East Hawaii News

UH-Hilo Land Addition Gets Green Light

January 8, 2014, 12:02 PM HST
* Updated January 8, 12:04 PM
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The University of Hawaii at Hilo has issued a “finding of no significant impact” for a proposal to add 46.3 acres of land to the school’s campus.

The finding coincides with the release of the final environmental assessment for the project, most of which has been in the planning stages since 2006.

The land consists of three parcels of state land on the other side of West Lanikaula Street from the main UH-Hilo campus. Two were tentatively transferred to the university in 2006 by the Board of Land and Natural Resources, but under Department of Land and Natural Resources rules, the change in use of the property required the preparation of an environmental assessment.

The two parcels are largely covered by vegetation.

An archaeological survey indicated that the property was previously used for sugar cane cultivation and dairy farming. The EA said no cultural sites dating to prior to Western contact were identified.

A third parcel, which was added to the plan since the original 2006 approval, has been in use as an Army Reserve facility. It will be decommissioned and transferred back to the state.

The addition of the three parcels is being made to accommodate future student population growth.

The eventual use will be determined by an update to the university’s 1996 long-range plan, which will also require the preparation of an environmental impact statement.

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