West Kaua‘i Community Plan nearly done

  • Courtesy of the County of Kaua‘i

    Ka‘aina Hull is director of the County of Kaua‘i Planning Department.

LIHU‘E — The 20-year West Kaua‘i Community Plan spans 225 square miles encompassing Kekaha, Port Allen, ‘Ele‘ele, Waimea and Hanapepe, as well as the plantation camps of Numila, Kaumakani, Pakala Village and Ka‘awanui Village.

Part of the vision for Hanapepe is to protect existing buildings and enhance the commercial environment with small-scale development to make for a more “walkable, mixed-use environment,” according to the plan. This can be done through encouraging physical improvements, adding parking and street-scape improvements like street lighting.

The 147-page document addresses land use, development policy, transportation, resiliency, shared spaces, economic development, heritage resources, housing and infrastructure, by identifying actions, programs, partnerships, goals and objectives throughout the Westside.

The plan offers policies like focusing development in existing towns to protect the area’s rural qualities and agricultural resources, and making the area more walkable to enhance town design and transportation needs.

The process started about two years ago, with opportunities for community input about issues and topics they felt were necessary for their area, through focus groups, open houses and workshops.

West Kaua‘i is home to 27 locations on the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places, three of which — Gulick-Rowell House, Russian Fort Elizabeth State Park (Pa‘ula‘ula o Hipo) and Hanapepe Lot No. 18 — are on the National Register of Historic Places. The plan establishes policies to preserve and protect the integrity of these spaces for future generations through identification and zoning standards. Each town is highlighted with its key community visions, goals and objectives.

This plan updates those of the Hanapepe and ‘Ele‘ele Development Plan from 1974 and the Waimea and Kekaha Development Plan from 1977.

“The West Kaua‘i Community Plan articulates a community-based vision for how West Kaua‘i should evolve and manage change in the coming years,” the document states.

The WKCP touches on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the island’s community. While in this pandemic phase, other issues remain, like climate change, sea-level rise, flooding, storm events, aging infrastructure, a housing crisis, and continuing to bounce back from plantation closures.

The Planning Commission approved a draft in May, and the Kaua‘i County Council will review it further on Wednesday.

The plan also suggests amending the Kaua‘i County Code’s comprehensive zoning ordinance by establishing a new plantation-camp zoning district, amending a special-treatment-public-facilities district over a portion of Port Allen Airport, and amending zoning maps.

“It has been a two-year process of robust community outreach, as well as dialogue with community youth groups,” Planning Department Director Ka‘aina Hull said at an earlier Planning Commission meeting.

The WKCP can be found in its draft form at westkauiplan.org. The County Council will meet at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5. This meeting with be streamed online at kauai.gov/Webcast-Meetings.


Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

  1. Makani B. Howard August 2, 2020 8:11 pm Reply

    Please i beg you, don’t turn this into Cali or Maui! Keep it rural!

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