The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved in principle Friday the acquisition of 10 acres for the expansion of the Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao.
The 7-acre cemetery along Baldwin Avenue is rapidly running out of space for the island's war veterans, with one to two years remaining before it reaches capacity.
In June, Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $250,000 for the cemetery project, which has received a $5.3 million appropriation from the state Legislature. The $250,000 was to be used for an environmental assessment, appraisal, title search and subdivision application.
The Office of Veteran Services, which is part of the state Department of Defense, is leading the project to expand the cemetery. The department is working with the Department of Accounting and General Services on the project's design and construction.
On Friday, the land board also authorized the Department of Land and Natural Resources to help DAGS procure the property. By executive order, the state is expected to turn over management of the eventual 17 acres to Maui County for management and operation of the cemetery.
According to a submittal to the land board, Makawao resident Jordan Santos is in the process of acquiring a tract of land, including property sought for the cemetery expansion, from landowner Paul Turner, and would, after acquiring it, immediately sell 10 acres to the state.
A subdivision application for the 10 acres was submitted in June. County officials said it would take about six months to process the application.
Current servicemen and servicewomen and veterans, their spouses and dependent children may be buried at the cemetery.
In June, State Veterans Services Director Ronald Han Jr. said expansion of the cemetery in Makawao is a top priority for his agency.
"Time is fleeting," he said at the time.