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March 2001

March-April 2001

Sandy Beach Open Space to be Preserved
Vote Count (Arlene Ellis)
President's Message (Pearl Johnson)
Action Alert
Committee Reports (Charles Carole)
Annual Meeting
Highlights of the Election
Welcome Returning Members
Confronting the CHAD (Jean Aoki)

Sandy Beach Open Space to be Preserved

The Honolulu City Council is poised to resolve the disputes that arise from the long ago but successful Sandy Beach Initiative.

League support for open space

In 1987 the League worked, along with many other organizations, to assure the parcels directly across from Sandy Beach would remain in open space despite a designation on planning maps to allow development. When, at that time, the developer went to the Honolulu City Council for what they considered the last discretionary permit, a Shoreline Management Permit, the League spoke out strongly in opposition.

League Planning Chair, Astrid Monson, submitted comments to the City stating, "...In our opinion this project violates certain important scenic view and open space policies of the General and Development Plans and the State Coastal Zone Act, as well as being contrary to the findings of the Coastal View Study." She followed with a detailed discussion of planning documents in place at the time which specified as major objectives: "to preserve and enhance the natural monuments and scenic views of Oahu for the benefit of both residents and visitors" and to "protect Oahu's scenic views, especially those seen from... .heavily traveled areas." And finally, "no development shall be permitted that would block important public views."

History of the controversy

Following massive public support for the initiative to maintain open space across from Sandy Beach, in 1987 the court ruled that the land use planning by initiative was not allowed. However, the City Council voted to carry out the wishes of the public and changed the residential development designation for the parcels to preservation. This then led to lawsuits by the landowner asking for compensation for the land and revenue lost from the halted development. Last month the Court ruled that the developers of the proposed housing project are eligible for damages. A trial is set for July to determine damages.

The court action has not deterred the Honolulu City Council from moving ahead at the Council meeting on February 21 to approve Resolution 00-281 which will authorize condemnation of the parcels in question for purchase by the City for park or open space. The League continues to support this effort. Money is appropriated for this purpose in the City budget. Congratulations to the City Council for taking this step.

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