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Help! ‘Kapaa Crawl’ will become Eastside gridlock

If the proposed Hokua Place (Kapaa Highlands, old name) subdivision upzoning of 97 acres, from agriculture to iurban land use, gets approved, the “Kapaa Crawl” will come to a grinding halt. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Hokua Place development was published May 8, and there’s a 45-day opportunity for the public to testify (comment) online.

This proposed 800-house subdivision, located between Olohena Road and the Kapaa Bypass, just behind Kapaa Middle School, will generate at least 1,600 cars pouring onto those two roads and onto Kuhio Highway, as well. Think traffic is bad now? Just wait!

The truth is that the state DOT, which is in charge of the Kapaa Bypass, as well as Kuhio highway, hasn’t fulfilled its outdated master plan to expand roads and DOT future plans aren’t impressive. County roads department is planning to do little more than repave existing roads over the next few years.

It’s imperative that every person living on the north and east side of the island understand that without adequate infrastructure in place, Hokua Place will make driving though and around Kapaa/Wailua not only a burden to our lifestyle, but make us crazy! And please factor in traffic from the two approved Waipouli Hotels, as well as the Coco Palms Hotel — to be built in the next five years.

Those who support Hokua Place say that we need more affordable housing. According to the DEIS “Sales Projection’’ chart, page 11, only 24 percent, or 183 dwellings, in multi-family apartments will fall in that category, which is mandated by the county. Single-family dwellings on lots will be in the “$650,000 to $950,000 range with projected prices as noted in 2015 dollars” (Read- future inflation).

About 165 comments were received earlier this year on this project for the EIS PN (preparatory -notice), which the developers were to read and answer questions from residents as well as make appropriate changes in the new DEIS. Sadly, on reading the 400 page document, I didn’t see that our concerns regarding lack of infrastructure, especially traffic and roads, were adequately addressed.

The DEIS is the most important stage of this process, and will need testimony from scores of residents if we are to stop the upzoning change to urban, or, at least until the necessary infrastructure is in place “down the road.” In your comments, give examples of the traffic problems now with place, date and time of your incident.

Please participate in our future now, or it will be too late. Here is the information to access the Hokua Place DEIS and addresses to email Comments.

Google and type in “Hokua Place DEIS” Click on the listing “Environmental Notice -OEQC-Hawaii.gov” OR — read hard copies of Hokua Place DEIS at the Kapaa, Lihue, or KCC libraries. Scroll down to Table of Contents and find page(s) of interest.

Email your comments to both of these addresses :

1. Peter Young (developers): info@hookuleana.com

2.State LandUseCommission: luc@dbedt.hawaii.gov

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Gabriela Taylor is a resident of Keapana Valley.

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