(BIVN) – An application for a proposed development in Puʻueo has been withdrawn, suddenly ending a months-long debate over a rezoning that made its way through the Planning Commission to the Hawaiʻi County Council.
On Tuesday, the council’s Planning Committee announced that the Edmund C. Olson Trust, which planned to develop 51 total lots on two parcels totaling roughly 40-acres of land near Clem Akina Park, was no longer pursuing the necessary approvals.
Bills that would initiate a State Land Use Boundary Amendment and a Change Of Zone in order to enable the project have been taken off the table.
“I want to thank the Olsons – Mr. Fuke representing them, Mr. Cross was here as well, for moving forward together with the community,” said Hāmākua councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, who attended a community meeting recently on the matter.
“I don’t think there is anything suspicious about it,” she continued, responding to a comment made by councilman Tim Richards, who said he was disappointed by the loss of an opportunity for much-needed affordable housing. “I think it’s a good statement that there will be continued work with the community, and that’s important. So that’s a good model and I respect the Olsons for recognizing that.”
The project generated a lot of concern in the community after state investigators found historic gravestones were damaged on the property a few years ago. The matter was recently settled with the Trust, which agreed to pay a $54,960 penalty. The State Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the settlement.
Dwight Vicente filed a written request for a contested case hearing in regards to the settlement. His request was denied by the state. Vicente was in Hilo for the council planning committee meeting and testified.