PROTECT KULIOUOU
​​Protect Kuliouou Residents from the Hazards
of Proposed Development
Townhall Update!
We've added some updates from the 5/11/16 Townhall Meeting.  Lots was discussed.  See below for a quick recap.  There's also some links and references
Sign the Petition
Sign the online petition to NOT APPROVE the Cluster Housing Permit that the developers are asking for.   Click here for the petition.
Write Your Letter
IT'S NOT TOO LATE! Please write a letter to the Dept of Planning and Permitting.  Please see below on what to include in your letter and where to mail it.


TOWNHALL MEETING UPDATE!
(Updated 6/05/16)
 

The Townhall Meeting with Councilmember Trevor Ozawa was on Wednesday 5/11/16 at the Niu Valley Intermediate Cafeteria at 630pm. People of note that were present were Councilmember Ozawa, Councilmember Chair Ernie Martin, Representative Mark Hashem, DPP Director George Atta and Livable Hawaii Kai Hui President Elizabeth Reilly.  The meeting lasted approximately 2 hours and many community members attended.  
          Councilmember Ozawa stated that he supports the purchase of Paiko Ridge from the current landowner, LevRed Investors LLC. Part of Paiko Ridge, specifically the TMK 38013001 parcel, includes the residential-zoned area where the landowners want to develop the proposed Hokulei project. He stated that both he and Councilmember Ernie Martin recently worked on proposing $3.5 million appropriation for the acquisition of Paiko Ridge in the recent 2016 City budget meeting. Upon review of the recently proposed fiscal year 2017 budget, we found that there was no appropriation for Paiko Ridge. Further research of the approved Capital Budget for fiscal years 2014, 2015 and 2016, show that the $3.5 million Paiko Ridge appropriation from the Clean Water & Natural Lands Fund was adopted in fiscal year 2014 (ordinance 13-20), with an expiration date of 6/30/15. The Protect Kuliouou Team emailed Councilmember Ozawa's office asking where we could find (in writing) the recent appropriation for Paiko Ridge. It was confirmed by his office that there was a misunderstanding on the appropriation expiration date and that they will work on getting Paiko Ridge funding in the next year's budget meeting. Although disappointed that the appropriation was not included in the 2017 fiscal year budget as informed at the Townhall Meeting, we eagerly look forward to the addition of this funding next fiscal year. Below are links to the aforementioned budgets as found on the City's Department of Budget & Fiscal Services webpages:

Fiscal Year 2017 (Proposed)
Fiscal Year 2016 (Adopted)
Fiscal Year 2015 (Adopted)
Fiscal Year 2014 (Adopted)
          DPP Director George Atta was also present to clarify questions from community members.  Director Atta was asked if the East Honolulu Sustainable Communities Plan (EHSCP) is used during the cluster application process.  He was reminded that the EHSCP contains multiple stipulations and requirements that the development project does not comply with.  Director Atta maintained that the EHSCP is used as a "conceptual guide" and that zoning along with land use ordinances govern decisions made.  The Protect Kuliouou Team disagrees that the EHSCP is not merely a "guide", but is a provision with the force and effect of law.  Over the past two decades, the Hawaii Supreme Court has consistently held that a County's General Plan or Development Plan carries the weight, force, and effect of law.  In one of these rulings (GATRI v. Blane), the Hawaii Supreme Court clearly held that where the County's zoning (such as Hokulei's residential zoning of R-7.5) conflicts with the County's Development Plan (such as the EHSCP), any development for which a permit is sought must be consistent with both zoning and the development plan.  Most importantly, the GATRI Supreme Court held that the permit applicant who is subject to the development plan and the zoning ordinance is entitled only to the more restrictive uses allowed by the development plan.  Below are references to 4 court rulings.  While we appreciate Director Atta's stance and believe he is trying to perform his duties in his best capacity, it is disappointing and frustrating that communities and individual parties are forced to pursue legal action to reintroduce and reconfirm previous court rulings that have been successfully upheld numerous times in the past.

GATRI v. Blane, 88 Hawaii 108,962 P.2d367 (1998), at 374
Lum Yip Kee v. City & County of Honolulu, 70 Haw. 179, 767 P.2d 815 (1989), at 817-818
Save Sunset Beach Coalition v. City & County of Honolulu, 102 Haw 465, 78 P.3d 1 (2003), at 18
Leone v. County ofMaui, 128 Hawaii 183,284 P.3d 956 (Haw.App. 2012).
          We acknowledge the recognition and efforts of Councilmember Ozawa and Councilmember Martin, and are thankful for the time and work invested in organizing the Townhall Meeting. We also appreciate all the other individuals involved with facilitating the meeting and for all the community members that attended.  We at Protect Kuliouou support the purchase of Paiko Ridge and hope that the entire parcel (which includes both TMK 38013001 and TMK 38014001) will one day be zoned as preservation, thereby protecting the land from threats of future development.  It is our intent to continue to work with the landowner, City Councilmembers, DPP, the State, and all other pertinent parties to hopefully rectify these issues.  In the meantime, we are diligently researching all aspects towards a successful resolution regarding this development project, and Paiko Ridge.  Thank you all for your continued support!

