Ulu Ko residents don’t like realigned Nuhou Street

The first time Bob Schleck, director of the Grove Farm Museum, learned of plans to create a four-way, signalized intersection only a few yards down Nawiliwili Road from the museum entrance, it was when he saw workers surveying the area for a new road’s alignment, said Bonnie Lake.

Lake, who lives in the Ulu Ko subdivision, and some of her neighbors on both sides of Nawiliwili Road, are not happy with Grove Farm officials’ decision to extend Nuhou Street through a portion of Ulu Ko Park, and create an intersection of Nuhou, Nawiliwili and Aheahe Street.

“Don’t put the road through the park,” said Lake.

Grove Farm officials secured governmental approvals to realign Nuhou Street when they revised their master plan, got some commercial zoning, realigned some of the Puakea Golf Course holes, and revamped some residential subdivision layouts, explained Mike Furukawa, Grove Farm senior vice president.

On many published maps, Nuhou Street is shown extending from Kaumuali’i Highway in Puhi to Niumalu Road in Nawiliwili, although it currently runs from Kaumuali’i and ends near the entrance to the golf course.

Original plans for the Ulu Ko Park called for a baseball diamond, basketball court, tennis court, comfort station, jogging path, and playground, though only a few pieces of play equipment are on the park site now.

“Please don’t build it through the park,” said Lake, who showed a petition signed by over 225 residents requesting members of the County Council rescind the portion of the county zoning amendment requiring Grove Farm to build a four-lane Nuhou Street to intersect with Nawiliwili Road and Aheahe Street, and require Grove Farm to build Nuhou Street as planned, down to its terminus at Niumalu Road.

They’ll get part of their wish, as Grove Farm still plans to extend Nuhou Street down to Niumalu Road, but as a two-lane road that will service planned future residential subdivisions, Furukawa explained.

While building the Nuhou Street extension to Nawiliwili Road and improving that intersection is a condition of zoning approval, building the road behind the Ulu Ko subdivision to Niumalu Road is not a government condition, he said.

Construction on both Nuhou Street sections could begin before this year is over, said Furukawa.

The estimated four acres that will be cut from one side of the park for the road will be added back to the park acreage on the other side of the park, he explained.

“That was the plan five years ago.”

Over six years ago, Grove Farm leaders reevaluated their master plan, and applied to county agencies for changes to realign some golf holes so maintenance of the course would be easier, realign Nuhou Street, and get commercial zoning on a parcel where the old plantation manager’s house is on Nawiliwili Road, he said.

In the process of realigning the golf holes, some planned residential acreage in the Pikake subdivision was lost, he said.

Lake and other area residents are also concerned about potential through-traffic problems as a result of Grove Farm plans to connect Apapane Street in Ulu Ko with the Nuhou Street extension when a planned Ulu Ko II subdivision is built, she said.

And owners and operators of Grove Farm Museum are concerned about impacts of the new intersection.

“The proposed intersection will have a detrimental effect on the (Grove Farm) museum’s operations, its status as a National Historical Landmark and will compromise the safety of the museum’s employees, volunteers and visitors,” wrote Ruth S. Smith, president of the board of directors of the Waioli Corporation who own and operate the Grove Farm Museum.

Furukawa said Grove Farm Company officials laid out their plans in community meetings, and went through proper governmental channels which gave members of the public ample opportunity to voice their concerns at public hearings.

He also said he understands the concerns of Lake and other residents, and further understands that when development happens, it is impossible to please everyone.

“I understand where they’re coming from. We’re basically implementing our plans,” he said.

State Department of Transportation Highways Division and county Department of Public Works officials support the plan to extend Nuhou Street both to Nawiliwili Road and Niumalu Road, he said.

The Nuhou Street that will end at Niumalu Road will be two lanes, with roundabouts and other mechanisms designed into it to deter speeding, he said.

At last check, new roads cost around $1,200 a foot, and the planned, four-lane Nuhou Street extension to Nawiliwili Road is around 1,500 feet, at an estimated cost of $1.8 million, he said.

Along a portion of Nuhou Street near The Home Depot, and fringing some of the golf course, is the under-construction Pikake subdivision, between the Regency at Puakea assisted-living center and Puako subdivision.

Whereas there were some years when just eight lots were sold when the Ulu Ko subdivision was being marketed, the 179 lots in the first two phases of the Pikake subdivision sold out in less than a year, he indicated.

“We were surprised how quickly phase one sold out,” and after the 88 lots in the first phase sold out there were still names left on a waiting list, so the 91 lots in phase two were offered for sale, and also sold quickly, he said.

Pikake is Grove Farm’s first large-scale project since Pua Ko, said Furukawa, indicating that Grove Farm leaders are moving quickly to bring more residential lots to market.

“We’re trying to have product on the market at all times,” but it is hard to keep up with the demand not just for affordable parcels, but market-priced parcels as well, he said.


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