanapepe Development Company and Mark Development. Three homes remain vacant.

The other 20 homes at Hanapepe are being developed for DHHL by the Kaua’i Habitat for Humanity, the DHHL official said. Half of those homes are now occupied.

For more information about the latest DHHL project in Kekaha, contact Nakamura at 822-0388 or DHHL spokesman Stewart Matsunaga at 808-587-6454.

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

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