State considers parkA nonprofit group wants to donate 63 acres on the north rim of Oahu's Waimea Valley for a state park and also to establish a nondenominational spiritual retreat center on 31 acres nearby.
A group wants to use land on
the North Shore to create
a new public resource
By Diana Leone
A Charitable Foundation Corp. is buying 94 acres of former pineapple land from Finance Realty Ltd. and Kalani Holdings Ltd., according to a staff report Friday to the Board of Land & Natural Resources.
The land is mauka of but not adjacent to Puu O Mahuka Heiau, which is a state park.
The group wants to donate land for park use to create a public resource, pre-empt development on the ridgeline and protect the public view-plane, the board was told.
Suggested uses of the proposed 63-acre park land include passive recreation such as hiking, jogging, picnicking and possibly horse trails.
The board approved the foundation's request Friday for a public hearing and small business impact determination study, both of which are required to rezone 18.5 acres of the land from limited to general use. That rezoning would allow an access road to the land from Maulukua Road, which intersects with Pupukea Road.
Before a public hearing would be held, an environmental assessment of the project would have to be completed and made available to the public.
State Parks Director Dan Quinn said putting the land in public hands would ensure a clear view of the ridgeline from Waimea Beach Park and provide state land near the Puu O Mahuka Heiau, something it has long sought.
Meanwhile on the privately held 31 acres, the group plans to establish Kahi Malu Spiritual Sanctuary.
The sanctuary would consist of about 5,000 square feet of buildings including a meditation chapel, central hall, kitchen and dining areas, office and sleeping quarters, all in a one-story plantation style. Non-native vegetation that has grown in the fallow pineapple fields since the 1970s would be replaced by native plants, fruit trees, organic gardens, lawns and other ornamental landscaping, according to the plan.
Uses of the nondenominational sanctuary would include day and overnight spiritual retreats, yoga and meditation classes, gardening and outdoor activities on a donation basis.
A Charitable Foundation Corp. President David S. Druz is described in a summary of the proposal as a long-term resident of the Pupukea community, and lists mailing addresses in Henderson, Nev., and in Pupukea.
Ben Welborn of Hanalei, Kauai, is listed as the environmental consultant for Druz and the foundation.
Druz told the Star-Bulletin by e-mail that he would talk further about "this wonderful project" when it's time for a public hearing.
Welborn could not be reached for comment on the project.
State of Hawaii
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