Despite concerns over drainage and runoff, a 20,000-square-foot warehouse to be located near Costco in Kahului received approval of a special management area use permit on Tuesday.
The Maui Planning Commission granted West Maui Construction Holdings LLC the permit to develop the warehouse building and conduct improvements on approximately 4.7 acres in the Maui Business Park at 72 Lauo Loop. The warehouse — which was designed to reflect old plantation buildings — will consist of 16 units, in which two of the units will become the business headquarters of the construction company. The remaining units will be available for use by the owner or offered for sale or lease to other businesses, according to a Planning Department report. The building is not in the special management area but a sliver of the property is.
The major concern commissioners had with the project was runoff and drainage in the area close to Kanaha, prompting them to add conditions to the permit relating to runoff and preventing spills.
The commission is requiring the applicant to use pervious materials as feasible in the project to allow water to pass through as well as plan and implement spill prevention control and countermeasures as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Given that the drainage channel leads to Kanaha almost directly, how are you ensuring there is no hazardous materials or chemicals that are going to enter the drainage channel and subsequently Kanaha?” Commissioner Kim Thayer asked consultants.
Rory Frampton, a planning consultant for West Maui Construction Holdings, said there are filters that will be placed on the drainage inlets, which is required now by the new standards of the county Stormwater Management Program. There will be some on-site retention of runoff through a subsurface pipe that will allow for some percolation for the smaller flows or smaller rainflow events.
There is also a large grass retention basin adjacent to the property that will allow filtering as well, Frampton said.
Commissioner Mel Hipolito Jr. was concerned about how drainage would be handled coming off of the 20,000-square-foot building during heavy rains.
Hope Builders’ Mark Matsuda, a civil engineer for the project, said runoff from the project will go through the drainage systems and “nothing will directly run through that channel.”
But then Hipolito asked if there could be times there would be overflows.
“A large storm event, that could happen,” Matsuda acknowledged.
Commissioner Kawika Freitas said he liked the design but questioned the 38.6-foot height of the warehouse, saying it will affect the view line.
“It’s going to stand out like a sore thumb. How come it has to be so high?” Freitas asked.
Frampton said it is a two-story building with an open roof up above. He said it is an interior lot and it will not be directly along nearby roads.
When the park is built out, there will be other buildings of similar heights, Frampton added.
Architect for the project Peter Niess of Maui Architectural Group said that instead of having a box-type building, such as those in the nearby areas, this one is “better looking” with windows to add in sunlight to save on electricity along with a bigger roof surface for future photovoltaic panels.
The commission’s other two conditions were to have the applicant use native Hawaiian plants in its landscape plan along with providing parking stalls wider than 8 1/2 feet where possible.
A condition the Planning Department also put on the project includes that construction of the project shall be initiated by April 30, 2025.
The commission voted 7-0 to approve the permit. Newly elected Chairwoman P. Denise La Costa was absent and excused.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at [email protected].