Debate Over Hoopili Homes Rages On

Alana Folen
Wednesday - November 25, 2009
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D.R. Horton-Schuler Division is currently in the planning stages for a development project known as Hoopili, which will consist of close to 12,000 homes located on 1,500 acres of land between Waipahu and Kapolei.

The developer has been petitioning the state to change the land designation from agricultural to urban use and has been working with the State Land Use Commission and local agencies to get the project under way.

Mike Jones, division president of D.R. Horton-Schuler Division, hopes to see the first homes up for sale some time in 2012 or 2013.

“Hoopili is exciting for us because the main drive is to create local housing for local residents as well as to further the vision of Kapolei, which is to create more jobs in a place where people can live and work in the same community,” he said.

“It’s going to be a gradual growth as far as housing goes, and at the same time we’ll also be doing commercial development, which again will create permanent jobs for the area.”

According to Jones, however, the developer’s recent application was deemed deficient because the State Land Use Commission requested a phasing line be added to the current project plan.

“We’re going back and re-looking at our phasing line, and once we get that completed we hope to keep moving forward,” Jones said. “We’re hoping that will be some time next year, but again, it’s hard to estimate and as of now, we don’t really know the time frame.”

There has been some opposition to the project along the way. According to the Friends of Makakilo Web site at, changing the land designation from agricultural to urban (the land is now home to three agricultural tenants, including Aloun Farms) will result in “increased traffic” and “loss of farmlands islandwide.”

“There are 29,000 homes already and 33,000 additional housing projects already zoned besides Hoopili, which will double-and-a-half the traffic on the freeway,” argued Friends president Kioni Dudley.


“The housing development also will take place on the most precious ag land in the state on high classes of soil,” he added. “Right now we need food security, and currently we’re only producing 15 percent of our own food.”

Despite the opposition, Jones said the long-term benefits of Hoopili will outweigh the current concerns held by the Friends.

“I think it’s important that we’re looking 10 to 20 years down the road, not just five years or what’s going on right now,” Jones explained. “The people who are against it obviously have their reasons, but at the same time I like to focus on why it’s a good thing and why it needs to be planned.

“It’s a matter of having those new homes and businesses, parks, churches and gardens integrated into the community. Within the whole community there will be places to live, places to work and places to play,” he said, adding that properties in Hoopili will range from affordable rentals to senior housing to town-houses, condos and single-family homes.

The developer also is incorporating the use of a task force made up of residents and community leaders throughout West Oahu to help gain a better understanding of their vision for the future generations who will live in the community and, more specifically, Hoopili.

“The task force helped shape Hoopili because they actually helped design it, so you have people representing all the different neighborhoods around it,” said Jones.“It’s critical to get their perspective on what’s really important to have out at Hoopili.

“It’s a totally different type of community than what’s really ever been planned here in Hawaii, with the mix of commercial along with the residential along with some sustainability features like the community gardens and rail coming through. There’s really no community like this that’s ever been done in Hawaii, so we’re really excited about it.”

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