LIHU‘E — Over 400 acres on the Westside the county owns are now the focus of a new master plan.
Unlike the West Kaua‘i Community Plan that was put into action last year and provides policy guidance for the region’s future land use, housing and infrastructure, the Waimea 400 Master Plan tackles the development of the parcel between Kekaha and Waimea, mauka of Kaumali‘i Highway, county Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull said.
“The Waimea 400 Master Plan is a master plan for the overall development of the specific site,” Hull said in an email. “The Waimea 400 Master Plan process will utilize guidance from the community plan.”
In 2019, the county purchased 417 acres for $5.3 million from Kikiaola Land Company, which stipulated that a portion of the property be designed to accommodate the housing needs of the community.
The planning process is a partnership between PBR Hawai‘i and the county Planning Department. The first phase of the project is gathering and sharing information about the parcel, then moving to determining future usages and site design.
Currently, the Waimea 400 project is engaging community residents to complete an online survey indicating preferences for park and recreational amenities and housing. The county is anticipating community meetings to begin in early March both virtually and in-person. The project is expected to be wrapped by the summer.
The property is home to the Waimea Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is located in the middle of the eastern half of the property.
Some of the acreage has been leased by Maui Kupono Builders, LLC, for an asphalt base yard, and Hartung Brothers has a portion of the property for production of alfalfa. Both of these lease agreements were in place prior to the county’s purchase.
Last year, the county’s Department of Public Works built an overflow parking lot next to the Waimea Athletic Field and performed clean up on a portion of the site, according to the Waimea 400 website.
The land is zoned agricultural by the county and state.
The West Kaua‘i Community Plan designated an eastern quadrant of the property as a walkable neighborhood for mixed-use residential development, and the rest of the parcel has been designated for park use, including recreation or gardens.
The plan will seek to address rainfall, sea-level rise and flooding, too.
Initial input on the Waimea 400 parcel was gathered during open houses of the West Kaua‘i Community Plan. There, community members wrote down their top three priorities for the property. Some of those suggestions were a pool, dog park, affordable housing, biking facilities and walking paths.
Community members can get involved by taking a survey on the waimea400.com website, or by dropping off comments at businesses around the Westside, including Waimea Big Save, Umi’s Store, Da No Booze Shop, Ishihara Market, Waimea Subway, Kekaha Thrifty Mini Mart, Salt Pond Country Store and ‘Ele‘ele Big Save.
For a printed paper copy of the survey, residents may call the Planning Department at 241-4050.
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or email@example.com.