Conflict crops up over rural district boundaries

WAILUKU – More than a handful of residents and property owners of Anuhea Place near the Kulamalu Town Center in Pukalani asked County Council committee members Monday to place their land in a rural growth boundary so that they could freely put up homes for themselves and their children.

But representatives of both the Makawao and Kula community associations as well as other Upcountry residents were concerned about changing any existing Upcountry agricultural subdivisions to the higher-density rural designation. They were concerned that the lots could possibly be subdivided into smaller lots that would result in more homes, significant infrastructure impacts and additional costs to taxpayers.

Changing the designation of agricultural subdivisions to rural could “establish a precedent” that could be a “detriment to the county,” said Mike Foley, vice president of the Makawao Community Association and a former Maui County planning director.

But Tom Foster, a resident of Anuhea Place who also has a landscaping business on his property, said it makes sense to put Anuhea Place into a rural growth boundary because the area is adjacent to the town center and Kamehameha Schools Maui.

One of 10 people testifying in favor the change, Foster added that there is a gulch on both sides of the subdivision, so growth will not impact surrounding areas.

The Hale O Kaula Church also is in the subdivision and many members of the church testified Monday that the rural designation would make it easier to expand the church if needed. The church has faced numerous governmental hurdles because of its land designation and has even engaged in legal action.

Nearly 50 people testified before the Maui County Council’s General Plan Committee

Maui Land & Pineapple Reports 2010 1st Quarter Results – MarketWatch

KAHULUI, Hawaii, May 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. reported a net loss of $2.7 million or $0.33 per share for the first quarter of 2010, compared to a net loss of $13.2 million or $1.65 per share for the first quarter of 2009. Consolidated revenues were $10.7 million for both the first quarter of 2010 and 2009. Better operating performance and overhead cost reductions, and $3.4 million of gains due to the termination of the Company’s post-retirement life insurance plan and the elimination of medical benefits for non-bargaining retirees resulted in improved financial performance in the first quarter of 2010. In addition, in December 2009, the Company ceased its Agriculture segment operations, which generated an operating loss of $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2009. The Company’s $50 million cash sale of the Plantation Golf Course in March 2009 was accounted for as a financing transaction and, accordingly, no gain was recognized in the first quarter of 2009 results.

The End of Sugar on Kauai – Is This the Beginning of the End for Hawaii’s Iconic Agricultural Products?

Thursday September 24, 2009

Yesterday, Gay & Robinson announced that they would cease sugar operations on Kauai this fall, a year earlier than they had previously announced. This will mark the end of sugar production on Kauai.

When Gay & Robinson first announced its intentions in July 2007, there was anticipation that a partnership with Pacific West Energy LLC would merely shift the sugar cane business from consumable sugar to the production of ethanol. Those plans never met fruition.

With the end of sugar production on Kauai, only Maui’s Alexander & Baldwin’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. remains as the only producers of sugar cane in Hawaii. Poor economic conditions and drought conditions on Maui have cast a shadow on the future of sugar on Maui.

It is not beyond comprehension that within a few short years, Hawaii’s two iconic agricultural products, sugar cane and pineapple, may be no more. Currently Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Inc. is the only remaining producer of pineapple in Hawaii. Cheaper sources of pineapple elsewhere in the world and huge financial losses have cast doubt about the future of that operation as well.