WAIALUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two representatives from Kennedy Wilson, a Beverly-Hills-based developer, answered questions for nearly two hours in Waialua Monday night about the controversial development plans for Dillingham Ranch on Oahu's North Shore.
The owners of the ranch want to develop about 934 acres of its property into an agricultural subdivision with 91 residential lots, a minimum of five acres each, and homes no more than 5,000 square feet.
But some North Shore residents are worried about traffic congestion, fresh water supply, and other concerns.
"Sewage," one opponent said during public testimony.
"You have all these homes now, pumping all this water and stuff, where's all this sewage going? Closest treatment plant is 10 and 12 miles away respectively," he said.
Robert Robinson, a rancher, has lived on the north shore his whole life. He said he is worried about the lot prices.
"What they are doing is for the betterment of our children and our families on the north shore…but unless you're a millionaire, that's very difficult. That's why I asked the question about the lots, the cost of the lots. These lots, I'm sure are gonna be very expensive," Robinson said.
If approved, the subdivision would be implemented in phases over the next several years. That's why the developers say they can't give the residents a price tag now.
"Everybody wants to know how much we're gonna sell these lots for. These lots won't come to market until four to five years and I can't really estimate what the market will be like then," said Clifford Smith, Senior Vice President of Kennedy Wilson's Commercial Investment Group.
Smith said traffic impacts are minimal, and they do have a plan for wastewater treatment, and water supply.
"There is sufficient water. We have four wells on property right now and they supported our modifying, revising and/or adding two other wells to make sure there's sufficient water," he said.
"Each home up the mountain will have its own septic storage tank that will hold back and pump solids with drip lines down to a water treatment plant down in the lowlands below what's called the 'no-pass line'," Smith said.
Supporters of the idea say it would regulate development by protecting land from over-development by the size restrictions.
"The new plan focuses one heck of a lot more on agriculture than the original plan. It is more concerning, it is more capable of the quality of the life of the residents," Stewart Ring, Mokuleia Community Association President said.