Kauai Community College plans to reclassify 148.5 acres of agricultural land to urban usage

LIHUE — Kauai Community College seeking to reclassify 148.5 acres of land from agricultural use to urban usage.

“It’s something that state and university don’t take lightly,” said Denise Yoshimori, director of Community College Facilities. “We want to make sure that we’re not trying to rezone this to develop all the land, because that’s not what it is. It’s just that we need to properly rezone the land for educational purposes. It was recommended years ago to the university to have it change to urban usage.”

Yoshimori said this has been an ongoing process that has spanned some years and that the college hopes to use this land to its advantage.

“That’s all it is. It’s just that every time we want to build something new or expand and it moves to permanent process, technically the agriculture land is a special exception that we get to be able to use on the campus, so we just wanted to go through the motions to make it proper,” Yoshimori said.

It could go before the State Land Use Commission next year, she said.

The State Land Use Commission could not comment at this time, as the petition for land reclassification is ongoing.

While reclassification of land may appear, on the surface, to be the signal for construction of buildings and urban development, Yoshimori is adamant that the university has no plans to do any such thing.

“As of right now, honestly, it’s a preservative open land. That’s all it is,” Yoshimori said. “It’s just so that we can have it properly zoned for university purposes. All the acreage next to Island School and across that roadway, we have no plans to build anything major, or anything at all, there. It’s really just to rezone properly.”

Yoshimori said that the Kauai campus should be ready with its long-range plan within “the next six to eight months”.

Yoshimori wouldn’t reveal the plan’s to TGI but did emphasize that major changes are not coming to the campus or the land it sits on.

“It’s really nothing aggressive; it’s really about trying to beautify and keep what we have. Really just to just make it a nicer space than what we already have,” Yoshimori said. “As a landowner, it should be in the urban type of zoning. We’re currently updating our long-range development plan for Kauai. We’re not ready to publish anything yet or make it known publicly, but this is a very conservative plan that we’re all very comfortable with based on Kauai’s trend of growth.”

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