Laaloa Avenue park clears environmental hurdle

  • This aerial image shows the location of the park on Laaloa Avenue. (Image capture from EA/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Land designated for a park on Laaloa Avenue as part of a fair-share deal for La‘ipala Makai is pictured. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — Residents in the Laaloa Avenue area are one step closer to having a park of their own.

A final environmental assessment with a finding of no significant impact for the long-planned project was published Sunday in the July 8 edition of the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s twice-a-month Environmental Notice.

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With the finding, Hawaii One1 Investors LLC can move forward with constructing the park’s first phase, estimated to cost between $2 million and $3 million.

The park, which would serve an estimated 550 homes comprising more than 1,400 residents in the area, would be the only site for recreation within the 300-acre area other than Laaloa — also known as Magic Sands — Beach Park. It would be built on 6.365 acres of county land situated north of Laaloa Avenue and mauka of the proposed Alii Highway, also referred to as the Kahului to Keauhou Parkway.

The first phase includes a playing field, comfort station with an attached lanai, driveway, parking lot for approximately 40 vehicles, sidewalks and fencing.

Also to be completed would be graveled space ready for tennis and basketball courts and sufficient open space for a playground, which may be constructed by the county in the future.

The document did not provide an estimate of when work would commence. It did note, however, that brush and tree removal and grading and construction were expected to commence “shortly” after the environmental assessment was complete and all permits obtained.

Before work can begin, plans must be approved by the Planning Department, and building and other associated permits, including a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit permit, secured. A Special Management Area Permit has already been obtained.

Hawaii County Park Planner James Komata was unable to be reached for additional details. The developer also didn’t return a message as of press time Friday.

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Hawaii One1 Investors is constructing the park’s first phase as part of its fair-share agreement in exchange for zoning and use permits from Hawaii County. The changes, approved more than a decade ago, allow for the development of La‘ipala Makai, a 62-unit planned unit development to be built south of Queen Kalama Avenue.

The value of the park improvements will be credited against the required fair share contributions for La‘ipala Makai, and if the full amount is not expended it will be given to the county for “future recreational improvements in the area,” the EA states.

  1. 4whatitsworth July 9, 2018 8:43 am

    3 Million dollars in park improvements divided by 62 units equals $48K per unit and the project will still be opposed by the community. When it is all said and done there will be a development but I bet there will be 150K in soft costs per unit. The end result will be that the community will get a park (a good thing) and Kona will get more very expensive housing that is mediocre in quality and everyone will blame this on the developer.


  2. Rusty Da Clown July 10, 2018 4:16 pm

    This is the only way Kona is going to get any new parks in the Harry Kim era. Someone else building them.


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