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South Maui Shopping Centers Hearing to be Held in November

September 13, 2012
The Maui Weekly

The Maui News - The state Land Use Commission unanimously approved allowing three parties to intervene in its review of possible land-use violations by Eclipse Development Group, the landowners who are developing two proposed shopping centers in Kihei.

As interveners, Maui Tomorrow Foundation, South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth and Kihei resident Daniel Kanahele will be allowed to participate in the proceedings before the commission.

The three parties were the main force behind getting the Land Use Commission to revisit approvals for the 88-acre site where Eclipse Development Group has proposed building the Maui Outlets and Pi'ilani Promenade shopping centers.

They claim Eclipse has failed to follow some of the 20 conditions the Land Use Commission imposed on former landowner Ka'ono'ulu Ranch in granting a land reclassification from Agricultural to Urban in 1995.

One of those conditions is a requirement that the property be developed "in substantial compliance with the representations made to the commission." The ranch had proposed a light industrial park for the site.

Maui Outlets is expected to be a 300,000-square-foot shopping center on a 30-acre site, while Pi'ilani Promenade would be a 400,000-square-foot retail complex on 68 acres--both mauka of the Pi'ilani Highway-Ka'ono'ulu Street intersection.

Eclipse officials have said that plans for the property have always included the possibility of retail stores. A portion of the property also is slated for 250 affordable housing units tied to the master-planned Honua'ula, (formerly Wailea 670) development.

The commission last month granted the three parties' motion for an order to show cause hearing, which will require the landowner to prove it has not violated conditions on the property. They need to "show cause" as to why the land should not be reverted back to agriculture, Commission Chairman Ron Heller said.

Heller said the hearing will be conducted in two stages.

The first stage is to determine whether or not there been a violation of the commission's existing decision and order (referring to the 20 conditions). If there is no violation found, proceedings will end there. If a violation or violations are found, the second phase would address what should be done about the fact that there's been a violation or violations.

Jonathan Steiner, attorney for the landowners, opposed the motion to intervene, arguing that the groups' interests are no different that those of any member of the general public--a threshold for granting intervenor status.

Attorney Tom Pierce, representing Kanahele, Maui Tomorrow and South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth, argued the groups "can provide a unique party position and will be directly affected by the landowners' development."

The show cause hearing has been set for Nov. 1 and 2, said Irene Bowie of Maui Tomorrow.



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