Council advances Kaupulehu project

  • Kaupulehu Development. Bing Maps

  • A guarded gate limits access to Kaupulehu luxury development. (LAURA RUMINSKI/West Hawaii Today)

HILO — Developers of the 1,079-acre luxury Kaupulehu project have begun the first steps toward public shoreline access and said Wednesday they’ll have it completed within one year.

The County Council, on an 8-0 vote, approved on first reading an amended development plan and a 20-year extension for completion of the project located between mile markers 84 and 87 on Queen Kaahumanu Highway.


Development of the 1,079-acre luxury Kaupulehu project has been ongoing since a 1999 rezoning, but developers said a five-year wait for State Historic Preservation Division acceptance of their long-term preservation plan delayed the public shoreline access component.

The SHPD approval came earlier this month, and Bill 1 will put a solid deadline on the plan.

Public access is currently limited to cultural practitioners and groups by invitation only. Now that SHPD has approved the preservation plan, developers can begin creating a corridor to the shoreline, along with signage and a public restroom.

The first coordination meeting for public access has already been held, said Thad Bond, senior vice president at Replay Destinations and project manager for KD Acquisitions.

“We’re already working toward the preservation plan,” the next stop toward public access, Bond told the council.

The bill, as amended Wednesday, also lets developers deduct the cost of their internal roads in the subdivision from their required “fair share” contributions. Fair share is what developers must pay to help build the infrastructure to counteract the extra demands put on roads, parks, police, firefighters, solid waste and the like by the increased population development brings.

Developers are paying a total of $6,910.13 in fair share for each single-family home and $4,535.80 per multi-family residential unit. The developers will get credit for donating land and facilities or constructing their own improvements, with approval of the Planning Department and County Council, under the agreement.


Council members were pleased about the upcoming shoreline access.

“This is a huge public benefit for our community on the west side,” said South Kona/Ka‘u Councilwoman Maile David.

  1. paul January 27, 2019 7:32 am

    to much devolpement on the island…enough is enough

    1. joedriver January 27, 2019 6:08 pm

      Really most of this island is undeveloped rock I say bring it on we can use revenue generating investments. This is land that no one can access or use beneficially today why should Oahu get all the business?

  2. qui bono January 27, 2019 9:42 am

    No climate change worries here

    No rising sea worries here

    No wastewater worries here

    No failure to follow through with affordable housing here

    No heads in the sand here

  3. Gwen Ilaban January 27, 2019 6:17 pm

    Let’s hope, “This is a huge public benefit for our community on the west side,” said South Kona/Ka‘u Councilwoman Maile David.” Time will tell?!!! Time and time again, the public are the ones that are cut-off from public shoreline access.

    The article states, “developers can begin creating a corridor to the shoreline, along with signage and a public restroom.” A public restroom?? Just “a public restroom?” Auwe

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