KAILUA-KONA — The Leeward Planning Commission on Thursday voted to send a favorable recommendation to the Hawaii County Council on a proposal to expand the space in which the West Hawaii Business Park could develop without triggering a requirement to build a new road in the area.
The proposal also calls for the landowner, its successor or an assignee to extend a different road as well as build two segments connecting the extension to Queen Kaahumanu Highway.
It would also give the region a new point of access to the Kaloko Light Industrial Park, where Costco is located.
In 2004, the State Land Use Commission reclassified the site of the West Hawaii Business Park from conservation to urban. That was followed months later by a County Council ordinance that rezoned the area for industrial use, according to documents filed at the Planning Department.
But that ordinance included a condition that, other than a 10-acre portion of the property, the extension of Kamanu Street must be built before any lots can be subdivided.
The unfinished Kamanu Street currently extends about 300 feet beyond its intersection with Honokohau Street and picks up again about three quarters of a mile farther north, just above Costco. From there, it continues north to Hina Lani Street.
But the application that commissioners considered Thursday argues completing the construction of Kamanu Street wouldn’t benefit the Business Park’s makai lots, and the highest-value lots are those fronting the highway.
It furthermore argued Ane Keohokalole Highway, completed a decade after the ordinance passed, accomplished the same goal of improving interconnectivity in the region that building Kamanu Street would.
During Thursday’s meeting, Lanihau Properties president and CEO Riley Smith said they aren’t actively trying to develop that area and have been trying for the past decade to sell some or all of the property. But they’ve been unsuccessful because of the associated upfront roadway costs.
As a result, the landowner proposed increasing how much land — from 10 acres to 48.4 acres — could be developed before triggering the need to build Kamanu Street. The proposal doesn’t change the actual footprint of the Business Park, just how much can be developed before triggering the road construction requirement. It also leaves in place the requirement to build Kamanu Street if anything beyond the 48.4-acre area is developed.
The amended ordinance would also come with three new roads in the area — a north-south extension of Kanalani Street and two segments connecting that street to Queen Kaahumanu Highway.
Kanalani Street, the most immediately mauka road above Queen Kaahumanu Highway that extends from Hina Lani Street south to Spectrum’s office, would be extended by about three-tenths of a mile farther south.
The other two roads would be segments of North and South Access Roads, connecting the highway and Kanalani Street.
That segment of South Access Road would connect Kanalani Street to the highway at the existing signalized intersection at the entrance to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park.
“So we’re offering to build that infrastructure,” Smith said, “if we have the opportunity to subdivide the 48 acres.”
Under the proposed amendment, the three roads must be constructed to county standards before a certificate of occupancy for development is issued within the 48.4-acre area.
During a vote, commissioners approved a motion to send a favorable recommendation to the County Council on the matter. That motion also included a requirement for an updated traffic impact analysis report “if warranted by a significant change in circumstance” or if required by the Department of Public Works.
On a separate agenda item, the Leeward Planning Commission approved a request from Goodfellow Bros Inc. to extend the life of a special permit for an operating base yard at the Waikoloa Quarry as well as for a concrete/asphalt batching plant at the site.