"It does say in light industrial zoning you can have limited commercial, but limited is the key word," said Irene Bowie, executive director of Maui Tomorrow. "This project has morphed into completely commercial with no light industrial component."
There are also major concerns about sprawling development and the impact on traffic.
"Piilani Highway right now is really suffering from gridlock at different times of the day," said Bowie.
But, the consultant for the developer says traffic will increase even without the mall because of two planned communities in Makena and a brand new high school near the site and road improvements are part of the planned malls.
The projected grand opening for Piilani Promenade is early 2014.
The Maui County Board of Variances and Appeals set a hearing date of July 27 to hear a motion by the county to dismiss an appeal on the permits for the project.
Another hearing with the state Land Use Commission on the zoning change is set for August.