Longs Drugs proposed project to be reviewed

KAPAA — The Wailua-Kapaa Neighborhood Association will feature guest speaker Avery Youn, discussing the proposed Longs Drugs store in Waipouli. The meeting is on Saturday, July 28, 2 p.m. at the Kapaa Library.

Youn is the authorized agent for the project. He is a former county planning director and has been a licensed architect for 25 years. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The store will be on 3.5 acres between Kuhio Highway and Aleka Loop Road.  Adjacent neighbors are Plantation Hale condominiums and the Marriott Courtyard Hotel.  

The permit application for the new store describes a building footprint of 23,008 square feet with 97 parking stalls. The site consists of two parcels and the County zoning is Resort Residential and Open District.   

The property is home to one of the last coconut groves along Kauai’s “Royal Coconut Coast.” The grove has 103 coconut palms according to the arborist report, and of those trees, 82 appear to have been planted in 1911.  

The grove is also protected by the Kauai County Code Exceptional Tree Ordinance. “Exceptional Trees” include a tree or grove of trees with historic or cultural value, or which by reason of its age, rarity, location, size, esthetic quality or endemic status has been designated by the county as worthy of preservation.

However, the ordinance protections do not deny the reasonable economic use of the property, a press release said.

The property is constrained by other factors besides the coconut grove, according to the release. It is in a low-lying area that is subject to ponding during heavy rains and it includes a drainage swale along Kuhio Highway.

According to the permit application, the estimated construction value is $7 million. It is anticipated that the store will have 10 full-time and 25 part-time employees. Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the option to remain open 24/7 should there be market demand.  

“A public hearing for the project is scheduled on Tuesday, August 13 before the Planning Commission,” said Rayne Regush, W-KNA Chairperson, “so this meeting is an excellent opportunity for residents to learn more details and ask questions prior to the hearing.”

Info: Sid Jackson, 821-2837 or www.wkna.org

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