WAILUKU -- The Maui County Council today voted to advance on first reading the Maui Island Plan by a 7-2 vote, but not before making amendments to add in and remove certain lands from the plan's directed growth boundaries.
The council supported a motion by Council Member Elle Cochran to adjust the growth boundaries in Olowalu to prevent any development makai of Honoapiilani Highway.
Wailuku development firm Frampton & Ward had proposed building Olowalu Town as a 1,500-unit development on 600 acres both mauka and makai of the highway.
The council's 5-4 vote to delete the makai lands was met with cheers and sighs of relief from some in the council gallery, many toting signs that read "Protect Olowalu Reef," "Save Olowalu" and "No Olowalu."
Voting in favor were Cochran, Riki Hokama, Council Chairman Danny Mateo, Vice Chairman Joe Pontanilla and Mike Victorino.
An earlier motion by Cochran to remove all development boundaries in Olowalu failed.
Developer Bill Frampton said after the meeting that the vote was still a "step in a positive direction for Olowalu Town."
In Central Maui, the council supported a motion by Pontanilla to include within the growth boundaries approximately 285 acres of land in Pulehunui owned by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
State officials have proposed developing the land off of Mokulele Highway near the old Puunene airport and National Guard Armory for light industrial, business and commercial activities as well as a new jail facility.
Voting in favor were Cochran, Hokama, Mateo, Pontanilla and Victorino.
Nearby, the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands had proposed similar commercial and industrial developments on a 185-acre parcel to help generate revenue for its beneficiaries. But the council voted against another motion by Pontanilla to include these lands on the regulatory maps.
In South Maui, an attempt by Council Member Don Couch to remove 390 acres surrounding Makena Resort's golf course failed by a 6-3 vote, with Couch, Cochran and Hokama voting for the amendment.
The second and final vote on the Maui Island Plan is set for Dec. 21.
For more on this story, see Tuesday's Maui News.