The Maui News - A decade-long process neared an end last week as a Maui County Council committee recommended approval of maps that will guide future growth and development on the island over the next two decades.
The General Plan Committee voted 6-3 in favor of the proposed "directed growth boundaries" contained in the draft Maui Island Plan. Council Chairman Danny Mateo and Council Members Elle Cochran and Riki Hokama voted against the plan.
The plan now heads out for a public hearing before it will be heard by the full council. From there, the plans will be vetted by yet-to-be-appointed Community Plan Advisory Committees and the Maui Planning Commission before heading back to the County Council for final approval.
Cochran, who often opposed proposed developments included on the maps, said she was unhappy with the outcome. She said it was "unfortunate" that the plan the council committee approved differs from the plan presented by the General Plan Advisory Committee.
Committee Chairwoman Gladys Baisa compared the committee's work to a marathon and expressed relief to be crossing the finish line. "They told me that when we were through with this that it would be a very good plan if not everyone was happy with it and I think that's where we're at," said Baisa.
The draft maps contain growth boundaries designating which areas on Maui are appropriate for development. The General Plan Committee this week made final revisions to the maps, including changes to previous decisions.
Some of those changes included Pulehunui/Pu'unene. The committee voted not to include any of the state lands being proposed for development off both sides of Mokulele Highway. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Department of Land and Natural Resources had proposed a plan that called for light industrial, business and commercial activities on some 900 acres. Plans also called for a new prison.
Regarding Olowalu, a motion to reconsider the committee's support of the master-planned Olowalu Town project failed. Cochran attempted to remove any development makai of the existing highway, but her motion did not have any backers. The council previously included within the area's growth boundaries the 600-acre project that calls for 1,500 units, including 750 affordable housing units.