Site encompasses 29 acres at Koke’e. On face value, exchanging 332 acres of state land for one acre of private land might seem a bad deal for the state.
But the state Board of Land and Natural Resources has already approved of the swap, which would see the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America take over ownership of state lands the council now leases from the state.
Since the state lands are in the conservation zone and have limited if any revenue-generating potential for the state, accepting just over an acre of land near the Waikele commercial complexes on O’ahu in exchange for the state land makes good fiscal sense, said state Rep. Ezra Kanoho, D-Wailua, Lihu’e, Koloa.
The Waikele private property, consisting of three smaller parcels totaling just over one acre, has “great potential for income generation” and commercial use, said Kanoho, chair of the House Committee on Water & Land Use.
Included in the proposed swap is 29 acres of land at Koke’e State Park, commonly known as Camp Alan Fay.
The value of the Koke’e acreage, as well as 238 acres near Honoka’a on the Big Island and another 64.8 acres at Pupukea on O’ahu’s north shore, is around $1,150,000, according to an independent appraiser.
The value of the private property, just over one acre near the Waikele shopping areas not far from Pearl Harbor on O’ahu, is $1,209,000.
The only thing standing in the way of the swap would be legislative disapproval of the exchange, something that seems unlikely since leaders in both houses have penned legislation to approve the swap.
Kanoho, along with Kaua’i native Rep. Kika G. Bukoski of Maui and Rep. Cynthia Thielen of O’ahu, co-sponsored House Bill 83, which passed the House and is now before the Senate Water, Land and Agriculture Committee.
A hearing on the bill is this Friday.
Big Island Sen. Lorraine Inouye, who introduced a similar bill, Senate Bill 1555, chairs the Senate Water, Land and Agriculture. Senate Bill 1555 passed the Senate, and is before Kanoho’s Committee on Water & Land Use.
Both bills have also been referred to the respective house’s money committees.
Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:email@example.com or 245-3681 (ext. 224).