County buys 417 acres on the Westside

County of Kauai/Contributed photo

The County of Kaua‘i announced the purchase of 417 acres of agriculture land from the Kikiaola Land Company on Monday.

Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

Mayor Derek Kawakami and Chris Faye, representing the Kikiaola Land Company, shake on the deal where the county gets 417 acres of land for $5.3 million, Monday afternoon. Joining Kawakami in celebrating the sale are Pat Porter, Michael Dahilig, Reiko Matsuyama, Kawakami, Faye, Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, Councilman Luke Evslin, and Wade Lord.

WAIMEA — The County of Kauai just sealed the deal on a $5.3 million purchase of 417 acres of land in Waimea from Kikiaola Land Company.

“I think the county is the right agency to have this property,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Director Pat Porter on Monday.

The county has plans to turn the area, from about the Waimea baseball park to Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor, into what the community wants.

It’s the only agency that would give the land to the public in this way, Porter said.

The idea for a multi-faceted Westside community has been in the works for a while, as part of the West Kauai Community Plan, which launched in August 2018. The entire project is in the development stage and feedback from the community is still being collected.

So far, suggestions for the agricultural land have included a sports complex and other recreational activities like walking paths, an equestrian center and even a bandstand. Economic opportunities have been discussed as well, including agricultural endeavors. Additionally, affordable housing has been at the top of the list.

“Informal conversations” are still happening and the intention is to continue working with the Westside community. An established budget has not been proposed yet for the development, as it’s just in its planning stages, so all ideas are welcome, said Finance Director Reiko Matsuyama.

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said he envisions a place to, “live, work and play.” He also said he’s humbled by the purchase from Kikiaola Land Company, which was originally founded in the late 1880s as H.P. Faye and Company, by Hans Peter Faye, who was also one of the founders of the Kekaha Sugar Company.

They are a family with “a great long-standing legacy,” Kawakami said. “They can rest assured we’ll do right by their name.”

Today, Kikiaola Land Company is owned by 150 of Faye’s descendants and comprises some 630 acres between Waimea and Kekaha, including Waimea Plantation Cottages.

For the past 130 years, the family has been involved in developing the West Kauai community and has provided land for the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, the Waimea Canyon Middle School, the Kauai sewage treatment plant, as well as other community facilities in the area.

Chris Faye, one of the company’s owners, said she’s happy with the purchase, especially since it means that the land won’t be broken up into parcels like the family considered doing. Keeping the land together allows for more opportunities that the Westside community is interested in, such as a sports complex.

She added that she’s seen the communities of Waimea and Kekaha suffer since the closure of the sugar plantations and that the land will ultimately provide more economic opportunities that could give young family members an affordable place to live, rather than be forced to move away, and potentially provide more employment opportunities.

  1. Jose Bulatao, Jr. August 27, 2019 7:48 am Reply

    This is a step in the right direction! Such wonderful opportunities arise for varied positive, exciting, entrepreneurial, economic, landscaping, and community-enhancement and developmental considerations to stimulate growth, advancement, and improvements in the west-Kauai area. Here’s looking forward to seeing which options will be actualized! Sincerely, Jose Bulatao, Jr., Kekaha resident

  2. Rev Dr. Malama August 27, 2019 10:09 am Reply

    Is this the same County of Kauai that claims to not have the money to purchase the housing complex in Wailua?
    Please explain why we the people should enrich the richer?
    The elected officials are under contract to take care of the people who are established on the island first….. in housing, education and health.
    An old chunk of sugar cane land will take decades to develop….
    Hewa going down here?

  3. Debra Kekaualua August 27, 2019 10:32 am Reply

    Where did COK get the money? We are still awaiting county attorney to show us Black Pot title and our request for Council Kagawa to ask about this title and now we need to followup on how Faye and COK have worked out a deal where a Title is a mustagottahave before hand.

  4. Kauaiskater August 27, 2019 12:45 pm Reply

    State of Hawaii destroyed our skate spot at Salt Pond. Please County of Kauai, consider building a skateboard park on this new land.

  5. Shannon August 27, 2019 1:15 pm Reply

    It’s a much smarter move to buy land for housing where the land is cheaper. You can help a lot more people with housing by spending what money you have prudently.

  6. Johnny Appleseed August 27, 2019 2:38 pm Reply

    Syngenta can now fund the building of a recreational center and pool for the community on field #809 as reparation for the 2 years they sprayed glyphosate (Round-up) and chlorpyrifos upwind of Waimea Canyon Middle School. Yea?

  7. Pieinthesky August 27, 2019 9:43 pm Reply

    Look around you. If it involves anything more than planting grass or putting up a locked gate it will require state and federal disaster money to do anything with that land. What a waste of public (our) financial resources.

  8. so crooked August 27, 2019 10:07 pm Reply

    From one crook to another
    Lining pockets
    and making it sound exciting
    when will it stop
    COK should keep the money and clean up the parks and recs
    There’s a crook in there now.

  9. FRANCIS TANSEY August 31, 2019 12:41 pm Reply

    The soil has been sprayed with Round Up for years. The County got a bargain, perhaps, because the original owners saw what was happening to Monsanto, the maker of Round Up in the courts and the financial costs. How will the County handle it?

  10. Debra Kekaualua May 11, 2020 7:53 pm Reply

    You COK or “land owners” are dreaming! you cannot “own” something that never belonged to you in the first place! It is geneology that proves Real estate has never been buyable or ownable! Lots of displaced folks going back to their original home birth places, and the beautiful homes you built are for Our peoples, never votingin rigged gigs americans!

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