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Notice #: 03512765

DOCKET NO. 07 – VWW – 20
Pursuant to H.R.S. §342-D-7(i), Hawaii Revised Statutes, the State Department of Health (DOH) seeks written comments from interested persons regarding the following. Aina Kea Senior Residence LLLP of Hilo, Hawaii, has applied for a five (5) year variance from Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR), Section 11-62-03 which states “Individual wastewater system means a facility which is designed to receive and dispose of no more than 1000 gallons per day of domestic wastewater. Individual wastewater systems may involve treatment processes and include, but are not limited to, septic tanks and household aerobic units with disposal components separate from any other wastewater system.” and from Section 11-62-31(a)(1)(D) which states “The total wastewater flow into one individual wastewater system shall not exceed one thousand gallons and one individual wastewater system shall not serve more than five bedrooms, whether they are in one dwelling unit or two.”
Mr. Theodore Baldau, VP of RT Engineers of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, is the individual authorized to act for the applicant. The applicant is requesting to be allowed to use individual wastewater systems for more than two (2) dwellings receiving more than 1000 gallons per day per individual wastewater system (IWS) for the Aina Kea Senior Residences LLLP located at 53-3996 Ainakea Drive, Kapaau, Hawaii TMK: (3) 5-2-011:102.
The applicant has made the following comments.
1. The Ainakea Senior Residence development will be constructed on a 3.034 acre parcel of land identified by TMK (3) 5-3-011:102. The parcel is located on the western side of Ainakea Drive in North Kohala, Hawaii island. This proposed project includes 6 building of 5 one-bedroom dwelling units and a separate common building containing laundry facilities (absent in the individual dwelling units), and administrative office, restrooms and cooking facilities. It is proposed to provide separate IWSs for each of the structures and a separate system for the common building for a total of 7 IWSs. Wastewater flows from each one bedroom dwelling structures will receive 1000 gallons per day. The wastewater volume for the common building is an aggregate of discharge from laundry activities, administrative office workers and use of the cooking and bathroom facilities and is estimated at 1,200 gallons per day. Total project wastewater flow volume is estimate at 7, 200 gallons per day.
2. Septic tank and absorption bed sizes are summarized in the following Table 1:

Septic Tank Size Absorption Bed Size
5 Dwelling Unit IWS 1,500 Gallons Each 18’ x 46’ (828 S.F.) Each
Common Building 1,500 Gallons Each 21’ x 48’ (1008 S.F.)Each

3. The proposed conditions fail to conform to the environmental rules of the State in the following manners:
€ The proposed common building system exceed 1000 gallons per day.
€ Each proposed septic system serve more than two dwelling units.
4. The proposed equipment and operating conditions cannot be altered to bring the facility into compliance with the environmental rules of the state within reasonable amount of time for the following reason:
€ The proposed development is intended to provide affordable housing for very low elderly residents of Hawaii Island. The project will utilize subsidies from all three levels of government including:
1. Nominal land cost from the County of Hawaii;
` 2. Subsidized funding from the State through the Rental Housing Trust Fund, Low Investment Partnerships Program and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program;
3. Subsidized funding from the Federal government the HOME
Investment Partnership Program and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.
The additional cost of providing a sewage treatment plant for the facility would increase the construction cost significantly and could exceed the funds available. Likewise, constructing IWS systems segmented into 1000 gallon or two dwelling increments would also increase the cost of the proposed wastewater system by a significant amount thus having a similar adverse impact on the availability of sufficient funds for project construction.
5. The granting of this variance is in the public interest as defined in the Hawaii Revised Statutes, section 342.D-6(c) in that it provides affordable housing for low income residents of Hawaii Island. The residents of this facility will come from income brackets that would not allow them to otherwise construct and own homes of their own. The proposed senior residences housing project will permit these residents to vastly improve their existing housing situation which is likely to be sub-standard due to overcrowding or allocating a disproportionate share of their income towards housing.
6. The granting of this variance will not substantially endanger human health or safety. The proposed wastewater systems will collect, treat and dispose of the domestic wastewater in such a manner that no health or safety concerns are created. No sources of potable drinking water are within 1000 feet from the proposed septic tank systems and no impacts to existing or future drinking water sources are anticipated. The proposed IWS are located at sufficient elevations (approximately 460 feet above mean sea level) and sufficient horizontal distance (approximately 1 mile) to minimize their potential to contamination of shoreline waters.
7. Compliance with the rules or standards from which the variance is sought would produce serious hardship without equal or greater benefits to the public. The residents of the proposed elderly housing project are essentially economically depressed or financially disadvantaged. Coupled with unprecedented increases in housing costs, many of the residents of the proposed facility would not be able to afford housing without assistance from other State or County agencies. Requiring compliance to the subject rules addressed by this variance request will not provide much greater benefits to the environment or the public than the proposed IWS systems would provide.
6. The time period for this wastewater variance is five (5) years. This time period is necessary to allow for the construction and occupation of the proposed affordable housing project.
Plot maps were attached to this application for variance but can not be shown here. If you would like to review the complete application, please call or write to the Wastewater Branch, 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 309, Honolulu, Hawaii 96814-4920, telephone (808) 586-4294 fax (808) 586-4300 to obtain a facsimile. DOH will consider all written comments received within thirty days of this notice. If warranted, DOH may hold a public hearing on the variance application.

Chiyome Leinaala Fukino, M.D.
Director of Health (SB03512765 10/27/07)