Council zoning committee okays Hoopili development, blocks Envision Laie

Published: Mar. 6, 2015 at 2:35 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 6, 2015 at 4:33 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One controversial housing development has hit a major roadblock, while another in Kapolei has been given the green light to go ahead.The Honolulu City Council's Zoning Committee approved Bill 47 without including Envision Laie, a proposal that would have included nearly 900 new homes at Malaekahana in the Koolauloa section of Windward Oahu.

"Seas of blue shirts have said that we want to have this possibility of a smart planned development," Laie resident Ann Allred told the committee. "Don't crush our dream."

While that dream may have been crushed, the committee decision was a dream come true for those against the development.

"All they care about is making money at the expense of their members and the native culture," said Dawn Wasson, another Laie resident who was against Envision Laie. "Our culture's good enough just so they can make money."

While the Koolauloa region will stay mostly the way it is now, Kapolei is on the verge of a long-promised population explosion.

"The development of Hoopili, in the area where it's slated to be developed, is called for in the Oahu General Plan, and that's why I supported that," said Zoning Committee Chair Ikaika Anderson.

The committee's approval of the Hoopili project gives Developer D.R. Horton preliminary approval to build nearly 12,000 homes over the next two years, with the rail line running right through them.

The direction of both communities is in line with the city's Oahu General plan, which calls for Koolauloa to have just over one percent of the island's population. The Ewa area, including the Second City of Kapolei, is supposed to handle 13 percent. but city leaders set those goals 13 years ago.

"We all have problems with housing," said Hauula resident Steve Gallagher. "What's the comprehensive plan to the housing problem on Oahu? that needs to be answered generally."

City Council Chair Ernie Martin wants to take another look at the Oahu General Plan before the council votes on the amended Bill 47. "To approve any sustainable community's plan without having that document before us is very premature," he said.

Martin doesn't expect the council to tackle the Oahu General plan until sometime this summer.

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