April 2007 Home   Newsletters

July 2007

July 2007

City EIS Ignores Bus Option (Jackie Parnell)
Testifying for Beaches (Pearl Johnson)
Do we Need Secondary Treatment for out Waste Water? (Jackie Parnell)
Welcome New Members
Directories Coming
Train for Emergencies
Counties Should Take Over Highways (Charles Carole)
Calendar of Events

Testifying for Beaches

Do you know the consequences of seawalls erected to protect beachfront property? According to UH Professor Dr. Chip Fletcher, the beach in front of the wall disappears. In fact, Dr. Fletcher has found that Oahu has lost 24% of its beaches to seawalls.

When I saw that the City Department of Planning Permitting was considering granting a variance to allow the building of a house on the North Shore which would encroach on the lot’s already-reduced 20-foot setback, I had to protest. After all, the setback is normally 40 feet and for newly developed property it’s 50 feet. How soon would this house be threatened by storm waves and require a seawall?

League’s Planning & Transportation committee resolved to fight against the granting of the variance. Committee member George Fox and I, the chair of the committee, were the only members of the public at the hearing on June 27 in Honolulu Hale.

The hearing began with a staff person explaining, with detailed diagrams, the plans submitted and how the house would encroach on the both the setback and zoning requirements.

Then came our testimony. George pointed out that rising sea levels due to global warming would imperil this 2-story 2300 square foot house. I pointed out that even the full 20-foot setback (on which the house would encroach) provided inadequate protection from storm-driven waves. Eventually a seawall would be requested to protect this expensive home and the beach could disappear.

The hearing officer said we would receive a copy of his report within 2 months

Pearl Johnson

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