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Honolua Bay plan includes golf course

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer
January 25, 2007

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. wants to add public access and amenities to Maui's popular Honolua Bay marine preserve, but is also seeking approval to develop a golf course and 40 home sites on nearby pineapple fields as part of the plan.

The company this week submitted conceptual plans for the project to the Maui County General Plan Advisory Committee after discussing the idea with community members and Honolua Bay users.

The plan includes creating parking, restrooms, picnic areas, a canoe hale and an educational facility dedicated to perpetuating Hawaiian language and traditions at the bay.

Currently, the bay, a popular surf spot, is accessed by unimproved foot trails and has no showers or restrooms.

To help pay for the improvements, Maui Land & Pine is proposing to develop 40 home sites and a links-style golf course with 18 holes outside the marine preserve, mauka of Honoapi'ilani Highway on pineapple fields the company owns.

The company has not estimated total development cost for the project, and said development is years away if the plan gains all necessary approvals.

The company is seeking to have its plan included in Maui County's general plan as a first step.

Other approvals would be needed from the state Land Use Commission, Maui County Planning Commission and County Council, among others.

Maui Land & Pine owns most of the land around Honolua Bay, which the company in 1978 dedicated as part of the Honolua-Mokule'ia Marine Life Conservation District.

Les Potts, a surfer and board shaper, said in a statement that a park area has been sought at Honolua Bay for 40 years. "I think this is great," Potts said. "One of our goals is to preserve the area for future generations."

Maui Land & Pine is conducting an archeological survey and cultural history of the area, and will also study how many people can use the area without creating an unacceptable impact on the environment.

"It's a marine conservation area, and we want to be sensitive to the ecological balance," said Maui Land & Pine spokeswoman Teri Freitas Gorman.

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