Planners at the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting are reviewing a highly controversial application to rezone part of west Oahu to make way for a 11,750-home development known as Hoopili.

Pacific Business News reported Monday that developer D.R. Horton had submitted the application to rezone 1,289 acres out of 1,553 acres in Ewa from agricultural to urban. PBN reported earlier this year that the developer planned to start construction by 2015.

Land Use Commission in Honolulu.

The state Land Use Commission deliberates on D.R. Horton’s Hoopili development in 2012.

Sophie Cocke/Civil Beat

But the project, which the state Land Use Commission approved two years ago despite strong opposition from environmental groups, is still hotly contested by critics who say it would pave over valuable agricultural land and contradict the state’s constitutional obligation to preserve farmland.

Robert Harris, former executive director of the environmental group Sierra Club, said the organization’s case challenging the development is now before the Hawaii Supreme Court. State Sen. Clayton Hee is a co-plaintiff.

Curtis Lum, spokesman for DPP, said that D.R. Horton’s rezoning application was received by the department on July 18 and officially accepted on August 1.

Lum said DPP has until Oct. 30 to analyze the application and submit a report to the Honolulu Planning Commission.

The commission then has to hold a public hearing within 45 days and then has another month to submit a recommendation to the City Council, according to the city land use ordinance.

Earlier this summer, D.R. Horton launched a “Grown in Hoopili” label to market fresh food produced in the 200 acres of remaining farmland, which opponents of the development say is some of the best agricultural land in the state.

Click here for a summary of the developer’s rezoning application.

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