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Retailers, Developers & Zoning Layers—Oh My!

February 10, 2011 - Trisha Smith
Retail destination is focus of former ranch lands, whether we like it or not. Could these developers and their local reps be on the right track with these projects though?

I've been working hard for nearly a month on these particular stories, and in all honestly, I'm relieved it's over—for now. Zoning and retail development are not my ideal subjects to report on. But, I'm sure a few more contentious issues will come my way via my editor and community advocates. Always an adventure being a journalist on this beautiful isle... :-)

Anyways, I have a few deadlines to meet, so a blog will be up sooner than later to encapsulate-from an editorial standpoint-what my findings taught me and what else is planned for the area mauka of Pi‘ialni Highway, along the future extension of the Upcountry roadway.

For now, follow the links below—in order—and brush up on the three-part series I compiled regarding these proposed South Maui developments. In all reality, these plans aren't that surprising as the lands have been considered prime property for decades and several have attempted to "turn over the lands." Yet, since its steps to finalization have pretty much "flew under the radar," and little or no community input was gathered, it's no surprise residents are frustrated. But what can they do?

I spoke thoroughly to reps from Eclipse Development Group, and I have to say, there are following the "rules" and really think this would be in the best interest of the community. And reps and consultants on Maui are abiding by zoning and land restrictions, and drainage ordinances, set up.

Yet do we really need over 700,000 square feet of retail outlets, especially right next to Kïhei's long-awaited new high school? Where does the blame fall here?

Is it the community members and visitors who continue to shop at retail outlets, complain that there aren't more Mainland places like Target on the island and the developers that put proposals in action? Or are too many officials in cahoots with big developers and consultants whom know how to creatively abide by the system and work with complicated zoning schemes and land restrictions? Does future planning need to look more closely at zoning and land uses, and the overall layout of our island plan and general growth? Is South Maui really growing so rapidly that this much retail is needed, especially with the amount of vacant units still on the rise?

To be continued...


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Is this what the future aerial view of North Kihei's lands mauka of Pi‘ilani Highway will look like? Pretty much...


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