ANAHOLA — The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands published its final environmental assessment with a finding of no significant impact for the Anahola Homestead Settlement Plan.
The state Hawaiian Homes Commission evaluated the final EA and issued a FONSI last month. The final EA and FONSI were published in the state Office of Environmental Quality Control’s June 23 Environmental Notice.
The Anahola Homestead Settlement Plan focuses on the development of a 462-acre kuleana homestead on the windward side of Kauaʻi within the traditional ahupuaʻa of Anahola and Kamalomalo that will ultimately be awarded as kuleana subsistence agriculture and pastoral lots to beneficiaries on the DHHL Kauaʻi agriculture and pastoral waiting lists.
Sugar cane and pineapple agriculture previously utilized the land, with remnants of infrastructure that serviced the operations still in place.
Vegetative overgrowth, largely consisting of albizia trees, dominates the natural environment. In September 2019, HHC approved a right of entry permit to the Green Energy Team to cut down and harvest albizia trees in Anahola. Work to remove the trees and make improvements to the existing roads is ongoing.
The Kuleana Homestead Program is intended to rehabilitate Native Hawaiians by providing opportunities for self-sufficiency and self-determination. As such, raw land will be offered to beneficiaries to live on, grow food to sustain their families and utilize for economic purposes.
Beneficiaries receiving an offer for kuleana homestead lots will agree to accept unimproved land in “as-is” condition.
The project area is essentially undeveloped. DHHL will only survey and stake lots to determine the metes and bounds description of each kuleana homestead lot and prepare an unpaved right-of-way to the awarded lots.
Lessees will be responsible for providing their utility and infrastructure needs, such as electrical, water, solid waste and wastewater disposal and communications. It is also beneficiary responsibility to maintain and upkeep the homestead tract’s rights-of-way, manage wildfire risks and preserve significant historical and biological resources.
The pilot Kuleana Homestead Program in Kahikinui, Maui, conceived in the 1990s, faced a learning curve that created challenges that exist today.
Among them, beneficiaries have expressed that an issue for lessees awarded these lots was the understanding of the requirement to build on the land and the associated costs.
Struggles to receive traditional loans and home insurance without traditional tax-map-key numbers also provided a roadblock for many awarded these lots. The Anahola Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan has taken this feedback into consideration to prepare for a more-successful settlement, including the issuance of individual TMKs to future lessees.
DHHL conducted two group beneficiary-consultation meetings on the project in 2019. A small group meeting with former plantation employees familiar with the plantation water systems in Anahola was also held.
To review the Anahola Homestead Settlement Plan final EA, visit dhhl.hawaii.gov/po/kauai.
Source: The Garden Island