By PETER SUR
Tribune-Herald staff writer
The Windward Planning Commission is set to vote on approving a senior center in Ocean View, within a State Land Use Agricultural District.
If approved by the commission at its Nov. 9 meeting, a 3,840-square foot center with a certified kitchen could be built just mauka of Mamalahoa Highway, near the intersection of Lotus Blossom Lane and Princess Kaiulani Boulevard.
Ocean View Seniors Association, a nonprofit group led by President James Stutheit, is requesting a special permit to allow the establishment of the senior center, which will double as a community shelter and an emergency shelter with a capacity of 100 people.
The association says in its filing the building will offer classes on health, finances, Hawaiian culture and language, host community meetings and will feature a garden for growing vegetables and flowers.
The center, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., will not have any permanent employees. Its board members are unpaid volunteers, the filing says.
Stutheit could not be reached for comment, but the concept of a senior center has support from the county and the community.
“If they can get a senior center, our office will be 100 percent behind it,” said Alan Parker, director of the county Office of Aging.
Currently, senior services are limited to the facilities at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View, and at the community center of the Ocean View Community Association.
“It seems like a great idea,” said Gil Robinson, president of the Ocean View Community Association. “They need their own building.”
Filings with the county Planning Department from the Ocean View Seniors Association, which is unrelated to the OVCA, state that the center will be used for community meetings, for cooking items for sale from a commercial classified kitchen, provide space for programs mandated by the Older Americans Act, including nutrition programs, and for seniors to meet informally for fellowship.
Robinson described the proposed senior center as within walking distance of the Ace Hardware complex of stores.
Because of the senior center’s remote location in a private subdivision, no public utilities are available.
“Water will be obtained by catchment or by trucking, electricity will be generated from solar or back up generators, sewage will be treated by a septic system, telephone service will be by cell phones,” the application says.
The county Planning Department is giving Stutheit’s association a positive recommendation before the Windward Planning Commission. The commission meets at 9 a.m. Nov. 9 at the Aupuni Center conference room in Hilo.
Email Peter Sur at firstname.lastname@example.org.