Community’s district
in question

Castle & Cooke has not yet
determined the region to which
Koa Ridge will belong

By Diana Leone

If and when Castle & Cooke Homes develops its Koa Ridge Makai and Waiawa tracts in Central Oahu, will the new homes become part of Mililani to the north or Waipio to the south?

Art Or will the 761 acres of former pineapple land go by its current (but not necessarily permanent) subdivision name, Koa Ridge?

"We haven't broached this question yet," said Castle & Cooke Homes Vice President Alan Arakawa. "However, we do not see Koa Ridge as a part of Mililani at all. That's strategic on our part. When we're done with Mililani Mauka, that will be complete."

"Whatever we name it will be the name of the entire master-planned community," Arakawa said. "It's something we'll have to get into in the next couple of years" as a series of permits and plans are worked through.

"It could end up being Koa Ridge or could be something totally different," Arakawa said.

Castle & Cooke still has a host of regulatory hurdles to overcome before embarking on its plan to build 3,237 homes in Central Oahu. However, its plans have raised questions as to which community future Koa Ridge residents would belong.

From the city's perspective, whatever the developer names a subdivision, especially in a formerly undeveloped area, that is what the city calls it, said Randall Fujiki, city planning director.

City planner Matt Higashida said he sees logic in not considering Koa Ridge Makai part of Mililani, since Kipapa Gulch is a physical barrier between them. It is also the dividing line between Mililani and Waipahu ZIP codes.

Since all of Oahu is part of the City & County of Honolulu, exactly where community dividing lines fall is not always so precise. And a ZIP code area often is bigger than what people think of as their community.

U.S. Postal Service manager Rowena Rivera, known as Hawaii's "ZIP code lady," said although the yet-to-be-developed Koa Ridge Makai and Waiawa areas are in the Waipahu ZIP code, that does not necessarily make them part of Waipahu -- not any more than Waipio, Waikele or Royal Kunia, which also share the Waipahu ZIP code.

Growth is what creates a new ZIP code, Rivera said.

No new ZIP codes are planned, she said, "but if this development, or some others following it, construct enough homes ... maybe five or 10 years down the line," Waipahu and Mililani will be under consideration for additional ZIP codes.

Actually, the ZIP codes probably will be the easy part. When homes are built, the question of where children who live there will go to school also will have to be addressed.

State Department of Education planner Sanford Beppu said where the children of Koa Ridge would go to school is "still to be determined."

In the past the lines between Central and Leeward districts would have been pretty firm. But with the new clusters of school complexes, the districts are less important, he said. Much would depend on school capacities at the time.

E-mail to City Desk


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