After hours of comparing reports and asking questions about drainage and future plans, the Maui Planning Commission gave Hawaiian Cement the go-ahead on Tuesday afternoon to increase the size of its Puunene quarry by more. of 45 acres.
Hawaiian Cement currently owns a quarry and rock crushing operation on approximately 226 acres which it wishes to expand to nearly 272 acres on land in the state and county agricultural districts. The move will extend the operational life of the facility by 14 years. Hawaiian Cement leases the property from Alexander & Baldwin.
The commission approved the county’s special use permit with modified terms. They also approved the state’s special permit with modified conditions, but the requested expansion still needs to be approved by the state’s Land Use Commission, planning director Michele McLean said after the meeting. .
The conditions added to both permits are that Hawaiian Cement will comply with the owner’s reclamation plan when the company completes quarry operations and will also stabilize the ground once use is complete.
Commissioner Kawika Freitas, one of two commissioners who voted against approval, wanted Hawaiian Cement to have a more detailed plan of what it could do to restore the land acreage once it was done.
He wanted the company to go above and beyond one of the requirements, which would include the exposed area being backfilled with 2 feet of topsoil before moving on to the next area to be excavated.
“Here is a company that takes resources and does not give back”, said Freitas. “We take 80%, 100%, only give 20%. Our Hawaiian ancestors, they were great at understanding conservation and respecting things. It’s an example. »
Freitas was also concerned about drainage from the project to nearby Kolaloa Gulch.
Project engineer Kirk Tanaka said that when it rains heavily, the low point in the quarry where the rock is excavated will form a basin “and the water has no way out of this pool.”
“You will never get water falling in the quarry site, enter the ravine”, Tanaka said.
He added that the basin will desilt the water and the water will infiltrate or evaporate.
The commission voted 5-2 in favor, with Mel Hipolito Jr., Dale Thompson, Ashley Lindsey, Kimberly Thayer and William Greig in support.
Opponents were Freitas and President P. Denise La Costa.
Vice President Kellie Pali abstained.
In an unrelated matter, the committee voted unanimously, 8 to 0, to approve amendments to a special permit from the State Land Use Commission for a haiku business.
The changes reflect an update to the Jaws Country Store site plan to include after-the-fact structures for the operation of the Neighborhood Market.
The owners are still working on permits after the fact with other county departments.
Even when commissioners approved the applications, they feared allowing owners to apply for permits after they had already built the structures.
“I believe we have an obligation as commissioners to take a much tougher stance on after-the-fact issues because we know Maui County is plagued by so many after-the-fact structures. Pali said. “But I also believe that while we’re trying to do that, we want to work with owners to bring them into compliance.”
One of the owners, Tiare Roberson, said she believes the operation is within her permit because the structures she has installed are under 200 square feet and do not require planning permission.
But she later learned that her outdoor wood-fired pizza oven with a roof, two storage sheds, two gazebos and toilets required permits.
The violations were found when a neighbor complained of various issues, including music on the property, which Roberson says happened once on a Friday night at a neighborhood-style gathering and families enjoying pizza.
Roberson said she turned off the music after the complaint and was still in touch with nearby residents, some of whom encouraged the evening gathering with music. She said only one neighbor had filed complaints.
The commissioners also added a condition to others in the planning department, setting permitted hours for unamplified music on the property from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
As requested by the applicant, the commission also granted a three-year license extension for continued commercial use in the state and county agricultural districts on approximately 2.4 acres of land in Haiku.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at email@example.com.