A planned-community for the Ewa plain that received a less than warm welcome in 2009 is now being embraced by those who had their biggest concerns. The developer of the Ho'opili project worked closely with community leaders and made changes based on their input. Developer D.R. Horton-Schuler Division says Ho'opili is a first-of-its kind development, calling it a & quot;walkable" and sustainable community.
"They're going to be able to walk to their job, they're going to be able to walk to one of the community gardens, they're going to be able to walk to transit, they're going to be able to walk to shop," said D.R. Horton-Schuler Division President Mike Jones.
Or even walk to one of five planned schools, including three elementary schools, one middle and one high school. Fewer cars means less traffic – the biggest concern for the proposed 11-thousand 750 home project.
"Having retail and schools and parks and all of these things close to homes, generates a lot of walking activity and guess what that does?" asked Jim Charlier, president of Charlier Associates, Inc., a transportation planner out of Boulder, Colorado. "That generates more walking activity because the thing that pedestrians love more than anything is other pedestrians."
Community members also voiced concerns over development of agriculture land. In response the community will be provided 159 acres of land for commercial farm use and an additional 84 acres for home gardens.
"They're going to have the opportunity to put in edible gardens within their yards over there and hopefully that will promote an understanding of agriculture," said Nalo Farms owner, Dean Okimoto.
The project is expected to create $4.6 billion in economic activity and thousands of jobs over a 20-year period including 7,000 permanent jobs. The first homes could be available in 2013.
"Majority of those homes will be work-force housing and affordable housing for local families," said Jones. "If we were out selling them today it would probably be in the $200,000 to single family to mid-500 thousand."
"We wanted good paying jobs, we wanted quality education, affordable, accessible, sustainable housing with big open spaces and transportation improvements," said Maeda Timson of the Ho'opili Community Task Force. "We're really confident that D Horton Ho'opili project is really a dream community not just for them but also for us."
D.R. Horton-Schuler Division will file an amended petition Wednesday with the State Land Use Commission seeking approval of Ho'opili. It could take six months to a year for a decision on whether to change land designated from agriculture to urban.
Article Courtesy of: http://www.khon2.com
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