HRI is in the process of revising the land use master plan for property it owns and manages.
One of the main components of this draft master plan was the Malaekahana Mauka master planned community, which included up to 650 single and multi-family homes planned to be built at the foot of the majestic Koolau mountains a majority of which would be affordable "workforce housing" for the median income earner working at institutions and employers in Laie and surrounding areas. HRI envisioned a country atmosphere with a walkable community suitable for the area modern amenities people desire coupled with the unique Laie lifestyle residents cherish (Malaekahana Mauka: "Keeping families in the country"). For an important update on the project, please refer to the news item for March 6, 2008 (also discussed below).
In January 2000, the City and County of Honolulu adopted the Ko'olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan (City Plan), which included the Laie Master Plan. The Laie Master Plan was created by HRI with the help of a Citizens' Advisory Group, formed for the purpose of articulating a vision for the Laie community and identifying and generally siting future land use designations (Koolauloa Sustainable Communities Plan).
In 2003, HRI acquired 663 acres of land in the adjacent ahupua'a of Malaekahana, north of Laie. In light of that acquisition and as part of the City's five-year review cycle of the City Plan, HRI recently began the process of revising its master plan to incorporate its new holding in Malaekahana.
In April and May 2005, HRI conducted surveys of several hundred community residents to gather information about housing needs, preferences and demographics, as well as opinions about the importance of community amenities like parks, retail, and recreational facilities.
On May 12, 2005, the Laie Community Association and HRI co-sponsored a community input meeting as part of the revision process. The meeting began with a presentation by HRI's planning consultants, followed by small group discussions among meeting attendees. Participants gave their input on the topics: "The Role of Parks", "Community Facilities and Open Space", "Housing and Ohana", "Mobility and Accessibility", "How Does Our Community Look? (Enhancing our Community Character)", and "What is Appropriate Economic Development for the Area?" HRI highlighted the affordable housing crisis and its impact on Laie institutions, emphasizing its focus on affordable housing for the local workforce of these affiliated entities.
Results of housing surveys and the community meeting were reviewed and incorporated into the creation of a preliminary development plan. That plan was presented at another large community meeting held on March 22, 2007 (see the News & Events stories of March 23rd and May 1st for details).
On March 6, 2008, Eric Beaver, HRI's president & CEO announced that after careful consideration of a number of key factors, the land management company decided to halt plans to facilitate the workforce housing project in the Malaekahana area. The statement announcing the decision was read that evening by Pane Meatoga Jr., President of the Laie Community Association, at an LCA public meeting.