The public is invited to provide input on three options for the development of a 75-acre agricultural park alongside Kilauea Road between Quarry Road and the gated Sea Cliff Plantations development, according to county officials.
The long-awaited project was made possible through a transfer of acreage in the Crater Hill area to the county in the fall of 2006. The donation of the ag park parcel was a condition of development imposed by the Planning Department more than 25 years ago, a press release states.
The three alternatives, available for public viewing at www.kauai.gov/OED (and below), were devised by the county’s consultant, Kimura International, following extensive discussions with Kilauea residents, elected officials, farmers and others throughout the island.
According to a document on the Office of Economic Development Web site, all three alternatives contain a communal windbreak, roadways, irrigation facilities, a recycle/compost area, community gardens and an energy farm.
However, the alternatives differ in organization and other features.
Farm acreage varies only slightly, between 56.6 and 59.6 acres, but the number of farm plots ranges from just six to 20. The alternatives also offer varying details in terms of traditional farm lots, incubator farms, organic farms and orchards.
Comments, which will be used as the basis for the development of a preferred alternative for the park, will be accepted by Beth Tokioka, Director of the OED, via e-mail, email@example.com, fax, 241-6399, or in-person at the Lihu‘e Civic Center, Mo‘ikeha Building, Suite 200.
“We’ll look at all of that and see what rises to the top, and create a preferred alternative based as much on that as we possibly can,” Tokioka said in an interview yesterday. “It could be a combination of those three.”
The influx of public comment has been slow thus far.
“We’ve gotten maybe half a dozen comments, not very much detail, making sure we’re accommodating organic farms, and some general expressions of support for the project,” Tokioka said.
The deadline to submit comments is Oct. 24.
“Then we will have to put a price tag to that. Right now we’re looking at grading roadways, putting in irrigation infrastructure, digging out a reservoir, lining it and fencing it,” said Tokioka, who identified the costs of the three current options as falling between $2.4 and $3.6 million. “We’ve got to present that to our decision makers, policy makers, our mayor and council. It could be a bond float, a straight appropriating money out of budget or grant funds.”
Tokioka said that interested parties should offer comment now while they have an opportunity to impact the outcome. After the deadline and the formation of a preferred alternative, “we’ll probably put it out again to say ‘this is what we’ve come up with from what we’ve heard from you,’” she said.
For more information about the project, please contact the Office of Economic Development at 241-4946.
• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org