West Kaua‘i Community Plan comes with code amendments

LIHU‘E — Last week, Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull introduced six bills to complement the newly proposed West Kaua‘i Community Plan by amending the Kaua‘i County Code’s comprehensive zoning ordinances.

West Kaua‘i spans 225 square miles encompassing Kekaha, Port Allen, ‘Ele‘ele, Waimea and Hanapepe. The last update to any localized plan on the area was over 40 years ago. The Planning Department utilized in-house resources and numerous focus groups to conceptualize the 20-year plan over the last two years.

One bill defines a Special Treatment Coast Edge District that takes into account the erosion line, passive flooding and high wave zones. Essentially this bill restricts the creation of new structures makai of the erosion line, and would require structures at the high wave run-up line to be propped up to accommodate for that rise. The bill introduces a process to ensure these structures would meet all requirements.

The bill does not create any zoning layer that would affect salt makers or salt beds in Hanapepe, but it does look at some properties in Hanapepe Bay.

Another bill introduces a new zoning area, the Plantation Camp District, that will protect existing communities of Numila, Kaumakani, Pakala Village and Ka‘awanui Village. The current code prohibits non-conforming structures from being reconstructed or substantially repaired, but this new zoning district, would also for more flexibility to accommodate structures within these historic plantation camps.

During the process of creating the 2018 Kaua‘i General Plan, the community spoke out in opposition to more resorts, Hull said. While still contested by some, one bill amends the plan to allow for special provision to allow for resort development next to Waimea Plantation. It would remain agriculture land, and the provisional resort could be converted into a resort designation but would need to remain in character with the Plantation Cottages.

Hull explained that any such owner who would want to go through this process would undergo approval from the Planning Commission all the way up and through to the council.

And on the subjects of resorts, today, the Planning Commission will hear a status report regarding the shell of the dilapidated Coco Palms in Wailua that most recently was up for its day in court earlier this summer.

In 2019, a Utah-based mortgage servicing company, Private Capital Group, filed for a foreclosure action against Honolulu developers working to save the property destroyed by Hurricane ‘Iniki in 1992. In June, two competing foreclosure motions were up for date in court to send the property to a court-appointed commissioner to set a date for an auction to recoup lost value.

The Planning Commission meets Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. via Microsoft Teams Audio at 1-469-848-0234 with Conference ID 775 371 621#. Members of the public are invited and asked to mute their microphones unless testifying.

County Council will hold a public hearing on the WCKP on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 8:30 a.m. The plan is available to be viewed at westkauaiplan.org.

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

3 Comments
  1. Mona August 11, 2020 4:12 am Reply

    My biggest concern is flooding issues on our home in Hanapepe town- I don’t see that discussed in this plan


  2. LMat August 11, 2020 9:37 am Reply

    The community spoke out against resorts on the Westside and the planning department went ahead and drafted a bill allowing for resort development on the West Side…. WOW. How disgusting. This is a COMMUNITY PLAN. The original plan was vetted to Westside residents and here we have some sneaky amendments allowing for deviations…?!! The Westside community does NOT want any resorts!!!
    Talk is finally turning to how we can limit and curb over-tourism and the county is trying to shove more into our neighborhoods…? We’ve already seen a huge influx of more and more tourists on the Westside, which has typically been the least-visited part of the island. We absolutely DO NOT want any resorts in our Westside community.


  3. Makani B. Howard August 11, 2020 10:18 am Reply

    Why are they going through with this? It’s a disaster waiting to happen? The roads can’t handle!!!!

    This is poorly thought out. Kalaheo is already backed up as it is now, and with this going in, it will be even worse.

    You, the “powers that be” are just making fools of yourselves. Stop this mess!!! Why, why, why is money is important to you that you ruin this island forever/


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