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Lahaina residential project moving ahead

November 5, 2012
By NANEA KALANI - Staff Writer ( , The Maui News

A 22-acre vacant lot in Lahaina that has been used as a dumpsite and homeless encampment in recent years will be developed into a $60 million housing project.

Stanford Carr Development and landowner The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation are moving ahead with plans for Kahoma Village along Front Street next to the Lahaina Cannery Mall, according to a recently completed draft environmental assessment.

The project will include 203 residential units, of which 102 multifamily units will be affordable housing reserved for those making between 80 and 160 percent of the island's median income, the assessment said.

The draft study, prepared by Munekiyo & Hiraga, says that the project is not expected to have any negative environmental impacts. The county's Department of Housing and Human Concerns will be the approving agency for the study. A 30-day public comment period ends Nov. 23.

Units at Kahoma Village will consist of a mix of three- and four-bedroom single-family dwellings, and two- and three-bedroom multifamily units.

Developer Stanford Carr said he thinks the project will appeal to residents.

"Where else can you find - on Front Street - an opportunity to buy a brand-new home? As well as starter homes?" Carr said.

He said community presentations and informational meetings were held earlier this year in Lahaina.

A market study for the project says Kahoma Village will help meet housing demands as the economy continues to strengthen, noting that "there will be a reduced level of competition for the project from other developments since there is a limited supply of housing on the market in the West Maui region that is affordable to residents."

The study also said the project is expected to have an edge over other planned projects in West Maui.

"The Kahoma Village project has smaller upfront infrastructure costs and is able to self-finance the project which is an advantage over the larger developments such as Pulelehua and Puukolii Village," according to the study.

The project will have three distinct home types.

Sixty-nine single-family dwellings will be built in clusters of two to six homes along a common driveway. Another 32 single-family dwellings will be "alley" units, with each dwelling having a rear service alley providing access to a parking garage.

The 102 multifamily affordable units will be located in 17 two-story six-plexes. Each building will contain four two-story units and two one-story units, which will be at each end of the building so that homeowners will have no one living above or below their unit.

The project will have three landscaped parks, with the larger of the three also functioning as a drainage retention/detention basin. There are no proposed commercial uses for the site.

The environmental study notes that the development will be a so-called in-fill project that "takes advantage of existing infrastructure and does not expand Lahaina's urban boundary."

The study says traffic from the development is not expected to significantly impact nearby intersections and the network of roads in and around Lahaina.

It notes that the anticipated opening of the first two phases of the Lahaina bypass now under construction "is expected to alleviate some congestion along Honoapiilani Highway . . . reducing traffic volumes in this area. Opening of additional phases of Lahaina Bypass in future years will further serve to alleviate congestion in the area of Lahaina town."

The environmental study also includes results of an archaeological survey that found no material remains or evidence of intact cultural deposits.

Still, the study recommends archaeological monitoring for all future earth disturbance activities because human burials have previously been documented on nearby parcels, including on the Lahaina Cannery Mall property.

Because the property is located within the county's special management area, a SMA use permit application has been submitted.

The project also has a pending application under the state's affordable housing law that exempts qualifying projects from planning, zoning and construction standards to help expedite the delivery of affordable housing.

Carr said that once those applications and the environmental assessment are approved, "we'll go in for permits and break ground."

The buildout is expected to take two years.

* Nanea Kalani can be reached at



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