LIHU‘E — The County of Kaua‘i Planning Department hosted its second Waimea 400 Master Plan conceptual alternatives community meeting virtually Thursday.
In May, Kaua‘i residents were asked to vote on two of nine plans they believe are most fitting for their community’s needs.
The 417-acre parcel in Waimea starts behind Waimea Canyon Middle School, and heads towards Kekaha. Both alternative plans A and B include single-family, multi-family, transitional housing, agricultural housing and pedestrian and bike paths.
Recreational ideas included a BMX track, disc golf, equestrian center (stalls and arena), indoor skate rink, motocross track, skate park and a waterpark.
Mayor Derek Kawakami could not join the meeting live, however, he spoke through a recorded video to participants.
“West Kaua‘i is all of us, from kupuna to keiki, which is why I’m so proud of our Planning Department for helping to bring our next generation of West Kaua‘i leaders to this design phase, like creating the Waimea 400 students design challenge,” Kawakami said.
“Nine teams from Waimea High School in grades nine and 10 competed in the challenge to envision this 417-acre parcel using collaborative design and problem-solving skills related to land-use planning.”
“Congratulations to our first winning team, team Akamai Design,” Kawakami said. “Students Peyton Siliado III, Dane Lo and Kale Kakuda, who won with an in-depth site plan that included housing, community gardens, a solar farm, fruit trees and a BMX bike track. Congratulations to team ZZ, students Za Zsa DuBose, Denise Dumlao, Cailin Pasion and Kaye Serapio, who presented a detailed and colorful rendition showing a variety of housing types, sports, recreational facilities pathways, etc.”
State Rep. Dee Morikawa, whose district includes Ni‘ihau, the Westside and portions of the South Shore, also attended the meeting.
“When Bernard Carvalho was mayor, funding was given to do a plan for a sports complex,” Morikawa said. “The community rallied around that concept with a few different options. The next step was to acquire the land needed. This new process has put those ideas to rest, only to start anew.”
According to Morikawa, the biggest concern back then was to remediate flooding, create open space and promote sports tournaments, state and nationwide.
“Because of the sewage treatment plant, use of their recycled water would be ideal for open spaces like sports fields. But I have concerns about situating housing too close to the plant,” Morikawa said. “At this point, I can only support what the community wants now, but I hope more people will get involved.”
Also at the meeting was the Planning Department Deputy Director Jodi Higuchi Sayegusa.
“As the mayor mentioned, we are here to listen and to seek your further input on these concepts and any other must-have elements that you folks feel strongly should be cited at the Waimea 400 site,” Higuchi Sayegusa said. “I look forward to your folks’ input.”
The county is requesting community input until June 30 through an online survey at surveymonkey.com/r/waimea400alternatives.
Stephanie Shinno, education and business reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.