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LUC votes down Ooma rezone request

(Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Lynn Beittel)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

The state Land Use Commission voted Friday, Nov. 5 to keep Ooma in North Kona under the conservation classification, rejecting a request to rezone to urban use.

Developers had proposed a mixed-use shoreline community, with up to 1,200 residences and 300 commercial spaces for the area near the Kona International Airport. The plan also pledged 75 acres of the 302-acre parcel to remain unimproved shoreline open space, including popular fishing and scuba spots.

Opponents voiced concerns infrastructure deficits, protecting cultural sites and nearshore waters, over-development along the coast and noise from Kona International Airport. Others expressed concern the developer may not see the project to completion.

Ooma Beachside Village, which received the “2009 Outstanding Planning Award” from the Hawaii Chapter of the American Planning Association, had been called the right project at the right time, just in the wrong place.

Land owner Dennis Moresco indicated the vote essentially killed the project and he will now consider other options.

This is the third time the land sandwiched between NELHA and what is now the Kohanaiki golf course has been under consideration for rezoning. The previous efforts seeking hotel and resort uses – in the 1980s and in the 1990s – failed.

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(Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Lynn Beittel)

(Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Lynn Beittel)

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