King’s Landing Kuleana Settlement Plan and Environmental Assessment

KING’S LANDING KULEANA SETTLEMENT PLAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

 

1. current information and announcements (May 2024)

 The King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan Draft Environmental Assessment is Available for Review and Comment

 The Settlement Plan DEA can be accessed here:  

Figure 1: King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan

 

When and How to Submit Comments? 

The 30-day public comment period will be open from June 8, 2024 to July 8, 2024.  Please submit your written comments, Attention to: Kawika McKeague, before the July 8, 2024 deadline.  Submit your comments through any of the following means:

  1. Email: [email protected]
  2. Mail: G70, 111 So. King Street, Suite 170, Honolulu, HI 96813
  3. Fax: (808) 523-5874

 Beneficiary Consultation Meeting:

To assist in your review of the King’s Landing Kuleana Settlement Plan Draft EA, DHHL will conduct an in-person Beneficiary Consultation Meeting (see postcard invitation below):

What?           Beneficiary Consultation Meeting #2

Why?            The purpose of the meeting is to present the King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA); to answer questions; and to receive oral or written comments on the draft EA.

Who?            Invitation postcards for the meeting were mailed to all DHHL beneficiaries residing in Hilo.  Other beneficiaries are welcome to attend.

When?          WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2024, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Where?        Keaukaha Elementary School. 

 

 

About this Webpage

This webpage documents the planning process through the completion of the King’s Landing beneficiaries to develop the King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan Final Environmental Assessment.  The webpage is organized into three (3) sections:

  1. Section 1 Current Information and Announcements (Date posted): (above) current meeting invitation, documents related to the meeting, and any announcements.
  2. Section 2 Background Information: (below) maps that depict the planning area, information on: the community association, the Kuleana Homestead Program, and the Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan Environmental Assessment.
  3. Section 3 The Planning Process: relevant documents for all planning meetings, consultations, and HHC presentations.

As the Settlement Plan EA is being developed, the webpage will be used to disseminate information and facilitate MAHA/beneficiary input in the planning process.  After the Settlement Plan EA is completed, the webpage will be used as a library or archive of information. 

2. Background Information

 A. The Planning Area

The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921 set aside 2,000 acres, more or less, in Waiākea-Kai, which is the area we know as Keaukaha.  The Keaukaha lands were divided into 2 tracts.  Keaukaha Tract I includes approximately 485 Residential Homestead Lots that occupy approximately 295 acres. Keaukaha Tract II, also known as “King’s Landing,” includes approximately 1,323 acres of land that starts mauka of Lokowaka Pond and continues to the border of Hilo and Puna in the ahupua‘a of Waiākea, in the moku of Hilo on Hawai‘i Island (see Figure 2).

Figure 2:  Keaukaha Tract I and II

Access to King’s Landing is through Kalaniana‘ole Street which turns into the Kapoho Coast Road at Lehia Beach Park.  At Leleiwi Point, which is at the mid-point of the parcel, the King’s Landing tract expands makai to include all the land from the shoreline inland (mauka) about 4,000 feet.  Starting at Lehia Beach Park, the Kapoho Coast Road is a rugged dirt road that runs parallel to the coastline providing 4-wheel-drive vehicular access to the eastern border of the property which is the Hilo-Puna District boundary (see Figure 3). 

Figure 3:  King’s Landing (Keaukaha Tract II) Planning Area

 

 

B. MĀLAMA KA ‘ĀINA, HANA KA ‘ĀINA—THE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION AT KING’S LANDING

Mālama ka ʻĀina, Hana ka ʻĀina (MAHA), is the community/homestead association established by the native Hawaiian beneficiaries who were settling at King’s Landing in the early 1980’s.  MAHA is a 501I(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that is governed by an elected Board of Directors.  Board members must be full-time residents at King’s Landing for at least 2 years. 

Membership

Full-time residents at King’s Landing are eligible to be members of MAHA if they are:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Native Hawaiian (confirmed by acceptance of the applicant’s application by the DHHL)
  • An applicant on a DHHL Wait list.

Prospective members must apply and be accepted by the Board of Directors.  Upon acceptance, the prospective member is a probationary member, until they meet minimum performance requirements relative to building a safe and habitable residence.  More specifically, within 12 months, the probationary member must construct an outhouse at least 10-feet from any residence.  In addition, within 12 months, the probationary member must complete the flooring of the structure.  Upon satisfactory performance of these conditions, the Board may act to grant regular membership status. 

