(BIVN) – A plan to construct a 3-story commercial building at the current Hilo Farmers Market site has been abandoned in favor of a “scaled-down, open-air building concept” that requires different permits.
Hilo Farmers Market LLC asked the Windward Planning Commission to revoke its Special Management Area Use Permit, granted to the market on March 6, 2008.
According to County planners, the Hilo Farmers Market is instead moving forward with the alternative “open-air” concept that now only requires SMA Minor Permits.
“The reason we’re bringing it back to you folks,” planner Christian Kay told the commissioners, “is that SMA Use Permits are the only types of permits now that require revocation approval by the Planning Commission. After we changed our PC rules recently, all of the other permits that you have authority over can be revoked by the directors.”
One year ago, tensions between the Hilo Farmers Market and County officials were high after market owner Keith De La Cruz failed to meet the conditions in the SMA permit by an extended deadline. “The owner had 10 years to construct a permanent structure as required by SMA approval,” Hawaiʻi County officials stated at the time. “The deadline of March 2018 has not been met. The Farmers Market owner initially received Planning Department approval for a permanent structure in 2008. A condition for approval required completion of construction within 5 years. In 2013, the owner requested an extension for another 5 years. The extension was granted with a new deadline of March 18, 2018.”