Kaanapali development met with resistance from Maui residents

Hundreds gather at Maui meeting to save Kaanapali
Published: Nov. 7, 2017 at 3:46 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2017 at 5:09 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
(image: Munekiyo Hiraga)
(image: Munekiyo Hiraga)
(image: Munekiyo Hiraga)
(image: Munekiyo Hiraga)

KAANAPALI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of people packed Lahaina Intermediate School Monday night to question the landowners and developers behind the Kaanapali Golf Courses Revitalization Project.

The growing movement to stop it is known as "Save Kaanapali."

"Whoever it was who said that they want this plan to move forward, tell those people that the people here want the plan the stop," said Mayoral Candidate Elle Cochran.

The West Maui Councilmember is one of thousands of residents trying to block a major new development in Kaanapali.

It's not your ordinary development debate, it's is right in the middle of what's already a major tourism zone near Black Rock.

The 305-acre property is owned by the State of Hawaii Employees' Retirement System (ERS) and it would be funded by the state pension system, a retirement fund for 120,000 state and county employees.

"I'm of direct benefit of the ERS when I retire. Yet I'm willing to give up my retirement, throw it away, because I cannot live in a place that I'm not happy. Then my retirement mean nothing. It's not about the money. It's the quality of life," said an attendee.

The new construction comes with an estimated price tag of $370 million.

"One of the things that is conspicuously absent in my estimation, is waste treatment and disposal," said another attendee.

"It must be considered and we will be looking at the engineering elements of making that work," consultant for the project, Mike Munekiyo of Munekiyo Hiraga responded.

The plan includes building a boutique hotel, adding 80,000 square feet of commercial space, developing 56 oceanfront condos, about 200 multi-family ocean view residences, a new beach club and signature restaurant and 50 affordable workforce housing units.

Residents are worried about out-of-state buyers, more traffic, plus the overuse of the popular Hanakaoo Beach Park.

"I no can live in our home and not get overrun by all these new people, new houses. Our oceans getting over populated, our beaches getting over populated, the traffic situation, is not worth it," said another attendee.

Although Monday night's presentation was a chance to inform the public and develop ties as the project moves forward, one of the biggest hurdles is winning over the community.

"Easy for talk. Follow through with your guys' actions. That's why we get so much people in here, we no trust. All these developers come in house, and they put out all these lies. They come out. They do what they like. They make their money and they get out and we get stuck with everything," said one attendee.

Those against the project say approximately 7,600 people have signed a petition against it.

The next step for the project is completing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement which is due third quarter of next year.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.