July 14, 2010 – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Tim Bryan
This week starts another round of Land Use Commission hearings on the possible rezoning of O’oma in Kona.
Petitioner O’oma Beachside Village, LLC hopes to build a mixed use residential community on the parcel, but first it needs the zoned “conservation” land to be designated “urban”.
This week, project representative Peter Young showed Big Island Video News around the area. Young was particularly proud to demonstrate the distance of the development’s planned 1,100 foot setback from Ooma beach.
The plans for Ooma Beachside Village have been endorsed by a number of organizations, including the Hawaii County Planning Department. The plan won recognition from the Hawaii Chapter of the American Planning Association.
However, a large segment of the community stands opposed to the rezoning, for a number of different reasons.
One of those reasons is the development’s proximity to the Kona International Airport.
During the first round of public testimony before the Land Use Commission, residents said the noise from passing aircraft would be too loud, and might impact quality of life as well as home values.
While filming at Ooma, our interview with Peter Young was interrupted a few times by passing aircraft. However, Young said he does not foresee the noise as a problem in the future , because of the manner in which the airport plans to expand.
Other vocal opponents, like Rebecca Villegas, the president of Kohanaiki Ohana, say its not the plan that bothers them. Young tries to answer those concerns in this interview.
The commission hearing will start July 15th at 9:30 a.m. at the King Kamehameha Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona.