North Kohala subdivision planned

  • Kohala Shoreline LLC is proposing to develop a six-lot subdivision makai of Akoni Pule Highway on nearly 38 acres in North Kohala about 3 miles north of Kawaihae Harbor. (Image from EA/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — Kohala Shoreline LLC is moving forward with its development of a six-lot subdivision on the North Kohala coastline.

The 38-acre subdivision, to be located about 3 miles north of Kawaihae Harbor off Akoni Pule Highway, would overlook the Pacific Ocean with the half dozen lots ranging in size from 5 acres to 8 acres for single-family homes. The developer, Kohala Shoreline LLC, is a domestic limited liability company with a Washington state address.

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The proposal for the acreage located directly across Akoni Pule Highway from Kohala Ranch is less dense than those brought forth in 1997 and 2015. In 2015, nine lots were proposed for the site, down from 1997 when the area was zoned by the previous owner, Gentry-Pacific Ltd., zoning for 50 lots.

“He has no interest in doing that,” said project manager Greg Mooers of his client, Nathan Myhrvold, a scientist, former Microsoft exec and Seattle resident who purchased the acreage 21 years ago. “He’s just looking for a place he and his family to build.”

The Leeward Planning Commission will take up applications and requests from the developer during its first meeting of the year Thursday at the West Hawaii Civic Center. Public testimony will be taken prior to the opening of the meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the center’s Community Hale, also known as Building G.

Thursday will be the first meeting of the seven-member commission since it last met in August when it took up and granted standing to West Hawaii Surfing Association in a contested case over the Kulani View development proposed mauka of Pahoehoe Beach Park off Alii Drive.

Since then, the commission hasn’t met, its secretary confirmed Monday. Quorum — the minimum number of members needed to make a decision — was not an issue, however.

“The issue is we have no applicants; no projects,” said Leeward Planning Commission Chairman Keith Unger. “It’s a new year, and we’re looking forward to getting started again.”

The first application from Kohala Shoreline LLC is a request to change zoning on 37.88 acres. That’ll be followed by an application for a special management area (SMA) use permit and then a request to revoke the SMA previously granted for the project in 1997.

A draft environmental assessment for the project as currently proposed with six lots was released in May followed by a final EA in August determining the project would have no significant impact. Attempts to reach the developer for comment were unsuccessful as of press time on Monday.

Kohala Shoreline LLC is seeking to downsize the acreage from family residential RS15, which allowed for lots of 15,000 square feet, to residential agricultural RA-5a, which would permit no lot smaller than 5 acres. The project was zoned RS15 in 1997 allowing for a 50-lot subdivision. RS15 technically could allow for up to 110 dwellings on the acreage, however.

The new SMA use permit is required for the project as its scope has changed and work will take place near the shoreline, which falls within the state’s defined special management area.

According to the environmental assessment, all building sites would be located mauka of an old coastal-now-Jeep-trail called Ala Loa, with a 50- to 250-foot wide shoreline area below dedicated as an easement for public use. Homes, which would have a maximum height of 25 feet, would be situated at least 100 feet mauka of the trail and at least 150 feet makai of the highway.

Also planned is a four-stall public parking area that would be open from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset, which would access a new 800-foot long, 10-foot wide mauka-makai pedestrian trail to the shoreline, which includes Waiakailio Bay. Access to the subdivision would be via two sites off the highway.

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Also Thursday, the Leeward Planning Commission will take up an application to change zoning for 21.3 acres off Kaloko Drive, about 700 feet north of Kaloko Drive’s most mauka intersection with Hao Street, in the Kaloko Mauka subdivision of North Kona.

The applicant, Jean K. Campbell Trust and Jeffrey S. Class Trust, is requesting the land rezoned from agricultural district with a minimum building site of 20 acres to agricultural district with a minimum building site of 5 acres.

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