In 2019, the County of Kaua‘i purchased a 417-acre property in West Kaua‘i between Waimea and Kekaha referred to as “Waimea 400”. With extensive input from the community, PBR HAWAII developed an adaptive conceptual master plan for the property that can be adjusted over time based on the potential impacts of sea level rise, groundwater intrusion, and climate change. Permanent structures are located at higher elevations and areas not anticipated to be impacted by anticipated sea level rise exposure areas.
The project included an initial survey that received over 700 responses identifying the community’s desired uses for the site including affordable housing, a long-awaited sports complex, community gardens, agriculture, and walking paths. The project also included a student design challenge where area high school students learned about land use planning, taking into consideration the site constraints and opportunities and community wishes for the site. Many of the students’ ideas were incorporated into the final conceptual master plan, which underwent iterative refinements with the community via virtual meetings, online surveys, talk story sessions at the local public library, stakeholder meetings, and one-on-one meetings and calls.
The plan also envisions continuing the relationship with the schools and community in applying traditional ecological knowledge in the adaptive management of the site and becoming the learning grounds for incubator and innovative agriculture, wetland restoration, affordable and transitional housing, and community-based recreational spaces.