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Stop Sprawl
Fall 2000 Sprawl Report

States at a Glance: Hawaii

Planning Preserves Cowboy Character
Spreckelsville Mauka
Sprawl Drains Water, Crowds Schools

Planning Preserves Cowboy Character

On the slopes of Haleakala, Maui's majestic 10,000-foot dormant volcano, is a quaint historic town called Makawao. With origins in the upcountry "paniolo," or Hawaiian cowboy lifestyle, Makawao still hosts the statewide rodeo each Fourth of July weekend.

While a resurgence of tourism has spawned a new generation of galleries, boutiques and shops, the town is governed by a special "business-country-town" zoning category that requires strict design guidelines for new development.

Though upcountry Maui has grown significantly in population, Makawao has resisted planning proposals that would have altered the character of the town. Developers tried to get a 12-acre parcel in the center of town rezoned to allow construction of a huge retail complex.

But public outcry over the plans persuaded local leaders to scrap the proposal. The land, originally the estate of a New England sea captain, comprises pasture, open space, a 100-year-old house and huge, statuesque trees.

Surrounded by pineapple fields and pasture, the town has grown primarily in one direction. By making some savvy land-use decisions, Makawao has fought off sprawl while preserving its open space and rural charm.

Spreckelsville Mauka
Sprawl Drains Water, Crowds Schools

On Hawaii's Maui, haphazard development is threatening the island's rural character and legendary beaches while adding heavy stress to area roads and taxing the island's fresh water supplies. Considering the impacts of current growth, adding more sprawl to Maui is a dangerous idea.

But Spreckelsville Mauka, a 420-home subdivision, will do just that. Slated to be built on prime agricultural land just outside the rural village of Paia, this development is sprawl in the extreme.

Not only will this project double the population of the area, it will push water supplies, roads and schools beyond capacity. Paia receives water from an already overwhelmed aquifer system, sends its children to schools that are bursting at the seams and has a single access road that is already gridlocked every evening during rush hour. The county council voted to rezone the property to allow the development to proceed. But the deal is not done, and if Maui follows its planning guidelines, this development will not be built.

States at a Glance | Introduction | Resources | Acknowledgments

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