County Council approves Kula Ridge project

County Council approves Kula Ridge project

October 20, 2010

Maui County Council members voted 6-2 late Tuesday to approve the Kula Ridge project that promises to bring 59 affordable housing units for senior citizens and single families.

The action came following a 14-hour day filled with back-and-forth exchanges on the proposed affordable housing project and the conditions with which it would be approved.

Council Members Wayne Nishiki and Sol Kaho’ohalahala cast the two dissenting votes, while Council Members Danny Mateo, Mike Molina, Gladys Baisa, Jo Anne Johnson, Bill Medeiros and Joe Pontanilla voted in favor of the fast-track housing application. Council Member Mike Victorino was excused from deliberations, which started around 1:45 p.m. and ended with the vote at 11:07 p.m. Tuesday.

In the morning, about a dozen people testified for and against the project. Proponents praised the proposal for bringing affordable housing and jobs to the island, and opponents criticized Kula Ridge for being too dense and out of character for Upcountry while also questioning its water source and archaeological surveys.

The Kula Ridge project sits on 48 acres located above Holy Ghost Church and the Kula Community Center. The application calls for building a 116-lot development featuring 59 affordable senior duplexes and single-family homes.

In the last hour leading up to approval, Kula Ridge officials agreed to take out 11 affordable housing units it planned to build in the Kula Ridge subdivision and use for as a work-force housing requirement credit for the adjacent Kula Ridge Mauka development.

The fast-track state housing law allows a developer to bypass most state and county land-use requirements by promising to build affordable homes. The application came with a 45-day window for council members to take action. Maui News