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Fill existing retail space before planning more

February 16, 2012
The Maui Weekly

This letter is to convey my very strong dismay that there is a proposed outlet mall planned for South Maui. It is absolutely shocking that such an archaic type of suburban sprawl idea would be considered, when all the current trends in planning and town development are trying to do the exact opposite. Communities are trying to reduce the use of the automobile, enhance pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, and infill areas of our towns that are already underused. If this mall gets built, it will signal to the world that Maui lacks integrity to stand up for the quality of life that our island environment and our citizens deserve.

The increased strain on our already compromised ocean reef would be devastating, regardless of civil engineers' assurances that there would be no off-site runoff. One of my biggest concerns is the cultural "wasteland" that would be created in the middle of Kihei mauka between a planned affordable housing project and the Maui Research & Technology Park near which the Kihei High School is planned to be located.

How will our community be cohesive if there are 3,671 parking stalls (Costco has 800) to cross even if they have their quota of parking lot trees?

How wonderful it would be to fill the vacancies in our already existing shopping areas such as Azeka's and Kukui Mall before we build more malls and create more vast asphalt expanses of heat-gaining parking.

Have proper traffic studies been done? Has there been any review of this project by the Kihei community?

Please consider the voices of the community who are expressing a long-term vision of Kihei. This project will not develop a high quality of life for our residents or our tourists. They can find this type of shopping anywhere on the Mainland. It is not reflective of Hawai'i's true nature.

Randy Wagner Kihei



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