Sierra Club Petitions to Stop Ho'Opili Development

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Fifteen hundred acres of farmland in West Oahu have become a development battleground.

And there's a new development in the long-running battle between opposition groups and D.R. Horton Schuler Division.

The Sierra Club has filed a "petition to intervene" with the state land use commission. D.R. Horton says other interveners are state Senator Clayton Hee and the group “Friends of Makakilo.”

D.R. Horton bought the land six years ago for its planned "Ho’Opili" development. The builder says the mixed-use plan calls for nearly 12,000 homes, five public schools, two proposed rail stops and about 7,000 permanent jobs.

Bob Bruhl is D.R. Horton’s vice-president for statewide development. He says building at the site is inevitable.

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The Sierra Club says the land set aside for “Ho’Opili” is Hawaii’s most productive farmland and that developing it violates agricultural protections in the state constitution.

Club secretary Anthony Aalto says Hawaii already struggles to provide locally-grown produce.

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In 2009, the Land Use Commission rejected D.R. Horton’s plan, saying it did not provide a detailed schedule for development.

The commission will consider the plan again in October.

(Aileen Humphreys / HPR News)