- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

KAHULUI, Hawaii (AP) - Maui Lani residents near the site of the planned Central Maui Regional Sports Complex are telling officials they want the project to be built somewhere else.

The Maui News reports (http://bit.ly/1pTJYan) that residents of the subdivision are concerned about traffic, lights and noise at the ball fields. At a community meeting Tuesday night, they voiced worry that their property values would decline.

Construction on the 65-acre complex is scheduled to begin this summer and finish next year. It will include a high school baseball field, four softball fields, four youth baseball fields, three soccer fields, 302 parking spots, restrooms and concession areas.

Officials said about $18.5 million in state funds have already been appropriated to the project. Planning, design and permit approvals are all complete.

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui said that moving the project wasn’t possible because repeating the necessary steps would delay construction for seven to 10 years.

“For several years, we’ve worked on several environmental assessments, there had to be an archaeological study, an unexploded ordnance study, soil testing,” Tsutsui said. “All those things are required before we can even start moving on a park.”

Homeowners suggested the state move the complex two miles west, onto 209 acres in Waikapu the county bought in September and has slated to become a regional park.

The design of the project is aimed in part at softening the effect on the neighborhood. The newest industry-standard lights conform to the county’s “dark sky” ordinance, and officials said lighting hours will be followed. Additionally 112 trees will be planted along the Maui Lani property line to buffer light and noise.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com