June 21, 2010 – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Tim Bryan
The state Land Use Commission held its third in a series of public meetings about the Ooma rezoning request in Kona.
Ooma Beachside Village plans to develope the land parcel, located between NELHA and Kohanaiki, but first it needs the conservtation district to be rezoned to urban.
The Land Use Commission, which first met to hear testimony on the rezoning in March at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort, met at the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The proposal has drawn crowds representing both sides of the issue.
Developers say their plan represents a fair and generous compromise. They are particularly proud of their 1,100 foot shoreline setback, which preserves the natural beauty and historic resources of the area. The plan has even won the “2009 Outstanding Planning Award” from the Hawaii Chapter of the American Planning Association.
But opponents of the rezoning say it is not the plan they has them concerned. Big Island Video News spoke with Rebecca Villegas, president of the Kohanaiki Ohana, about her organization’s opposition to the petition.
Meanwhile, the Hawaii County Planning Department supports the project, saying it is in line with the Kona CDP.
A citizen advisory group, along with the Royal Order of Kamehameha , also support the project.
The National Park Service, who had submitted a petiiton to intervene in the rezoning, has since withdrawn thier objection.
The park service says it has reached an agreement with the developer on protective measures to address potential threats to water quality and water quantity.