Upcoming Development Meetings
Windward Planning Commission meetings are usually held the first Thursday of the month, starting at 9 a.m. at Aupuni Conference Center, 101 Pauahi Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720. Relevant agenda will be posted here once available from the County. The September 7, 2017 Windward Planning Commission includes a presentation by the State Office of Planning related to Coastal Zone Management/Special Management Areas. These topics are important for the Hamakua Coast and other coastal areas of the island. These topics are critical for Hakalau Point.
Plans from Private Developers
Private developers play a major role in the future of Hakalau. The Shropshire Group, LLC is the major developer in the Hakalau kuleana, including:
The landowner, the Shropshire Group, intends to develop Hakalau Point (Tax Map Keys 2-9-002:079 and 081). Various proposals have been made over the past eight years.
An alternative approach recommended to the County by community members is that the Point be converted to a park honoring the historic and natural significance of the site. The park would offer scenic vistas, biking paths and other features as required by the broader community.
The two competing approaches are moving ahead in tandem.
Ninole Development Update
In January 2015, the Windward Planning Commission approved a Special Management Area Use Permit for the Shropshire Group, LLC, for a property located along Highway 19 fronting Mile Marker 19 at Waikaumalo.
Community concerns expressed prior to approval related to impact on the view plane, insufficient space between the highway and the cliffs, contamination from the former gas station/garage on the site, and cliff instability.
Click on photo to view gallery of Ninole development
General Plan Update
The County's existing General Plan was adopted in 2005, and a lot has happened on Hawai`i Island since then. Updating the General Plan is a comprehensive process that began in February 2015. Amendments are expected to be reviewed by the Planning Commission in late 2017/early 2018, and reviewed and adopted by the County Council thereafter.
More information about the General Plan and the current process for updating it can be found by following these links:
Hamakua Community Development Plan
CDPs with Respect to the General Plan
The 2005 General Plan established a process—the Community Development Plan (CDP) program—to translate island-wide goals and priorities put forth in the General Plan into action-items that could be executed on a district level. The General Plan provides the island-wide vision, so CDPs can stay focused on local policies that achieve the overall vision for Hawai‘i County.
After several years of work it is nearly, but not quite, finished. And even when it is, the development of the CDP has been restricted to the extent that it cannot conflict with the existing General Plan. Unfortunately, at this point, the General Plan is rather out of date in some respects. For Hakalau, it appears that this disconnect has created a situation as follows:
Toxic chemicals, particularly arsenic, were used extensively on sugar plantations. The former Hakalau Plantation pesticide mixing site on Hakalau Point contains significant concentrations of arsenic that require cleanup.
Cliff Failures and Landslides
Cliffs along the Hamakua coast are subject to failure and pose a major challenge for development and major threat to the natural environment.
In 2001, C. Brewer put all of its Hamakua Coast property on the seller’s block, including former Hakalau Plantation property. The land was snapped up, mostly by bulk buyers who began reselling it in smaller parcels. This land is the nexus for development.
Future development of Hakalau is driven by the Hawai`i County General Plan, the Hamakua Community Development Plan, private developers, and the residents of the area. There are a variety of ways in which the public can provide input regarding development of Hakalau: Windward Planning Commission meetings, Hamakua Community Development Plan meetings, community discussions, petitions.
Hakalau Point, circa 2010
Current focus of development