Land Use Commission Delays Decision on Hoopili Master-Planned Community

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor The Hawaii Land Use Commission (LUC) has granted D.R. Horton’s request that the agency delay its decision on a proposed 1,554-acre master-planned community in Ewa. D.R. Horton— Schuler Homes LLC is seeking approval to change the land classification of prime agricultural to urban, and needs more time to draft legal [...]

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Hawaii Land Use Commission (LUC) has granted D.R. Horton’s request that the agency delay its decision on a proposed 1,554-acre master-planned community in Ewa.

D.R. Horton— Schuler Homes LLC is seeking approval to change the land classification of prime agricultural to urban, and needs more time to draft legal briefs concerning the argument that the LUC does not have the authority to reclassify agricultural lands.

According to the Pacific Business News, the proposed 11,750-home master-planned community, called Hoopili, will create 27,000 jobs in construction and consultation, as well as 7,000 permanent jobs. A decision by the state LUC is expected in June, with construction scheduled to begin in late 2013.

Opponents of the project argue that the Hoopili development is not the right use for the land and that the state cannot afford to give up 1,500 acres of prime agricultural land for urban use. Furthermore, they claim that traffic could become worse in an already congested area. D.R. Horton on the other hand agreed to widen a section of the H-1 freeway, by adding one lane in each direction between the Kunia and Waiawa interchanges.

Should the project receive the necessary approvals, Hoopili would become Oahu’s largest master-planned community.

D.R. Horton — Schuler Division Vice President Cameron Nekota told the Pacific Business News that the company does not have a specific formula for estimating housing demands; instead, it relies on projected population growth. According to U.S. Census data, between 2015 and 2030, Ewa’s population is expected to grow by 60,843 people.

The newspaper also reported that the Department of Planning and Permitting showed 50,637 housing units planned for or built in the Ewa area since 2005. While some planners question whether there is enough demand to support these projects, the region’s developers remain confident that they will be able to find buyers for their homes.

Photo credits: http://www.conservationhawaii.org