​NHB MEETING UPDATE!

​CLUSTER HOUSING APP SUBMITTED

NEW PROJECT HANDOUT

"RECOUP LOSSES"

The developer stated that they submitted the Cluster Housing application on 4/01/16.  This means that it's now in the hands of the Department of Planning and Permitting.  PLEASE WRITE YOUR LETTERS to Director George Atta.  See below for more info
The Developer and owner's representative, Michael Jackson, distributed handouts at the NHB meeting with updates to their project. We get our first look at the Preservation Boundary interpretation.  A copy can be found below in the Resources section.
We now know that the investor is developing the project to try and "recoup losses." We stand firm that it's not right to "recoup losses" on a "bad investment" at the expense of the community's safety. There is a price for speculating.

HOW MUCH WILL THEY MAKE?

COMMUNITY HAS VESTED INTEREST

PRESERVATION PROPERTY PLEDGE

It's likely the cost of this project will not have the financial results the developer's are expecting. This begs the question: Is this segmentation? This question was asked, and the answer was somewhat vague. The NHB video will be out soon for all to see.
The community has a vested interest in this process. The developer will build the project, then move on. Money is the motivator, not safety. REMEMBER PAPAHEHI. Those residents were left to deal with the aftermath.
Owner representative Michael Jackson repeatedly pledged that they will continue to work on selling the Preservation portion of the property.  Although this is a good intention, it still doesn't justify a dangerous project with numerous safety issues.

CONCLUSION

MORE TO COME...

LINKS TO NEWS VIDEOS

So what can we deduce from this meeting? We heard good intentions, reassurances of safety, and pledges to do the right thing. Is still doesn't change the fact that this is an unsafe build. If the City allows this, the community will have to pay the price for whatever may happen later.
Stay tuned for more resources that will be added. There will be documentation which will pertain directly to the steps that are occurring between the developer and the City, spefically the Department of Planning and Permitting. Lots of good information and much more soon!
Here are 2 links to Hawaii News Now videos regarding the development:

Proposed Paiko Ridge Development
​Community Reaffirms Opposition
WHERE IS IT?
The proposed development project, called "Hokulei," will be built on the ewa-facing valley wall of Kuliouou, above Kaeleloi Place.  The development will require a cluster housing permit from the Department of Planning and Permitting and consist of 19 dwellings.  To build this project, the developer must cut out large portions of the mountain.  There are over 40 homes right below.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
There is already evidence of unstable soil in Kuliouou.  The 1987 deluge caused massive flooding and land movement that resulted in condemned properties by the State.   You can drive up Papahehi Place and the evidence is still visible, almost 20 years later.  You can feel the twisted street and see the driveways where houses once stood.  This is a huge safety concern.
  
WHAT CAN WE DO?
The good news is that there is already a group of people who are currently working on trying to stop this development.  If you are opposed to this project, this is what you can do:
  
  
  • Write a letter to Director of Planning and Permitting, George Atta.  He is the person who will ultimately approve/deny the cluster housing permit.  You can also send the same letter to Councilman Trevor Ozawa.  Here are some points to include in your letter:

  1. State that you are opposed to the proposed development.
  2. According to Land Use Ordinances Section 21-8.50-11 (Director’s Decision), approval of the cluster housing permit “shall NOT be approved by the director if there is susceptibility of flooding , poor drainage , unstable subsurface , and susceptibility to slides or similar hazards.”
  3. Infilling of areas, according to the current East Honolulu Sustainability Plan (sec 2.2.1.1), should “confine most new development to 'infill' sites that are adjacent to existing urbanized areas on relatively level terrain .”
  4. The development is not needed according to the current East Honolulu Sustainability Plan (sec. 2.2.3).  This basically states that growth in East Honolulu should occur by infilling existing built-up areas rather than spreading development onto steep slopes , higher elevations , undeveloped mountain ridges and valley walls .
  5. State that you are a citizen with safety concerns and close your letter reiterating your stout opposition to this project.
  6. Mail your letter to:

Mr. George Atta, Director
City and County of Honolulu
650 South King Street, 7th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813

Honolulu City Council
District IV 4
Trevor Ozawa
530 S. King Street, Room 202
Honolulu, HI 9681
  
  • Sign the Petition and stay connected.  Click here for the online petition.  Please submit your email address as well as your physical address in the "Location" box so that we can update you on important events.  Please note: this is not a requirement to sign the petition.  However, please know that we respect your privacy.  We will only send emails, or mail, of important events regarding the development.