The Debate Over This Maui Housing Project Is Still Going Strong 35 Years Later….Critics point to decades of broken promises by developers, who say those in opposition will do anything to delay. Now it’s up to the planning commission to decide.

Soon after luxury hotels exploded in South Maui, an investor unveiled a new plan: a development of up to 2,200 homes on 670 acres at the end of Piilani Highway, a project promised to usher in a “greater sense of community” to the resort area of Wailea.

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It was then called Wailea 670. Along with the homes, there’d be 400 or so “resort lodges,” two 18-hole golf courses, commercial space and parks. In a 1988 environmental review, the investor’s consultant argued the land was ready for building, saying the soil wasn’t good for agriculture, there “would be no impacts on archaeological or historical resources” because there wasn’t anything of “significance” and many of the plants were “weedy.” If anything, the consultant wrote, development would “create a more diverse set of living spaces which would likely benefit species like plover, myna and sparrow.”

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