MAHA Membership is significant because members are covered under any permit, license or lease that may be issued by the HHC to MAHA for the use and occupancy of King’s Landing. In this way, MAHA members have been allowed to use and occupy King’s Landing since 1986.  While this arrangement provides members with legal access and use of land at King’s Landing, it is not a homestead lease.  Right-of-Entry permits are temporary and short-term and the beneficiaries at King’s Landing want a homestead lease that has successorship rights. 

Permitted Use and Presence at King’s Landing

Beginning in 1984, the HHC authorized the Chairman to issue a Right-of-Entry (ROE) permit to MAHA which allowed MAHA and its members, “permitted use and presence” at King’s Landing, as an alternative lifestyle settlement, until a management plan for King’s Landing is completed and accepted.  Since 1984, the short-term ROE permits would be extended or if conditions and terms were changed, a new ROE would be issued.   

Involvement in Developing the Kuleana Settlement Plan

The Administrative Rules related to the Kuleana Homestead Program state that the Department must develop a Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan for the Tract of land.  Furthermore, in developing the Kuleana Settlement Plan, the Rules state that DHHL must work with applicants who are interested in a Kuleana Homestead lease for the Tract of land.  Since MAHA is comprised of native Hawaiian beneficiaries who reside at King’s Landing, who know the lands and resources at King’s Landing, and who are interested in a Kuleana Homestead lease at King’s Landing, the Department worked with MAHA to create the King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan.

 

 

C. The Kuleana Homestead Program

The Kuleana Homestead Program was initiated by beneficiaries to provide a homestead alternative for those who are unable to participate in DHHL’s conventional residential homesteading program because they cannot qualify for a 30-year home loan or prefer to not incur the debt of a home loan.  The original concept of the Kuleana Homestead Program was envisioned by Keli‘I “Skippy” Ioane, a pioneer at King’s Landing.  The concept was refined by MAHA members as they developed their Community Management Plan for Subsistence Homesteads at King’s Landing in 1987.  In 1992, the Kuleana Homestead concept was developed further by a group of native Hawaiian beneficiaries on the island of Maui as they developed a Conceptual Plan for Kahikinui.  In 1998, Administrative Rules (HAR §10-3-30) for the Kuleana Homestead Program was officially adopted as a homestead lease alternative.  In 1999, DHHL awarded Kuleana Homestead Leases to 75 applicants on the Maui Pastoral Waitlist for Kuleana homestead lots in Kahikinui, Maui.

The Kuleana Homestead Program allows beneficiary applicants to settle on the land faster than conventional leases by awarding vacant, unimproved lands, “as is.” Lessees agree to participate in community work days and road maintenance.  The lessees are responsible for providing their own utilities, such as electrical, water, wastewater disposal, and communications. 

For many years, beneficiaries have expressed a strong desire to pursue alternative settlement options and to have a role in helping to manage and preserve the natural and cultural resources of a given homestead area. Beneficiaries also requested for the Department to deliver homestead lots at a quicker rate by awarding raw, undeveloped land.  A short summary of how the Kuleana Homestead Program came to be:

 

D. THE KING’S LANDING KULEANA SETTLEMENT PLAN

The Administrative Rules for the Kuleana Homestead Program require DHHL to work with interested applicants to develop a Kuleana Settlement Plan.  The Rules specify that the Settlement Plan should include:

  • The location and description of the tract;
  • The approximate size and number of lots to be awarded;
  • The approximate location of a community center and common areas;
  • Preliminary conceptual proposals for community management and economic development of adjacent department lands, if applicable;
  • A plan for the identification, protection and preservation of all significant historical, archaeological, and biological sites; and
  • The settlement timetable to commence after the award of the lots.

 

3. THE PLANNING PROCESS AND PLANNING DOCUMENTS

The table below provides an outline of the planning meetings, beneficiary consultations, and HHC presentations that were conducted in the process of developing the Settlement Plan Environmental Assessment. 

 

1 Background Materials
2 MAHA Planning Sessions
  • MAHA Planning Session #1: Introduction and Planning Process, December 10, 2022

Presentation

Meeting Notes

  • Honuaiākea Meeting #1 and #2, January 28-29, 2023

Honuaiākea Report

  • MAHA Planning Session #2: Community Mapping Session, March 11, 2023. 

