Kahaluu condo timeshare project gets green light

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A planned condominium timeshare development mauka of Alii Drive has been downsized slightly to accommodate neighbors’ concerns about a family graveyard.

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A planned condominium timeshare development mauka of Alii Drive has been downsized slightly to accommodate neighbors’ concerns about a family graveyard.

When complete, the project currently known as Parcel 26 at Kahaluu will contain 306 units in three-story buildings spread across 42 acres. That’s down from the original plan of 321 multifamily units and 17 single-family units.

One of the neighbors, Gerry Kahulamu, told West Hawaii Today on Wednesday that Willy Kahulamu met Tuesday with representatives of Towne Development of Hawaii Inc.

“On the original plan, the condos would have been overlooking the graveyard,” Gerry Kahulamu said. “They promised us they weren’t going to build anywhere around here.”

She said the family still has some concerns about the increase in traffic on Alii Drive, but overall, they’re satisfied with the compromise.

“If they do what they are saying they’re going to do — they promised — then we’re satisfied,” she said.

Bill Moore, a planning consultant for Towne Development, told the newly established county Cultural Resources Commission last year that once an agreement is reached with the families and the revised impact statements are prepared, they’ll be back before the commission.

“I don’t expect them to be happy, but they’ll be satisfied,” Moore said then of the pending agreement with family members.

“We think it’s fair, and it’s the right thing to do,” Moore said Wednesday.

The project, to be located in the county General Plan’s Keauhou Resort Node, has been in the works for decades.

The revised plans, which the county Planning Department has determined will have no significant environmental impact, were published Wednesday by the state Office of Environmental Quality Control.

The reduced units create a buffer area around the Kahulamu family’s cemetery, developers said in their environmental assessment.

“With the reduction in residential density as well as the establishment of a buffer area around the Kahulamu family cemetery, over 44 percent (18-plus acres) of the total project area will be in permanent open space, including drainage, archaeological preservation and buffer area. An additional 13-plus acres (31 percent) are planned for landscaping, including open yard areas,” the report stated.

The project includes internal utilities and driveways, swimming pools and recreational facilities, and landscaping. Connections to wastewater systems will occur on Alii Drive. The three-story, multi-family structures are not expected to interfere with views to or from the shoreline, as the project site is situated in a topographic hollow behind one to four rows of properties already developed with one to four-story structures and mature landscaping.

Traffic on Alii Drive will increase as a result of the project but congestion will not significantly increase, developers said. The project also offers a potential emergency evacuation route to Laaloa Avenue via the Kahului to Keauhou Parkway right-of-way.

The project is not expected to have a negative impact on groundwater, coastal water resources or biology. The property is located outside the flood zone.

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Moore said the developer hasn’t set a time frame for construction.

“This is the first step,” Moore said. “We don’t have a schedule for the next steps.”

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