LIHUE — Island School’s proposal to reclassify land took a big step forward as the school submitted its petition to the State Land Use Commission.
The petition to reclassify 38.4 acres of land from agriculture to urban use has been a long process for the school.
“What we’re doing is sort of going alongside Kauai Community College with their petition too, so we’re kind of going in together because we’re adjacent neighbors,” aid David Pratt, Island School Board of Directors vice president and chair of development. “It’s just taken a while to get all the facts together and all that.”
Island School wants to reclassify its land to urban use in order fulfill the school’s “master plan” for future development.
“Basically what we’ve done is plan for the long-term future — where would you like to see future facilities located — and put together a wish-list, if you would. But it’s going to take a while to get those things built and it depends on funding sources,” he said.
The plan includes additional campus facilities to accommodate a future increase in student enrollment from its current enrollment of 370 students to 500, according to the petition. Additionally, the plan will create 22 new full-time positions for faculty and staff to keep up with enrollment increases.
The petition was completed one week after KCC submitted its petition to reclassify 148.5 acres of land to urban use, as well.
Pratt said that KCC and Island School kept an open line of communication throughout the application process.
“They did their thing and we did ours,” Pratt said. “We did have to wait a while for KCC to finish because they have some different issues than we did, so they had to resolve those.”
The delays have pushed back Island School’s petition hearing into the new year, as the school was supposed to hold a public testimony on the reclassification of land back in August, but couldn’t due to the fact that the application wasn’t turned in at the time.
A public hearing before the Land Use Commission has not been scheduled, but is expected to be in March.
As of Friday morning, the commission hasn’t received any comments or complaints from the public regarding the petition.
While Pratt is pleased that the application process is over, he is aware that just because they turned in the petition, doesn’t guarantee the school will get what it wants from the State Land Use Commission.
“I, personally, think that it’s a good application and we deserve the change because we’ve been there for a long time,” he said.