November 5, 2010 – HILO, Hawaii / KONA, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
The Kamakana Villages project, under fire from officials confused by recent request for variances and exemptions – which are permissible under state law for affordable housing projects – got past at least one hurdle on Thursday.
The 272-ace project recieved an important approval from the state Land Use Commission on Thursday. Developers were seeking a district boundary amendment.
The project must still meet with County Council approval, which deliberated the Kamakana project on the Thursday.
An ammendement to the resolution forced a delay in the vote.
The developers, Forest City Hawaii, in partnership with the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation, proposes Kamakana Villages at Keahuolu as an affordable, compact, walkable, transit-oriented community.
But opponents say the development will not offer the type of affordable housing that Kona needs, and that the current sewage treatment plant capacity is inadequate. Some have even cast a critical eye on the relationship between the HHFDC and Forest City. Brenda Ford, digging into the paperwork outlining the agreement between the two, detailed a number of financial incentives between the entities that she says raises a red flag.