The Maui News - The master-planned Olowalu Town project gained key support from the Maui County Council's General Plan Committee on Thursday, Aug. 2, that will allow the 600-acre development to move forward.
The nine-member committee voted 7-1 in favor of including the project within the island's urban and rural growth boundaries for West Maui.
Plans for Olowalu Town call for 1,500 units--750 units would be set aside for affordable housing--a town center, parks and areas for public facilities such as a school, a post office and emergency services. A quarter of the project would be reserved for agricultural use or open space. The $466 million project would be home to about 4,000 residents.
The project had come under criticism from environmental groups and marine experts concerned about damage to Olowalu's reefs. Others who oppose the project cited concerns about traffic impacts along Honoapi'ilani Highway.
Developer Bill Frampton of Wailuku-based Frampton & Ward said the project's draft environmental impact statement (EIS) helps address those concerns, and a final EIS is being prepared to further improve the project.
Planning Department Director Will Spence noted that the developer's plans for handling storm runoff go "above and beyond" current requirements and called some of the proposed traffic mitigations innovative.
Longtime Olowalu residents came out in support of the project, arguing that their former plantation village sorely needs the infrastructure and amenities being proposed for the project.
The project's final EIS will need to go before the state Land Use Commission next. If approved, the project will then need to go back to the County Council for zoning and community plan amendments before heading to the Maui Planning Commission.