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Maui Tomorrow, South Maui citizens file suit over planned mega-malls in Kihei

May 31, 2012
The Maui Weekly

Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Inc., South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth, and Kihei resident Daniel Kanahele have filed motions before the state Land Use Commission and Maui County Board of Variance and Appeals regarding a large land parcel at the intersection of Pi'ilani Highway and Kaonoulu Street in Kihei.

Eclipse Development plans to convert 68 acres at the site into two mega-malls described by the Irvine, California company as "the largest outlet malls in the state."

Plans for the two projects show 700,000 square feet of retail space coupled with acres of parking lots, bringing significant hardscape above a part of Kihei prone to severe flooding.

The suit attests that traffic on Pi'ilani Highway will be severely affected, yet the only traffic study required was done 18 years ago for a light industrial park.

The large commercial project does not comply with lawful conditions imposed on the site by the state Land Use Commission, the suit claims. One such condition, requiring a frontage road for the project, does not appear on current plans, and there is no attempt to make the project walkable or bikeable or to connect the retail centers with other uses mauka of the highway, the suit notes.

Maui Tomorrow Executive Director Irene Bowie said in a statement: "The Kihei-Makena Community Plan does not support the development, and the community is frustrated because Eclipse Development has so far refused to engage in any public discussion of the shopping complex."



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