Besides the fact that the Pi'ilani Promenade project violates the Kihei-Makena Community Plan (KMCP), which the developers refuse to acknowledge and the County of Maui ignores, the project, if built, will deny South Maui the opportunity to become a special beach community with true downtowns as envisioned in the 1998 KMCP.
Instead, if built, the shopping centers will kill existing commercial centers in Kihei just as happened in the 1960s and 1970s, when shopping centers were built on the fringes of cities, destroying the vitality of existing downtowns that served as commercial and social hubs.
Sprawling communities have less value to residents and property owners alike. They are not walkable and are socially isolating. Every interaction is a car trip--the opposite of sustainably.
I am not opposed to growth--far from it. I am in favor of "smart growth" and opposed to "dumb growth" at the expense of our future.
We are at the crossroads: the "Mega Malls," if built as proposed, will make South Maui look, feel and act like a suburb of automobile-centric/choked Los Angeles.
We deserve better and can achieve that through collective action.
The Kihei "Mega Malls" will be discussed at the next Kihei Community Association community meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Kihei Charter School on Lipoa Street in Kihei.
Come, listen, learn, discuss and stand up for your community and your lawful community plan (see KCA column on page 6). South Maui is too precious a place to waste for the benefit of Texas developers acting on behalf of out-of-state investors with no stake in our future.