More debate over Koa Ridge housing development - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

More debate over Koa Ridge housing development

Kathy Laubest Kathy Laubest
Ann Freed Ann Freed
Bruce Barrett Bruce Barrett
Colin Yost Colin Yost

By Holly Juscen – bio | email

MILILANI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A crowd of two hundred people packed the gym at Mililani Mauka Elementary School for a community forum about the Koa Ridge development. Both sides voiced their opinions, Mililani resident Kathy Laubest says it would be good for the city, "Koa Ridge was announced as an over-development in central Oahu -- but most of the people here are in support of more homes and more jobs.

Ann Freed of the Neighborhood Board disagrees, "quality of life -- how many people can you put up in central Oahu. It will be worse than Kapolei over the next 15 to 20 years." Traffic is the biggest concern. The Koa Ridge development would bring 3500 new homes along with a business and retail community just across from the Waipio Costo on Ku Uka Rd. Here is only one road in any out of the area.

Bruce Barrett of Castle and Cooke Homes, the developer of the project, says there will roadway improvements, "the Waipio interchange will be redone. We have to make sure we address all the different kinds of impacts and traffic is one of them."

The development is to built on 575 acres -- most of prime agricultural land, the developers have signed a lease to move the current crops over to land next to Dole Plantation, but the Sierra club representatives says it would be a crime to pave it over, " the issue is that is land that is lost forever --- moving it to another area is not fixing the problem, we should be expanding more. "

The Koa Ridge development would create 2500 jobs -- mostly in construction. Castle and Cooke say they are right on track --- the petition to build is in the hands of the State Land Use Commission -- and then it will go to zoning, they are aiming to break ground in late 2011.

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