Maui Meadows Neighborhood Association | MMNA Newsletter 8-5-14


MMNA Newsletter 8-5-14

Welcome to Your New Newsletter!
Brought to you by your MMNA Board

Aloha! Welcome to the new MMNA newsletter! Your MMNA Board has been busy this year and we want to keep you informed. The newsletter is one way of doing this. Thank you for your membership!

Changes in Your Board of Directors

At the March 20th Board meeting Matthew Gurewitsch handed in his resignation. Matthew joined the MMNA Board in April of 2013 and served as Vice President. We thank Matthew for his service to the association.

Welcome Joe Ritter
Maui Meadows homeowner Joe Ritter stepped forward to serve on the MMNA Board and his nomination was accepted at the May 15 Board meeting. Joe has lived on Maui for 13 years and been a homeowner in Maui Meadows for seven. He is a research Astrophysicist, runs the Maui Advanced Technology Research Laboratories at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, as well as working with students of all ages. He also does work for NASA Headquarters on meta-material development and served for the last six years on a county committee on lighting. He considers serving for organizations like MMNA as an important civic contribution. Welcome Joe!

New Officers
When Matthew resigned the position of Vice President was open. Karin Carlson was nominated and appointed. Congratulations Karin! When Karin was appointed Vice President the position of Secretary was open. Yours truly was nominated and appointed. Lucky me!

New Opening
We will have another vacancy coming up soon on the MMNA Board. Would you like to serve? If so, please reply to this email and tell us about yourself and your interest in the MMNA.

Wailea 670/Honua’ula

Many MMNA members have voiced concern about the buffer between Maui Meadows and Wailea 670/Honua’ula (W670). Your MMNA Board has had several discussions about the project at our Board meetings this year and we invited owner’s representative, Charlie Jencks, to our recent Board meeting July 17. What follows are notes (yes, notes, open to interpretation) from Charlie’s presentation.

These notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the MMNA Board. They are shared here in the spirit of opening channels of communication and keeping our membership informed on this important topic. We will hear from “the other side” of this issue when Lucienne de Naie, from the Maui Sierra Club, presents at our August Board meeting. Notes from her presentation will be sent out to the membership via our next newsletter. Stay tuned!

In February 2001 Charlie started on the project. W670 had been deferred by the Maui planning commission because community issues were not being addressed. Charlie was brought in to remedy that. He met with community organizations and nongovernment organizations. His goal was to meet with these groups again and tell them how he had met their needs. However, it took from 2002-05 to get to the county council. By then the W670 technical studies were out of date and had to be redone. When this was completed the council was then in favor of the project.

In January 2006 the Land Use Committee of the Maui County Council held a public hearing at Lokelani School regarding W670’s request for a change of zoning and for project district phase one approval, which was eventually recommended for approval by the committee. The Maui County Council approved and in April 2008 the council and Mayor approved the new zoning along with 30 conditions of zoning approval that included extending the Pi’ilani highway to Kaukahi street in Wailea (near Hotel Wailea) for emergency evacuation purposes.

Some of the changes in the project (i.e., the Pi’ilani highway extension and construction of an onsite water treatment plant) triggered a Hawaii Revised Statute chapter 343 (Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In August 2010 the draft EIS was reviewed and commented on by Maui Planning Commission (MPC) and the final EIS accepted by the MPC in July 2012.

Within the 60 day appeal period a lawsuit was filed by the Maui Sierra Club and Maui Unite against the county for accepting the EIS. Since then the project has been trying to resolve the lawsuit via settlement talks with the plaintiffs. They are working toward a settlement agreement with Sierra Club, the primary plaintiff.

The Major Issues
Charlie discussed a couple of Sierra Club’s major issues with the project: 1) the archeological inventory survey was inadequate (then they redid it) and; 2) the native plant preservation area onsite needed to be expanded. In the last three months progress has been made with Sierra Club. Both parties have agreed on setting apart 130 acres at the southern end near Makena as a native plant and cultural preservation area. They are also looking to see if a new proposed model for lighting can be applied to sensitive areas on the project like the native plant preserve and Maui Meadows buffer zone.

The buffer width is also an issue for the Sierra Club. When Charlie took over the project, 500-200 feet of buffer were discussed with various groups (MMNA and MMHA). They all agreed on 100 feet with 50 feet landscaped (from the current fence to just short of the treeline is about 100 feet). All houses fronting the Maui Meadows buffer will back onto the buffer and all will be single story. There will be a combination of single family in the upper 2/3 and the bottom 1/3 will be duplexes.

Since the urban core is commercial (shops and restaurants) connectivity would be attractive, says Charlie. He wants to see trails in the buffer zone and connectivity between Maui Meadows and W670.

Project Details
There will be a walking path and two 6-acre parks in the project. These are passive parks, open to the public and owned by the project. All together there will be 13 miles of on- and off-road trails.

They are limited to building 100 market rate units/year and 100 affordable units/year for 200 units/year total. They must do a 1 to 1 ratio. There will be no ohana(s) in the project. Affordable units will be on- and offsite. Affordable housing in north Kihei is still on the table as an option but is stalled at this time.

Lots will be ½ acre to 1-2 acres, but this may change. The property is limited to 1150 units regardless of individual lot size. Charlie is going for a rural type of subdivision like Maui Meadows in terms of lighting and curb and gutter.

The widening of Pi’ilani has to be done before the project begins, and the extension of the highway has to be done by 50% occupancy. W670 must build this extension. The highway will have a median with landscaping and curb and gutter. It will have on-road bike lanes (not separated from the road like Mokulele highway).

There will be a golf amenity in the project, meaning, a clubhouse and probably a 9 hole golf course and maybe a driving range.

They anticipate 15 years of construction for the whole project. The first phase will be the central part of the project. Roads and drainage will be built first.

They have two water wells on site at the Maui Meadows end that were originally intended for irrigation. These wells contain brackish water that Charlie says can be relatively easily made potable. They also have a source development agreement with Haleakala Ranch. Charlie says they can deliver 1.5 million gallons/day. They will treat the water with reverse osmosis and use gravity.

They made a deal with Makena for use of their sewer plant. Then they will bring the treated water back in. When the project is finished it will produce ½ million gallons/day of sewage that will need to be treated.

They have $1 million into the W670 project at this point.

Let Us Hear From You!

What Maui Meadows topics do you want us to focus on? Please let us know what’s important to you. Send your suggestions through our member website by clicking on the “contact” button from the menu bar:

Encourage Your Friends to Join

Know a neighbor who wants to receive this newsletter? Help spread awareness about MMNA by directing people to our website. Any Maui Meadows resident can join for a mere $25/year, renewable in January. Joining the association has never been easier! We now have a PayPal link on our membership page so you can pay electronically. It’s easy! Join now by clicking here.

Debra Greene
MMNA Secretary