Koloa residents call for ban on development

Some Koloa residents are calling for a prompt halt to planned resort, commercial and residential developments on the South Shore until mechanisms for handling the growth are in place.

They will take up some of these issues at the general membership meeting of the Koloa Community Association tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Koloa Neighborhood Center.

Carol Ann Davis, a long-time South Shore resident, fears commercial, resort and residential development planned for the area will make the South Shore worse than Kapa’a and Wailua in terms of traffic congestion and quality of life, she said.

“We face immense problems from traffic and massive gridlock in our community if the whole mess is not brought to a standstill with a moratorium so we can properly plan for the traffic flow and also preserve the ambiance that we love about Koloa,” she said.

People on the Eastside of the island have called for a similar moratorium regarding two proposed resort developments at Waipouli.

Further, Davis, who said the recent flooding is not the worst the Koloa area has seen, said she and others want government leaders to prevent buildings from being built in the floodway, and a comprehensive drainage plan be in place before any further development is initiated.

Traffic improvements, sidewalks, bus stops, and other improvements should be done, she and other KCA members agreed.

All developments shall pay their fair share of transportation improvements in the Koloa region, which includes the northern leg of the western bypass and other improvements, KCA members determined at last month’s meeting.

A funding mechanism needs to be set up for all of the developers to deposit their fair share for improvements, they said.

“We need a good transportation plan before we proceed with development. All projects should be turned down or deferred till this is solved,” Davis wrote in a letter to the Kaua’i Planning Commission.

Further, she fears that historic Koloa town, birthplace of the state’s sugar industry, could be turned into “just another strip mall selling tourist trinkets” if the planned developments are allowed to proceed.

As reported earlier, she and others feel the removal of historic trees that are the heart and soul of the town would further erode the rustic, quaint feel of the town.

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