Eastside overdevelopment: Hokua Place

  • The Garden Island file photo

    Gabriela Taylor

The threat of yet more Kapaa development further diminishes our quality of life.

Hokua Place will have 769 residential units on 97 acres, at a price range beyond the reach of most of us. This, of course, is along with two resorts already approved and soon to be under development in the Wailua-Kapaa corridor (Coconut Beach Resort and Coconut Plantation = 527 units), a pending resort redevelopment (Coco Palms), and a residential development on the north end of Kapaa (Kealia Mauka).

Traffic has increased dramatically over the past year. Residents of the Eastside, and those driving through on the bypass, would experience an influx of 1,500 more cars from Hokua Place.

The opportunity is now to speak up before it’s too late. Email your comments regarding Hokua Place development to the state Land Use Commission (LUC).

The developer is requesting the up-zoning of 97 acres of agricultural lands behind Kapaa Middle School to an urban center zoning. Our goal is to keep it zoned agriculture.

What can you do?

Let the state Land Use Commission know your concerns on or before the deadline of Dec. 24 (yes, Christmas Eve).

Please send this notice to all of your social media contacts — through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — and email to all your lists right away to do the same.

Get your friends and family to email their concerns to the Land Use Commission at: dbedt.luc.web@hawaii.gov.

Watch for further emails announcing the meeting of the Land Use Commission on this issue on Kauai in 2019, and show your concern by showing up.

Here’s what you should know about Hokua Place:

w Stuck in traffic: Buried in the second Draft Environmental Impact Statement and by their own admission, Hokua Place will generate a total of approximately 1,900 vehicle trips per hour during morning and afternoon rush hours combined. Traffic now is bumper-to-bumper from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

w Our aging and insufficient infrastructure: The 769 additional units Hokua Place is adding to the market will only create further impacts on our failing infrastructure (water supply, road surfaces, sewage, school capacity).

w How can Hokua Place be touted as meeting our affordable housing needs: Only 30 percent of units are required to be affordable; the others are “subject to market conditions,” which means the developer can increase current prices.

w Single family homes from $650,000 to $950,00: Where is the affordability?

w Food security in a time of uncertainty: Conservation of agriculture lands should be a priority, not urban sprawl.

w Hokua Place and the myth of a sustainable development: Give us a model of sustainability with some substance.

Our bottom-line recommendation to the Land Use Commission:

We are recommending Alternative 1, the No Action Alternative from the second Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Under this alternative, no action will be taken and the project area would remain zoned agriculture. Hokua Place would not be built. The land would remain in the state land use Agricultural District.

Kauai has reached a tipping point and we must act now to preserve our reefs, beaches, forests, streams and rural lifestyle. Let’s kokua Kauai before it’s too late!


Gabriela Taylor is a resident of Kapaa.

  1. harry oyama December 16, 2018 4:49 am Reply

    The only one who benefit from urban development is corrupt politicians, lawyers, real estate agents, banks and those on the take for themselves. Taxpayers end up paying more taxes for additional resources such as roads, sewage, water, more electricity, schools, police, firemen and traffic.

    Those living paycheck to paycheck will themselves become homeless.

  2. Harvey Heinz December 16, 2018 7:38 am Reply

    Future development should be subject to a thorough review that includes impact to environment, the ability and reliability of the infrastructure and lastly what do the indigenous Hawaiianswant. Furthermore less cars and more electric buses..

  3. Oingo boingo December 16, 2018 8:22 am Reply

    $300,000 is affordible…come on and step up your game county government. Stop the GENTRIFICATION of our island before it’s to late…

  4. RG DeSoto December 16, 2018 11:49 am Reply

    “Traffic has increased dramatically over the past year. Residents of the Eastside, and those driving through on the bypass, would experience an influx of 1,500 more cars from Hokua Place.”

    Sure Gabriel, blame people that want to provide much needed housing for the traffic. Just who is responsible for roads and highways? In case you don’t know it the state and county governments…and they’ve known the urgency of more and better roads for at least four decades. And…they’ve done absolutely nothing about fulfilling their fundamental responsibilities. So…people like you that see government as the end-all be-all can make excuses for them and cast blame on the private sector.
    RG DeSoto

  5. commonsense December 16, 2018 4:45 pm Reply

    Please do not change the zoning from agriculture. We need more ag land utilized to produce food, businesses and jobs. We do not need any more ‘non-affordable housing’.

  6. manawai December 18, 2018 8:16 am Reply

    Harvey Heinz – the Hawaiians aren’t “indigenous”, meaning occurring here naturally. Like everyone else, they came here from somewhere else. First it was the Marquesans, then it was the Tahitians.

    commonsense – Please use your magic wand to make growing food here economically feasible. If it were, our fallow agricultural lands would be filled with food crops. Kinda obvious to those who can actually think.

  7. Kauaidoug December 18, 2018 8:51 am Reply

    WHO is approving these new projects with no road improvement? Conty, state the feds? Obviously a group that doesn’t have to navigate this *”#$$” traffic. One of these days someone in an ambulance stuck in Kapaa is going to die because of the traffic. Dramatic ,yes, but you get my point. Who’s office do we need to go to for answers? Do we need the governor, the mayor the council and other pencil pusher in the same room to demand a remedy? Anyone thinking we can stand one more dvelopment on east side is not driving it. It is unhealthy, not welcoming and drastically impacts our wellbeing. Folks, start FB and social media and start proactive lobbying. I for one will. We just elected a new mayor a new council so let’s get after it.

  8. numilalocal December 18, 2018 1:28 pm Reply

    Keep in mind that the approved resort developments in Waipouli – as well as Coco Palms, have been zoned and taxed at resort rates for decades. To deny the building permits would open the County to tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits. Changing viable ag land to residential many not be a good decision. Furthermore, that area is in a bowl; it’ll be HOT down in there, prompting more people to opt for air conditioning, thus increasing electrical demands. Build housing in places currently zoned for that use instead of taking ag lands out of agricultural use.

  9. Griffin December 19, 2018 10:20 am Reply

    Hokua Place will be 80% townhouses which are permanently more affordable than single family homes. The fact is that 1-3 bedroom townhouses can cost 200-350,000 which is more affordable than other types of housing. Kauai’s Kamaina need places to live. Everything else is less important if you are homeless.
    This is the time to serve each other and see if we can make a difference for our brothers and sisters.

  10. Freidinger December 23, 2018 7:50 pm Reply

    Please , no more developements .Not until we solved our infrastructure problems. Another 1000 + cars in the Kealia -Wailua corridor .?? Olohena rd.-Kamalu rd has already become the #2 bypass rd. when the Kapaa bypass is at a stand still.. Where will we put the additional 1000 cars ?
    How can we, in clear conscience deny that sea levels are rising, and OK more ocean front development ?
    Tsunamis are real , all over the world. Not to mention where can Kauai residents go to the beach and enjoy the ocean ? Lydgate Park ? Parking lot full already. Kealia Beach ? Same thing, and another 1000 cars are waiting.
    We need more and better roads, as well as better traffic solutions ,before more unaffordable homes and beach front hotels.

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