KULIOUOU, Hawaii (KHON2) — An area in East Honolulu, known to be rich in culture and history, has been purchased and will be preserved and protected in perpetuity.
Livable Hawaii Kai, a non-profit serving East Honolulu, announced July 28, the purchase of Paiko Ridge, an area most people would recognize as separating Niu Valley and Kuliʻouʻou.
The land, a total of nearly 335 acres, consists of residential zoned area as well as preservation zone and was previously owned by LevRed Investors, LLC. LHKH raised $1.3 million to make the purchase and LevRed donated the balance of the land.
In addition, a nearly 3.5 acre parcel was added to the purchase agreement. That parcel, a residential zoned area (R7.5) toward the back part of Kuliʻouʻou, had seen many development proposals over the last few years. With its purchase, watersheds and forestlands will be preserved.
Kupaʻāina o Kuliʻouʻou, a nonprofit based in Kuliʻouʻou, will eventually take stewardship over the 3.5 acre parcel as owner and will downsize the parcel to preservation land.
“For many years KOK has had the conviction to malama those lands and have been working toward a protection solution with the Kuliʻouʻou – Kalani Iki Neighborhood Board to fend off additional development which would forever alter that neighborhood. And, although the added land purchase delayed closing for LHKH by one year, we recognized the rare opportunity to not only protect this lower portion of the ridge but to help give the neighborhood peace after years of fighting development,” said Elizabeth Reilly, president of Livable Hawaii Kai Hui.
The City & County of Honolulu’s Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund recently approved $1.7 million for Kupaʻāina o Kuliʻouʻou to purchase the R7.5 land.
“We have been working to have this ʻāina placed in conservation in perpetuity and to further protect the back of Kuliʻouʻou Valley that has been subject to potential development. We are extremely excited and grateful to share that achieving this dream has approached reality,” said Waipa Parker, president of KOK.