LIHU‘E — The county plans to embark on a slew of new construction projects within the next few months, amounting to close to $139 million, according to officials.
Some of the work includes rehabilitation to the Wailua Wastewater Treatment Plant, improvements to Laukona Park in Hanama‘ulu and about $10 million earmarked for road resurfacing islandwide.
But projects within the county’s housing division are top of mind.
“Addressing the need for more affordable housing continues to be one of the County of Kaua‘i’s top priorities,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said in a “Construction Preview” letter.
Lima Ola, the county’s workforce-housing development in ‘Ele‘ele, will begin construction on four projects, including senior housing, multi-family housing, single-family housing and a community center. The county will also start construction on Kealaula II at Lima Ola.
This new phase will result in 39 single-family units and 11 multi-family homes.
The encompassing project, which will consist of about 550 units, began its first phase of construction in November 2020. In 2022, the county is planning to spend about $67.7 million on this subdivision.
Affordable housing, though, isn’t just the creation of new homes, but allowing for more opportunities for construction.
“Building off the County of Kaua‘i’s recently adopted (2018) General Plan that prioritizes increasing the housing inventory — both affordable housing and “missing middle” housing — the department continues to introduce legislation and policies that relax zoning standards for housing and mixed-use developments within the island’s urban cores,” county Planning Department Director Ka‘aina Hull said in a statement.
“In the past two years, numerous reductions on setbacks, lot-coverage standards and roadway requirements for our residential and mixed-use districts have been adopted.”
During fiscal year 2021, the county granted almost 700 permits.
“Focusing on our wastewater infrastructure is also a top priority,” Kawakami said.
Over $31 million will go toward the county Department of Public Works Wastewater Division, with $1 million dedicated to a wastewater-facility-plan update that is set to start in July of this year.
The Wailua Wastewater Treatment Plant will also see close to $20 million in rehabilitation, improvements and renovations.
The DPW Solid Waste Division is setting $13 million toward refuse-transfer-station improvements islandwide. The project is expected to take about two years once it starts in June.
The county has already started some of its latest projects, including the development of an inclusive playground and improvements at Laukona Park, which should take about nine months.
Source: The Garden Island