Negotiating Haleiwa's Future

Trying to maintain traditions while transforming the North Shore town

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North Shore Master Plan

It’s important to remember that the Haleiwa Commercial Redevelopment Project is just one part of a much broader plan for the 26,000 acres of land KS owns on the North Shore. Most of that land – about 15,000 acres – is zoned conservation. Another 9,000 acres are agricultural lands. Only about 2,200 acres, mostly along Kamehameha Highway and within Haleiwa town, are zoned rural and available for limited residential and commercial development. The schools’ North Shore Master Plan, which was adopted in 2008, includes six planning elements that serve as a guide for managing those assets:

  • Increase natural and cultural resource stewardship and management; 
  • Expand educational opportunities; 
  • Establish alternative energy uses; 
  • Enhance diversified agriculture and food production; 
  • Develop/redevelop rural commercial; and
  • Develop rural residential.

Kekoa Paulsen, KS’s director of community relations, explains that the trust’s North Shore Master Plan is built around several “catalyst” projects. “These are projects that, from the time the plan was completed, kind of stood out as the things that we could do that would have the greatest impact and help us to actually implement the plan and get it rolling.” By way of example, he describes KS’s irrigation project for its North Shore agricultural lands, which cost between $2 million and $3 million.

“We wanted to get farmers on the land,” he says, “but they couldn’t get there until they had water. This was an irrigation system that was built at the turn of the 19th Century – so, it was early 20th Century tunnels, ditches, weirs etc. All those things had fallen into disrepair. So, that kind of rose to the level of catalyzing, because once those things were done, we could start finding farmers and crops that we could successfully move to the land.” He points out that all those repairs have been made now: the ditches have been piped to minimize evaporation; the tunnels sleeved to prevent cave-ins; and the dams safely restored. 

KS’s other catalyst projects run the gamut of its North Shore assets. Work has already begun on the restoration of Loko Ea Fishpond, behind Jameson’s By The Sea restaurant, so that it can be used as an educational facility and to produce fish again for the community. This summer, construction will begin on KS’s ambitious Kawailoa windfarm, which will be the largest on Oahu. And KS has signed a contract with a local consulting firm to manage the environmental restoration of Okoa Marsh, the third largest wetland on Oahu. In the future, KS plans to build a cultural learning center in Kapaeloa, near Waimea Bay, and sell small tracts of land on Papailoa Road and in Kapaeloa for market housing developments.

But the catalyst projects that will have the most effect on Haleiwa itself will likely be the Town Center Commercial Development, which will include approximately 85,000 square feet of retail space, and Haleiwa Residential Village, which will create 350 new residential units, 130 of which would be affordable housing.

Those are the big plans that will take more than a decade to build. They also mean Fronda and his team still have a lot of work to do to build community support. Last year, though, KS won the American Planning Association’s National Planning Excellence Award for Innovation in Sustaining Places for its community outreach and values-based planning process.

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