Meeting Notes

3 Beneficiary Consultation Meetings
  • Beneficiary Meeting #1 (In-Person Only)

Tuesday, October 24, 2023, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Keaukaha Elementary School

Invitation Letter

Presentation

Meeting Notes (no link yet)

  • Beneficiary Meeting #2 (In-Person Only)

Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 6:00 p.m. – 8:

Postcard Invitation

Presentation to be posted later (no link yet)

 

4 Hawaiian Homes Commission Presentations
  • September 19, 2023

Item G-3– Update on King’s Landing Kuleana Settlement Plan and Environmental Assessment Process, For Information Only.

Presentation

  • December 18-19, 2023

Item G-3– DHHL King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan

Presentation

  • May 20-23, 2024

Item G-9– King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan Draft Environmental Assessment Anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact

Presentation (no link yet)

5 Kuleana Settlement Plan Environmental Assessment
  • King’s Landing Kuleana Settlement Plan Draft Environmental Assessment for review (no link yet)
  • Public Review and Comment Period is open from June 8, 2024 to July 8, 2024.
  • King’s Landing Kuleana Settlement Plan Final Environmental Assessment (to be posted)

 

 

 


INTRODUCTION

                There’s a lot of information on this webpage.  If you don’t want to read through everything, hold CTRL, point to the section you want in the Table of Contents below and click your mouse.  To help you get to the section you want to review, just click on the section in the Table of Contents above.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. The Kuleana Homestead Program
  2. The King’s Landing Kuleana Settlement Plan
  3. Location
  4. Mālama Ka ‘Āina, Hana Ka ‘Āina
  5. The Planning Process and Documents
  6. The Planning Process and Schedule

 

In 2022, DHHL’s Planning Office contracted G70, a local planning firm, to develop a Kuleana Settlement Plan for King’s Landing that is required by our Administrative Rules for Kuleana Leases; and to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) as required by Chapter 343, HRS for any development on Hawaiian Home Lands.  This webpage will be used to provide information on the planning process, planning meetings, and presentations and other reports generated in the course of developing the Settlement Plan and EA.

 

THE KULEANA HOMESTEAD PROGRAM

For many years, beneficiaries have expressed a strong desire to pursue alternative settlement options and to have a role in helping to manage and preserve the natural and cultural resources of a given homestead area. Beneficiaries also requested for the Department to deliver homestead lots at a quicker rate by awarding raw, undeveloped land.  A short summary of how the Kuleana Homestead Program came to be:

 

  • In 1987, the beneficiary homestead organization at King’s Landing, Mālama Ka ‘Āina, Hana Ka ‘Āina (MAHA), took the initiative to develop a plan for “Subsistence Homesteads: A Community Management Plan for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Keaukaha Tract II.” 
  • In 1992, a beneficiary homestead organization at Kahikinui, Ka ‘Ohana o Kahikinui (KOOK), developed “A Conceptual Community Land Use Plan for the Ahupua‘a of Kahikinui.”
  • The two beneficiary-initiated proposals became the foundation for the Kuleana program, which would distribute raw, undeveloped lands as recommended in 1983 by the Federal-State Task Force on the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.
  • In 1998, Administrative Rules (HAR §10-3-30) for the Kuleana Homestead Program was officially adopted as a homestead lease alternative.
  • In 1999, DHHL awarded Kuleana Homestead Leases to 75 applicants on the Maui Pastoral Waitlist for Kuleana homestead lots in Kahikinui, Maui.

 

THE KING’S LANDING KULEANA SETTLEMENT PLAN

            The Administrative Rules for the Kuleana Homestead Program require DHHL to work with interested applicants to develop a Kuleana Settlement Plan.  DHHL and G70 will work with the native Hawaiian beneficiary organization at King’s Landing, “Mālama Ka ‘Āina, Hana Ka ‘Āina,” to develop the Settlement Plan.  The Rules specify that the Settlement Plan should include:

  • The location and description of the tract;
  • The approximate size and number of lots to be awarded;
  • The approximate location of a community center and common areas;
  • Preliminary conceptual proposals for community management and economic development of adjacent department lands, if applicable;
  • A plan for the identification, protection and preservation of all significant historical, archaeological, and biological sites; and
  • The settlement timetable to commence after the award of the lots.

