Waikiki Plans Incomplete as Moratorium Ends
The over-building and over-crowding of Waikiki have to stop if it is to remain a viable resort. The question is how to do it.
The Waikiki building moratorium expired 12/31/91. Both the City and the private Waikiki Vision 2020 are slated to complete their plans before 1/15/92. The stage is set for a number of important next steps:
- Formation by the DGP and its consultants of an official proposed Master Plan integrating the City's and 2020's concepts insofar as possible.
- Proposed Development Plan amendments implementing the Master Plan filed by 1/15 or 1/22 in time to get them into the 1992 Annual DP Review, followed eventually by City Planning Commission and City Council public hearings and decisions by the end of 1992.
- A draft of amendments to the Waikiki Special District section of the Land Use Ordinance has been issued in preliminary form, allegedly to be used as a stop-gap between expiration of the moratorium and approval of the Master Plan by the Council.
- Further amendments to the WSD zoning provisions after the Master and DP amendments plans have been approved.
The preliminary LUO/WSD amendments are being reviewed by public agencies, the City's consultants, developers, land-owners, etc. On 1/8 League issued our preliminary comments on the current draft. Some of the points made were:
- Until the proposed LUO amendments have been put in a form for submission to the Planning Commission and the Council, we fear they may have no legal standing and cannot be used to deny permits for developments not conforming to them.
- The proposed amendments closely follow the precinct structure, density regulations, and provisions of the WSD. Their major feature is addition of a number of architectural and urban design provisions which are desirable.
- There are several proposed changes in the WSD regulations that we like:
- The requirement in Resort Commercial and Resort Hotel districts of a minimum 50% open space, at present required only in apartment areas.
- Elimination of the current provision computing FAR on a zoning lot area which includes half the area of an abutting public street or alley.
- Reversion of the maximum permitted FAR in Resort Commercial Districts to the original 2.5.
- The following concerns us:
- Although the DLU states that no permits can be issued "which are in conflict with the proposed changes" this is only "between the time the proposal is initiated by the Director or the City Council and the time the proposal is withdrawn, or approved or denied by the City Council." The current draft of the proposed amendments is preliminary, incomplete, still being reviewed by Consultants, subject to adjustment, etc., and actual proposals to be submitted to the Planning Commission and Council will not be ready till March or later.
- Between now and such formal initiation of the proposed LUO amendments there may be changes in the draft which might be undesirable, such as:
- Increases in FARs to 3.5 or more (a 40% density increase).
- Elimination from countable floor area of lanais, which itself would permit an effective density increase of 20% or more.
- Restoration of 3.b. above.
All these would lead to more, not less, density and overcrowding in Waikiki.
- We note that the boundaries of the WSD, which have been extended mauka of the Ala Wai Canal in the proposed WSD amendments, have not been extended in the "Waikiki Master Plan" preliminary proposals by the DGP. We agree that there may be very good reasons for such an extension, but we think it should include the area to the West, between Kapiolani and the Canal, the Aloha Motors site, and continue including Atkinson to the end.
It will be necessary to watch the revisions which will be made in the current draft of the LUO/WSD amendments, as well as the DP amendments which will be recommended by the DGP. This could be going on throughout 1992 if not longer.