Bank of Hawaii plans to build a new branch in Hilo.
The proposed location is at 1339 Kinoole St., at the northeast corner of the intersection with Lanikaula Street.
Four homes are located on the property, which is zoned single family residential.
The bank is seeking a change to general commercial, a request the County Council’s Planning Committee unanimously advanced Tuesday. The Windward Planning Commission gave the rezoning request a favorable recommendation.
According to BOH’s change of zone application, the new branch is expected to open in 2020. It could allow the bank to relocate some of its operations.
The 7,500-square-foot branch would include a drive-thru ATM and 36 parking stalls.
On Tuesday, the council Planning Committee also advanced a bill in a 7-2 vote amending a change of zoning ordinance for property at 525 Piilani St., where a water bottling facility is proposed.
Both bills require approval at the full council level.
Voting no were council members Valerie Poindexter and Rebecca Villegas.
The Hilo property is zoned as light industrial, but only on paper, said Sidney Fuke, a consultant for Piilani Partners, which is seeking to build the facility.
That’s because the change of zoning done in 1995 from resort to light industrial was tied to a project that never happened, resulting in conditions, such as completion of construction within two years, never being met.
To proceed with the water bottle facility, or any other project that meets the zoning requirements, an extension to those conditions needs to be granted, council members were told.
None of the council members expressed support for the bottling facility, which faces community opposition and hurdles before the Windward Planning Commission.
However, they advanced the bill, allowing for another five years from the date of adoption for the conditions to be met in order to help the property owner keep its options open regarding future development.
Council Chairman Aaron Chung, whose district includes the property, said that action is needed because there are few privately owned industrial properties in Hilo.
“We need the help,” he said. “We need the inventory.”
Piilani Partners also needs a Special Management Area permit to proceed.
The Windward Planning Commission on Feb. 7 deferred action on the SMA permit until the Water Resource Management Commission updates its Water Resource Protection Plan. That’s expected to effectively kill the permit since a decision has to be made within 60 days of the hearing.
Piilani Partners is asking the Windward Planning Commission to reconsider the deferral.
The property, located near Wailoa State Recreation Area, is owned by Matsuno Enterprises.
The company shares many of the same board members as Suisan, though they are separate entities.
Email Tom Callis at email@example.com.