Frequently asked questions

Q. Where is Kuwili Lani located?

The subdivision is in the heart of the beautiful Hamakua Coast, on the eastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii. It is situated at an idyllic elevation between 550 to 650 feet and is less than one mile from the village of Laupahoehoe, approximately one quarter mile from the ocean and close to a main road—Highway 19. It is about a 35-minute drive to the city of Hilo, the county seat of Hawaii Island. (Click here for maps).

Q. How many lots are there and what size are they?

The property is 13.9 acres total, divided into 11 lots, each averaging one and a quarter acre each parcel. (Click here for Subdivision Lot Maps)

Q. What is a Sustainable Neighborhood?
Kuwili Lani is a unique, new community designed to be a neighborhood based on supporting a sustainable lifestyle. It emphasizes energy efficiency and conservation, wise use of natural resources and independence from the energy grid.

Q: Can I have my own garden?

A: The rich soil of the Hamakua Coast and warm Hawaii climate mean plants and trees thrive year ‘round. The size of the lots at Kuwili Lani allow ample space for growing plants, flowers and trees as well as your own gardens. For more information on obtaining assistance, please visit hisas.org.

Q. Is this a secure neighborhood?

Yes, Kuwili Lani has a private road and front entry security gate. There is a newly created continuous pasture fence surrounding the entire 13.9-acre property. It is bordered on one side by a small and quiet residential neighborhood, typical of the pastoral country areas of the Big Island, and on other sides by land zoned agricultural / conservation.

Q. Who is the developer of Kuwili Lani?

The owners / developers are Big Island resident Michael Whelan, co-owner of Big Island Sustainable Homes, LLP and two partners who have been working for nearly 10 years to turn their vision into reality. They saw a need for this kind of development in Hawaii for people who have a concern for the environment and who want to live in an intentional community having a low-impact on the land, while being conscious of their carbon footprint. This is a first-of-its-kind lifestyle offering in Hawaii. (Click here to read about the benefits of living at Kuwili Lani.)

Q. Is Kuwili Lani truly off the energy grid?

Almost. Electricity will be produced by the lot owner’s individual on-site renewable energy system – photovoltaic and / or wind systems, hence independence from the electric utility company. Potable water for indoor use will be provided by a private water system via our County Master Water Meter. In addition, the development will have its own private wifi / broadband system. All utilities are underground, so there are no visible utility wires / poles on property. There is ample area on each lot for food production.

Q. May I build the type of home I want?

Yes, Design Guidelines are in place to provide a framework that lot owners and their design team may use to create dwellings that reflect the goals and aesthetics of the project. Lot owners may use sustainable technology to promote healthy and natural indoor environments.

Q. I have no experience building this type of home – who can help me?

Kuwili Lani does not have a specific builder that you are required to use. However, a team of designers, architects, builders and contractors is available to assist all homeowners with building plans and to create a home based on the aesthetics and sustainable design of the sample home. For more information on obtaining assistance, please visit hisas.org.

Q. What about CC&Rs, Design Guidelines and an HOA?

A: Yes, protective “Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions” as well as Design Guidelines are in place at Kuwili Lani to protect a homeowner’s investment and to ensure certain standards are met to maintain aesthetics and the overall vision of this sustainable community. There is also a Homeowners’ Association or HOA to oversee house rules and other ongoing design and operational aspects of the community.

Q. What are the advantages and benefits of living in Kuwili Lani?

A: First and foremost is the location, offering a changing kaleidoscope of beautiful vistas of ocean, pastures and sky on a gently sloping hillside bordered by farms on two sides and conservation land / waterfall on the other.  The cool elevation and climate allow for invigorating, comfortable country living.  Secondly, this is a community based on living a sustainable, healthy lifestyle with a respect for the land and betterment of the environment.

Q. Is living in a sustainable community for me?

A: Kuwili Lani offers an opportunity for you to live in and participate in an intentional community, based on the concept of being mindful of energy use, the land / environment and embracing a sustainable, low-impact, independent lifestyle.  It’s for people who want to be part of something far more dynamic and forward thinking than can be offered by typical residential home ownership.