East Hawaii News

Roundabout Before Business, Council Committee Says

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A Hawaii County Council committee today tentatively approved a proposed new shopping center for Pahoa after adding a new requirement for traffic mitigation.

Bill 120 already required that landowner Bryson Kuwahara install a traffic light before receiving building permits for the 10-acre, $20 million development being planned near the north end of Pahoa Village Road.

The bill also requires that the state would have to release funding for its “intersection improvement project” fronting the nearby Pahoa Marketplace before the project could receive a certificate of occupancy. The state Department of Transportation has proposed constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130.

But some members of the Planning Committee said they preferred to see something more concrete in the bill.

Councilwoman Karen Eoff proposed that the language be changed to require that the roundabout be completed before businesses could move into the new shopping center.

After some discussion, committee members agreed that such an amendment to the bill would be prepared before the measure comes up before the full council for the first of two required votes.

Jon McElvaney, the consultant for the project, told committee members that Kuwahara was in agreement with the change.

“Our No. 1 concern has always been traffic mitigation,” McElvaney said. “We will not accept occupancy until the roundabout is in.”


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