Kealia Mauka subdivision: Asset or assault?

The Kealia Mauka subdivision would include 230 empty lots for sale, from 5,600 to 7,300 feet square, on 53 acres on Kealia Road past the Post Office. If approved, agriculture land would be up- zoned to urban. The lots would be purchased by individuals or in multiples by contractors.

Several of us who attended a public meeting May 29, led by representatives for Kealia Properties LLC, heard a presentation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and asked questions. We have an opportunity for public comments to be emailed by June 22.

There are many serious concerns about the appropriateness of proposed Kealia Mauka development, which is now before the state Land Use Commission for consideration. See website at https:I/LUC.hawaii.gov/19450 for further information.

This subdivision is in the wrong place with serious potential impacts. Please consider the following negative impacts that will further affect our quality of life on Kauai if the Kealia Mauka subdivision is approved.

1. Lack of transparency/cultural impact

The developer never interviewed the existing small community of Kealia residents, some of whom have family heritage with many generations who were employees of Kealia/Makee Sugar Plantation. Cultural or archaeological impacts were not covered at the public meeting or addressed in the DEIS document.

2. Kealia Road inadequate/dangerous; traffic light proposed

There is only one entrance/exit onto Kuhio Highway from the subdivision on Kealia Road. Adding 450 cars from Kealia Mauka onto Kuhio Highway is hazardous.

The developer has proposed a traffic light at the bottom of the hill on Kuhio Highway across from the main entrance to Kealia Beach Park. I frequent the beach and see trucks/cars speeding 60 or more mph in a 40 mph stretch without any police presence. When residents asked about kids crossing the highway safely to the beach, the response was that a traffic light will solve the problem. Or, will it create an even more dangerous situation?

3. Urban sprawl/traffic impact

The General Plan Update has emphasized the need to restrict development to Kauai’s Urban Center as a measure to decrease traffic. Kealia Mauka subdivision, if approved, would significantly increase the current bumper-to- bumper traffic burden we are experiencing in Kapaa now, as well as that to be added by the three already approved resorts to be built in Wailua.

4. Affordability for contractors/flipping properties

The presenter at our public meeting was very vague about affordability of the subdivision. The EIS states that work force housing will be built. According to the DEIS, contractors can buy up multiple lots. What’s to stop them from building homes that aren’t affordable, since work force housing can be be sold to the public who earn 120 percent of the median income per year on Kauai; that’s $90,000? When asked, he agreed to look into the possibility of selling to Kauai residents only. What’s to stop a contractor from flipping properties, selling at a higher price to non-residents after a year or so?

The presentation and DEIS left me with too many questions and few answers.

Please email your comments by June 22 to: daniel.e.orodenker@hawaii.gov

•••

Gabriela Taylor is a resident of Keapana Valley.

11 Comments
  1. MICHAEL WEHRLY June 18, 2018 5:47 am Reply

    more info


  2. Larry June 18, 2018 6:05 am Reply

    Leave the land alone
    Bring too much traffic and won’t really help locals……it just line pockets of those who don’t Need it


  3. Charlie Chimknee June 18, 2018 6:37 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou, and Gabriela,

    What’s the chance of contractors or developers “flipping” those lots beyond the reach of Kaua’i residents, or building homes at prices well beyond the reach of Kaua’i residents?

    The chance is 100% that will happen..

    You see developers and realtors are naturally like Iwa birds waiting from up on high to swoop down and take food (property) from the lesser financed residents and sell it to much higher finanially capable buyers, usually off island residents, it’s only natural because it adds up to more profit for the realtors and contractors. After all it is their job to make as much money as they can, all the professions do, from doctors to lawyers to accountants to, well, all of them. It is the American culture, the way of life.

    My friend’s small neighborhood had 6 lots for sale recently and 4 went to the mainland buyers. Do you think the realtors cared who bought them, as did the Oahu sellers who were lawyers? The buyers felt lucky to get the land at what they thought were cheap prices for their wallets. It’s only natural that Democracy, Capitalism, and Profit work hand in hand like this.

    The question is how how do the thinking people on a finite, UN-Expandable island adapt to such an economy where already there are not enough homes for local residents and their incomes; and there are at least 20,000 youth on island from keiki through high school who will need eventually 20,000 more homes for their families who within as little as 20 years (+ outsiders who will be incoming) will be house hunting…or homeless?

    Will an intersection at Kealia and Kuhio Hwy add traffic, Gabriela, 2 cars is no longer the average, it is now easily 3 or more vehicles per household. So that’ s about 700 more cars at that intersection colliding with the thousands of cars flying downhill into Kealia from the north. That’s a reality…!

    And that will trigger the need for lights at the Kapa’a Bypass, and at Kawaihau Road, and at the super dangerous road entering the Kuhio Hwy that comes down the hill from the main entrance to Kapa’a High School at the south end of Kealia Beach.

    So that’s only 4 more aggravating lights to wait at and slow down your journey and start the Kapa’a “Crawl” at north Kealia.

    Can any current candidate offer a solution? NOT…! ! !

    Maybe we don’t need bigger roads, maybe we need a “Bigger Island”

    Mahalo,

    Charles.


  4. RG DeSoto June 18, 2018 7:37 am Reply

    Perfect example of why Kauai will never have “affordable” housing. No matter what is proposed the mentality displayed by this letter will color the county’s response which in turn will guarantee piling on of expensive mandates.
    RG DeSoto


  5. manawai June 18, 2018 7:59 am Reply

    So says the former owner of an illegal bed and breakfast and self-serving homeowner. She has her piece of paradise and wants to prevent all others from owning theirs. Nice.


  6. Suzan Kelsey Brooks June 18, 2018 1:40 pm Reply

    Did the developer say what portion of the land would be set aside for sewage treatment?


  7. Imember June 18, 2018 7:25 pm Reply

    Imember when the crook and the crooked former mayor and the current crook of a mayor proposed this. The former mayor got a piece of land from the Haole crook who left the island. She was just the middleman for the real white devils.

    Capitalism is the greed that keeps on destroying the American dream.

    Imember when Kauai was once a beautiful island and now the pimps have invaded the islands and run them hoe tricks games on everyone.

    White devils use the brown devils as slaves!


  8. Steve Martin June 18, 2018 9:06 pm Reply

    Good opportunity for the council to run over there and buy up all the land available like the property they payed twice of it’s true value in Hanalei. It’s a win win. The county doesn’t care what it cost so developers get rich and the county can build only affordable housing and it will be totally subsidized by our taxes we pay. And you thought what?…


  9. larry June 19, 2018 6:00 am Reply

    coco palms current plans need to be abandoned as well


  10. MisterM June 19, 2018 7:04 am Reply

    It’s a grossly inappropriate development for that location/zoning. Needs FAR lower density. Should be 23 lots, not 230. Ridiculous to add a stop light on the major access road for North Shore just so some developers can cram in as many lots as possible. If they want to build something of such scale, at a minimum, should be responsible for adding additional traffic lanes and an overpass to prevent slowing traffic, adding a pedestrian overcross.


  11. pointfisha June 19, 2018 9:54 am Reply

    Kealia Properties, LLC – This is a Peter Nolan (Poipu Aina Estates) investment project, from an elite real estate developer based in Hermosa Beach, Southern California. It is designed and envisioned as a high-end capital generator for top investors. It follows in the line of their California works in the Santa Ynez Valley and Hermosa Beach. See their site, below:

    http://www.nolancap.com/real-estate.html

    Definitely not an affordable housing project.


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