In an hour-long public hearing Tuesday afternoon at the Mo‘ikeha Building, residents caught a glimpse of what will unfold in July at the next contested case before the county Planning Commission.
The dispute pits an existing shopping center against another proposed at an adjacent site on the South Shore.
An attorney for BG Kaua‘i Holdings, the intervenor in the case and owner of Po‘ipu Shopping Village, urged the commission to not consider at this time the permit application for Kiahuna Land Company and Po‘ipu Town Center.
The proposed project, labeled on the agenda as Phase 2 of the Kiahuna Shopping Village, would contain a gross floor area of some 81,932 square feet for restaurant, retail and office space and off-street parking along the north side of Po‘ipu Road immediately east of and along its intersection with Kiahuna Plantation Drive.
“We think the center needs to be redesigned to address traffic and drainage concerns, as well as apply for a joint use permit,” Honolulu-based lawyer Norman Cheng said.
But Avery Youn, the authorized agent for the applicants, said the project has been downsized some 20,000 square feet, redesigned to eliminate the need for a joint use permit and has prior approval.
The proposed center would abut Po‘ipu Shopping Village, which is roughly half its size and has some 27 establishments. Some of the current tenants, including the owners of Puka Dog and Po‘ipu Tropical Burgers, aired their concerns.
“A 35-foot wall behind my store would be devastating,” said Rick Quinette, who owns the popular Hawaiian-style hot dog restaurant. “With no airflow, it would be very difficult.”
He, like the owner of the burger joint, said the business depends on the open ambience and constant breeze.
The architect for the proposed shopping center said the primary goal is to create a pedestrian friendly space.
The planned area is broken into seven buildings. Two have portions which are two stories, the rest are one story in height.
The architect said another major goal is to have the buildings be LEED certified, which means they would be environmentally friendly to a certain degree.
Valerie Roland of CBRE is the general manager of Po‘ipu Shopping Village.
She said earlier designs for the proposed project created a synergy between the two shopping centers, but the revised plans fall short.
The Koloa Community Association and a handful of community members voiced concerns over drainage, parking and access routes.
Youn said the applicant reserves its comments on drainage and stormwater runoff concerns for the contested case hearing on July 8 at the Mo‘ikeha Building meeting rooms 2A-2B.
Honolulu-based attorney Michael Lam represents the applicants.
“It’s going forward,” county planner Bryan Mamaclay said.
The seven-member commission will hear the final arguments for the most recent contested case hearing at its next meeting, June 24. The case concerns a property owner’s desire to build a large estate on environmentally sensitive land in Kilauea.
• Nathan Eagle, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or firstname.lastname@example.org