A bill to rezone land in West Oahu for 11,750 new homes has cleared a major hurdle.

The Honolulu City Council Zoning and Planning Committee voted to approve the measure Thursday after hours of debate and public testimony.

Developer D.R. Horton has spent several years seeking approval for the massive development that would fulfill a huge need for homes, but has met resistance from environmentalists who oppose the rezoning of productive farmland.

City Councilman and chair Ikaika Anderson listens to Hoopili testimony.  5 march 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

City Councilman Ikaika Anderson listens to Hoopili testimony on March 5 at Honolulu Hale.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The committee adopted Chairman Ikaika Anderson’s amendment to require lower prices for 30 percent of the units to fulfill the city’s affordable housing requirement. The developer may raise the prices if it can’t find qualified borrowers at the lower prices within three months.

The committee also adopted Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga’s amendment that increases reporting requirements about the project’s impact on traffic among other transportation-related changes.

The committee decided against adopting Councilman Ron Menor’s amendment, which would have imposed more stringent requirements to ensure there’s adequate transportation infrastructure. Councilwoman Kimberly Pine also unsuccessfully sought to require D.R. Horton to prioritize buyers who already have jobs on the Leeward Coast.

The bill is up for a vote by the full Council on Wednesday.

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