North Shore community rallies against new residential developments

Updated: Mar. 28, 2017 at 11:32 PM HST
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(Image: City and County of Honolulu)
(Image: City and County of Honolulu)

HALEIWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Proposals to change agricultural land into residential land on the North Shore are drawing criticism from some community members.

On Tuesday, demonstrators lined Kamehameha Highway in Haleiwa waving signs that read " Save Our Ag Lands" and "No to Rezone."

Developer Scott Wallace, who already owns Haleiwa Plantation Shops, wants to create Haleiwa Plantation Village -- a nearly 7-acre subdivision behind Achiu Lane.

Wallace says the $3 million project will hold 29 workforce housing lots and has been in the making for eight years.

"It's essentially 30 to 35 homes, a private wastewater treatment plant, a dedicated park and lots of infrastructure for drainage, flooding, and a detention basin," said Wallace. "It's a project for the local community to have an opportunity to have a home for first time buyers.

"We can't eat houses and we can't eat concrete so we need to keep our Ag lands so we can grow and produce food," said Sash Fitzsimmons, who opposes the development.

Some are on board with the idea.

"I think its a good idea for building up Haleiwa since we have all the traffic and tourists and everyone coming this side," said Haleiwa redient Sonny Ventura.

After the sign-waving event, demonstrators attended an open house at Waialua Courthouse hosted by Kamehameha Schools.

It was a chance to update the community on its 2008 North Shore Master Plan, which includes building more homes on more Ag land.

"The reason we did it was because we responded to the community," said Dana Sato, KS Director of Asset Management. "Have we started anything yet?No, we haven't. Do we plan to? Only when we get the community involved in it."

Both projects still need approval from the City to change the land from agricultural to residential.

Some are doing what they can to make sure that never happens.

"I can see out my back window and see green, not someone's back door," said Mary Chun. "We live in a rural environment and it's just so unfair for us that raise our families here. We're not going anywhere, we just want to live in a rural environment."

The projects do not have a timeline for construction or completion just yet.

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