The Bratton Team

After years of delays and setbacks, Hawaii's Land Use Commission approved the master-planned developments of residential communities on Ho‘opili in Ewa and Koa Ridge in Central Oahu. Commissioners approved 11,750 homes on Ho‘opili and 5,000 homes Koa Ridge, both were in the long range urban plan for over 20 years. Over the next 15 years, this is where growth of new homes and commercial developments will occur.  For more about this exciting new development, please read the article below:

LUC spells out terms of Ho'opili, Koa Ridge

The written decisions are little changed from the original conditions on the controversial plans

By Andrew Gomes

Jun 22, 2012

The state Land Use Commission issued written decisions Thursday detailing its approval and conditions for master-planned communities Ho‘opili in Ewa and Koa Ridge in Central Oahu.

The written decisions were adopted by commissioners following verbal approval on June 8 that gave a preliminary go-ahead for Ho‘opili with 11,750 homes and Koa Ridge with 5,000 homes.

There were no major changes made Thursday to conditions tied to the projects, according to Dan Orodenker, LUC executive director.

Commissioners adopted the written decision by an 8-0 vote for Ho‘opili. The earlier vote was 8-1, but the lone dissenter, Jaye Napua Makua, didn't attend Thursday's meeting. Six votes are required to approve urban development on farmland.

The vote for Koa Ridge Thursday was 7-0 because Commissioner Ron Heller is recused due to a conflict. The earlier vote was also 7-0.

Written decisions set up anticipated appeals from project opponents — the Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter, state Sen. Clayton Hee and Friends of Makakilo in the Ho‘opili case, and the Sierra Club and Hee in the Koa Ridge case.

Kioni Dudley, leader of Friends of Makakilo, said he is looking forward to a judge's review. "I thought we had such a strong case," he said.

The two cases basically boiled down to whether the commission felt the projects were necessary to provide housing to accommodate population growth, and whether sufficient land is available to offset lost food production on the two actively farmed sites considered some of Oahu's best farmland.

Approval also was largely influenced by the location of the projects inside the city's urban growth boundary, which was established to direct where urban growth should be so that land outside the boundary remains off-limits for urban development.

The state Department of Agriculture and Office of Planning also backed the projects.

There were serious traffic concerns, but the commission typically relies on the state Department of Transportation to ensure that traffic studies and mitigation efforts are sufficient.

Both projects have committed to major road and freeway improvements, though project opponents doubt they will be effective.

The developer of Ho‘opili is D.R. Horton and its Schuler Division. The estimated $4.6 billion project is dominated by homes but also plans 3 million square feet of commercial space, five schools, 159 acres of commercial farms and two transit stations on 1,554 acres.

Koa Ridge is planned by Castle & Cooke Homes. In addition to housing, the estimated $2.2 billion project is slated for two schools, a hospital and a commercial center on 768 acres that are currently used to grow vegetables and for ranching.

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