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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  November 8, 2006  

Release No. M-112-06






            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today sent to the City Council a request for a zoning change that  will protect more than 1,000 acres of land at Pupukea-Paumalu on the North Shore from development.

            The 1,003 acres lie mauka of Kamehameha Highway and Sunset Beach Elementary School, between the COMSAT communications facility and the residential subdivisions of Pupukea Highlands and Sunset Hills.

            The mayor is specifically asking to change its zoning from Country, P-2 General Preservation and R-5 Residential to AG-2 General Agricultural. He is also asking for removal of all existing conditions contained in a unilateral agreement, associated with ordinance 95-19.

            “In January, we announced the City had committed $1 million to help the Trust for Public Land acquire this property from Obayashi Corporation,” said Hannemann. “This rezoning, once the Council approves it, is an important step toward ensuring that these lands will be preserved as open space and protected against development for generations to come.”

            Meanwhile, the Trust for Public Land will proceed with acquisition of the site from Obayashi, which at one time planned development of several hundred homes on the site, which overlooks North Shore beaches from Sunset to “Log Cabins.” In receiving the 1995 zoning for that project, Obayashi signed a unilateral agreement that laid out specific conditions for that development.

             Opposition to development there, however, prompted community groups, the Trust for Public Land, and City, state and federal officials to seek acquisition of the site from Obayashi.

            A condition of the sale is to restore the land’s previous zoning, which allows for the unilateral agreement to be rescinded. The site totals 1,129 acres, but 126 acres are already zoned AG-2, so the proposed rezoning affects only the other 1,003 acres.

            The federal government is providing $5 million for the site, through the Army Environmental Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Once the Trust for Public Land acquires title, it will transfer the land to the City and state to manage the property as a park reserve and open space.

            The mayor added, “This is the kind of public-private partnership that benefits all the parties. We at the City are happy to partner with the Trust for Public Land, many members of the North Shore community and the landowner, Obayashi Corp., all of whom worked hard on this project.

            The Trust for Public Land was also very helpful to my administration when we broached the idea of working together to save Waimea Valley,” Hannemann said. “Our discussions paved the way for the U.S. Army to come forward, which enabled the City to seal the deal for Waimea.”



Media contacts:

            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

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