Another project coming to North Shore
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By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Andrew Gomes
It's not 3,500 hotel and condominium units at Turtle Bay Resort or exclusive beachfront homes on agriculture property in Kahuku, but a plan to create 26 house lots on a large family homestead near Waimea Bay is raising more community concerns over development on the North Shore.
Members of the Burger family seek to subdivide their mostly undeveloped 7-acre property, which is about one mile from Waimea Bay on the mauka side of Kamehameha Highway in Kawailoa and largely surrounded by fallow farmland owned by Kamehameha Schools.
The plan would allow three Burger siblings to rebuild and retain four old family homes on the property, which have been in the family for generations, and sell 22 lots on which buyers could build one home each.
A development consultant for the Burgers last month presented the plan before a North Shore Neighborhood Board meeting, during which a few residents expressed concerns over impacts such as traffic.
D.G. "Andy" Anderson, a local businessman who has developed a small residential subdivision on the North Shore and is a consultant to the Burgers, said the project is not controversial, but that some area residents have long fought even small additions of housing.
"They (protesters) use traffic for all of their arguments against development," he said. "When people try to provide homes in the area for employees who live and work out there, hopefully lessening the traffic, they still oppose it? Nothing big or small pleases some in this community."
Recent plans by big developers to add 3,500 hotel and condo units at Turtle Bay and 18 beachfront homes on agriculture property in Kahuku have stirred passionate opposition from community members.
While also raising some concern, the Burger project does not have the huge scale of the Turtle Bay plan, or a land use that doesn't conform to existing zoning like the Kahuku plan.
According to a draft environmental assessment prepared by Burger consultant R.M. Towill Corp., the project conforms to the property's residential zoning and would have minimal impact on the overall area population.
The project also conforms to the city's development plan for rural use in the area, and is adjacent to seven other homes. There are several more homes fronting the ocean on the makai side of Kamehameha Highway across from the Burger property.
IT'S A 'BIG THING'
However, neighbor Mineko Zeidlhack opposes the plan. "That's a lot of houses to go into a small area like that so close to the ocean," she said.
Zeidlhack, who has lived next to the Burger property since 1999, said she is also upset that a road and a house lot will be developed on two sides of her property.
"Having a road all of a sudden next to your property is a big thing," she said. "It's not being that well planned out."
David Lane, a Hale'iwa surf shop worker whose family has lived a little farther from the Burger property since the 1940s, said he'd like to see the Burger plan in detail before taking a position on it. But he said the project potentially could raise concerns.
"Another 22 homes is another impact on the highways just like anything around here," he said. Lane also said Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau above Waimea Bay should be a reason for closer scrutiny of development in the neighboring vicinity.
R.M. Towill's draft environmental assessment said the presence of significant historical or archaeological items is "highly unlikely." But if unidentified deposits are uncovered, contractors would cease work and contact the state Historic Preservation Office.
Because the Burger property is mostly within 200 feet of the ocean, the developer is required to obtain a Special Management Area permit and follow additional procedures governing construction. Otherwise, the project doesn't require other major government approvals.
GOING WITH LESS
Anderson said the Burger property could be subdivided into about 35 lots under existing zoning, but that the family decided to propose fewer lots, with about half of them roughly twice as large as the 5,000-square-foot minimum.
"(The) final decision was to not maximize the density, and go with less, even though it meant a loss of many dollars of potential profit," he said.
Three sisters own the Burger land — Shawna Rae Kehaulani Burger, Jacquelynn Nicole Lamb and Robin Helena Pualani Burger Doxey. The property was passed from their grandmother, Lorna Hau'olilani Awai Burger, who was born on the North Shore in the early 1900s to the sheriff of Hale'iwa.
Anderson said the Burgers plan to name the subdivision Hauoli Lani, after their grandmother, who died in 2001. The new subdivision road would be named Tutu's Place, he said.
Reach Andrew Gomes at firstname.lastname@example.org.