 

LOCATION

DHHL’s Keaukaha Tract II, also known as “King’s Landing,” is located on the border of Hilo and Puna in Keaukaha, in the ahupua‘a of Waiākea, in the moku of Hilo on Hawai‘i Island.  The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921 included 2,000 acres, more or less, in Waiākea-Kai, or Keaukaha.  The Keaukaha lands are divided into 2 tracts:  Keaukaha Tract I which includes approximately 295 acres; and Keaukaha Tract II which includes approximately 1,323 acres of land (see Figure 1).

Figure 1:  Keaukaha Tract I and II

 

The King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan focuses on Keaukaha Tract II comprised of approximately 1,323 acres of land, including TMKs (3) 2-1-013:001; 007: 008; and 149.  Access to King’s Landing is through Kalaniana‘ole Street which turns into the Kapoho Coast Road near Lehia Beach Park.  At Leleiwi Point, which is at the mid-point of the parcel, the King’s Landing tract expands makai to include all the land from the shoreline inland (mauka) about 4,000 feet.  Starting at Lehia Beach Park, the Kapoho Coast Road is a rugged dirt road that runs parallel to the coastline providing access to the makai lands by four-wheel drive vehicles . The King’s Landing Tract ends at the Hilo-Puna District boundary (see Figure 2).  

Figure 2:  DHHL Lands at King’s Landing (Keaukaha Tract II)

King’s Landing is extremely rugged terrain.  Closer to the shoreline, the landscape is dotted with anchialine ponds and unique and rich fauna and flora.  In spite of rugged living conditions, several families have lived along the Kapoho Coast Road since they were given a Right-of-Entry permit by DHHL in 1984. These families have built their own homes; they have raised their families; planted gardens, raised animals and fished the resources of the ocean.  They worked the land as individuals and they came together as a community to develop community projects.  For nearly forty years, they raised generation after generation.  Some of the original settler families are now raising their 5th generation at King’s Landing. 

 

MĀLAMA KA ‘ĀINA, HANA KA ‘ĀINA

Incorporated in 1987, Mālama ka ʻĀina, Hana ka ʻĀina (MAHA), is the community association established by the families living at King’s Landing who agree and support MAHA principles, rules, and management practices.  MAHA is the core group that has kept the community together during uncertain and trying times.  In developing the Kuleana Settlement Plan, the Administrative Rules state that the Department must work with applicants who are interested in a Kuleana Homestead lease.  MAHA is the group of interested applicants that the Department and the Department’s planning consultant (G70) worked with to create the King’s Landing Settlement Plan. 

Through the Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan and Environmental Assessment, beneficiaries will be able to secure Kuleana Homestead Leases which may then be transferred or passed on after death to the lessees successor(s). 

THE PLANNING PROCESS AND PLANNING DOCUMENTS

                The table below provides an outline of the planning sessions that were conducted to create the Settlement Plan and Environmental Assessment.  The table documents the process over time.  In addition, the table serves as a library of the documents and presentations that were used during each planning sessions and the reports that were generated as a result of those sessions.  The last entry on the table will be the King’s Landing Kuleana Settlement Plan and Final Environmental Assessment.

 

1 Background Materials ·         MAHA’s 1987 “Subsistence Homesteads a Community Management Plan for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Keaukaha Tract II.”

·         DHHL’s Administrative Rules on the Kuleana Homestead Lease (HAR 10-3-30)

2 MAHA Planning Sessions MAHA Planning Session #2: Community Mapping Session, March 11, 2023

·         Meeting Notes

Honuaiākea Meeting #1 and #2, December 8-9, 2022

·         Honuaiākea Report

MAHA Planning Session #1: Introduction and Planning Process, December 10, 2022

·         Presentation

·         Meeting Notes

3 Hawaiian Homes Commission Meeting Hawaiian Homes Commission Meeting Project Update:

·          Item G-3– Update on King’s Landing Kuleana Settlement Plan and Environmental Assessment Process, For Information Only, September 19, 2023

·         Presentation

4 Settlement Plan Information will be posted when available

·         King’s Landing Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan – Draft for Review

·         FINAL

5 Beneficiary Meeting Beneficiary Meeting #1 (In-Person Only, No Virtual) –Tuesday, October 24, 2023, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

·         Location: Keaukaha Elementary School, 240 Desha Avenue, Hilo, Hawaii 96720

·         Meeting Invitation

·         Presentation

·         Meeting Notes

6 Environmental Assessment Information will be posted when available

·         DRAFT for review – 30-day comment period

·         FINAL

 

 

THE PLANNING PROCESS AND SCHEDULE

            The planning process will include the following planning activities starting in September 2022 and ending in April 2024.