- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - A hotly debated but unanimously approved housing development is bringing 11,750 new homes to West Oahu over the next three decades.

The plan has seen opposition since it was proposed over 10 years ago, with detractors arguing against rezoning and losing agricultural lands as well as the possibility of worsening traffic in West Oahu, the Star-Advertiser reports (https://bit.ly/1zGjLBB).

Hawaii housing company D.R. Horton - Schuler Division has promised millions in transportation mitigation funding.

City director of planning and permitting George Atta says he’ll be working with city and state agencies as well as the developer to come up with a comprehensive traffic plan before subdivision permits are granted.

“This is before even construction of houses can begin,” Atta said.

He said traffic conditions in the area are intolerable already, and while Horton-Schuler is expected to contribute its fair share, he said, “I don’t think we can expect them to do the whole solution. The impacts and solutions are much bigger than that.”

Mayor Kirk Caldwell needs to sign the bill, and said he’s in favor.

Councilwoman Kymberly Pine opposed the project when it was initially proposed a decade ago, but voted with her eight fellow councilmembers Wednesday.

“If other developers did what they’re doing today (in terms of improvements), we would not have traffic the way we have on the freeway today,” she said.

Challenges are still ahead for the development, as a lawsuit by the Sierra Club and former state Sen. Clayton Hee against the Land Use Commission’s approval of the project is being appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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