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Pa‘ia Developer Fails in His Promise To Reach Community

About

Faith Ewbank, a 48-year resident of Maui, is a mother and grandmother who has testified at many Maui County and Hawaii State hearings. Her interest in island agriculture inspired her recent turn from graphic design to writing.

Subject update: Item was deferred at the Land Use Committee meeting today.

Future dates will be shared here.


The first meeting for this Pa‘ia Development was a perfect example of a failed community meeting. Project developer David Spee only sent out notices to businesses and residences that were within 500 feet of his proposed project. Yes, this is the only requirement of the county charter but anyone with integrity would have expanded the communication because there are massive issues with the roadways surrounding Pa‘ia. Present day traffic jams with the off balance number of tourists creates havoc regularly. The surrounding and affected community deserves to be informed of any project that will alter traffic. They were not informed.

Pa‘ia Development community meeting was not suited for the number of people who were interested and came out to listen. Here is determined crowd over spilling into the bathroom hallway.
Standing room only at a Pa‘ia development meeting. To date, this live feed video archive of this meeting has over 2500 views.

The meeting location was at the new Heritage Hall, which many are still unaware of it’s tucked away location above Pa‘ia across the abandoned Pa‘ia Mill. There was no signage. Ten minutes before the meeting I personally hung a sign out front in frustration.

The small capacity meeting room immediately filled up until people were in the bathroom hallway tip toeing to listen. There was no sign up sheet until I created a make-shift one from a borrowed notebook. The presenter was not interested in the list as no one asked for it and it is still in my possession. The room next door had a celebration with laughing and loud music and many times throughout the meeting people had to yell, “We can’t hear you!”

The only time the crowd loosened their grip was when Kelly King try to calm the crowd by sharing her Kihei district examples of affordable housing. She received a loud applause from the attentive crowd. Someone yelled, “Where is our Upcountry Council representative?! Thank you for being here Kelly King but where is Mike White?”

Council woman Kelly King shares her Kihei district experiences while project developer David Spee looks on.

The presentation was redundant and people started yelling their concerns out of frustration. Mr. Spee’s comment on affordable housing, “Prices are high because it’s supply and demand.” An Uncle retorted, “No, it’s Greed! You come here buy low, sell high, you guys have come here with your capitalist dreams and it has pushed us local guys right out of the market!”

When speaking about offering locals the affordable units first, David Spee said, “Yes, these ARE in the condo rules” and shortly after he says, “These CAN be drafted in the condo rules.” That set the Uncle off, understandably so. I told Mr. Spee that he needs to choose his words carefully and explained why the Uncle jumped all over him, “You need to be careful with the words you say because you trigger these outbursts.”

Mr. David Spee’s answer to that back and forth banter, “I have not thought this out to the nth degree”

I could barely sit through the presentation. When asked about the importance of farming and saving agriculture land and not paving it over with concrete he said, you know, “I try to shop at the (farmers) market and support that industry.” WHAT?! Who the heck cares of your shopping habits right now. I could not take him seriously, I left after hearing that.

I heard that the meeting ended with him agreeing to have a better community meeting and to pull his request for change in zoning. He did none of that. Community stewards have tried to reach him to no avail.

Pa‘ia may not be perfect but it is pretty close. We do not need our pretty close to perfect being ruined with mass development of this kind. Don’t even get me started on the hana lepo (excrement), wastewater, groundwater contamination, sewage that is that close to the shore. Forget about it, Pa‘ia Bay surfing will be over. Maui County has massive unresolved issues to tend to right now, we have been fined for years for mismanagement of these county services performance.

Tomorrow, Wednesday November 29, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. at the Land Use Committee meeting in the Maui County Council chambers, Developer David Spee will once again request a Pa‘ia zoning change from Agriculture to Urban.

David Spee has failed in multiple capacities to reach his community. He was advised on how to host a community meeting and did not follow the advice of the elders or community members.


If you love Pa‘ia …..

You might choose to chime in with a short message against 17-126, requesting a District Boundary Amendment, from Agricultural to Urban. Email to lu.committee@mauicounty.us. When you send your testimony I invite you to cc: faith@FarmersVoiceHawaii.com, I heard there has been some funny business with county email delivery lately.


Partial video of meeting is available on the facebook page: Keep The Country Country

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