February 1994 Home   Newsletters

March 1994

April 1994

Citizen's Jury
Legislative Alert
National Campaign for Health Care Reform
Public Forum on Health Care Reform (Irene Coogan)
Can We Look for Education Reform (Marion Saunders)
Membership Orientation Meetings (Grace Furukawa)
Busy 1994 Agenda for P & Z Committee (Astrid Monson)
Waikiki Rezoning Workshop (Astrid Monson)
Hawaii Is Seeing Too Much Violence
League of Women Voters of Honolulu Budget Report

Waikiki Rezoning Workshop

For the 2/25 workshop on the Waikiki rezoning bill, we supported Don Bremner's suggestion that one or more knowledgeable members of the public be allowed to speak. Bremner was Executive Director of the Waikiki Improve= ment Association in the '70's and '80's and the author of the present Waikiki Special District

City Council workshops usually consist of someone from the City department explaining to

the Council what a given Administration bill is all about and answering questions. The public can attend but not speak.

(WSC) Zoning regulations which the Administration is proposing to scrap.

Chair Kim agreed to Bremner as the citizen representative.

In his presentation, DLU Director Don Clegg made several major points.

  1. The proposed regulation implemented the Waikiki Master Plan and the Development Plan.

  2. They provided increased public and private open space at little or

    no cost to the public.

  3. They enhanced "Hawaiian-ness".

  4. Permitted densities on any given lot would be similar to what they are today.

  5. Though the proposed zoning would permit hotels on well over half of Waikiki, the DLU can refuse to permit them to be built if the hotel cap is reached.

Bremner refuted all of these. Among his major points were:

  1. There is no adopted Master Plan and the Development Plan contains no policy to increase densities.

  2. "The proposal constitutes

    a wholesale destruction of the principles and purposes of present Waikiki zoning. It changes the direction from density reduction to density increases which results in over-crowding."

  3. Permitting non-conforming structures to rebuild to their existing size is unfair to later buildings which conform.

  4. The proposal sells zoning by permitting greatly increased densities and height and reducing open space and front yard requirements for cash "in lieu" payments or other. alleged benefits to the community.

  5. It would increase over-all density by 40%, varying from 14% to 200% in different areas.

  6. Though in some places the absolute amount of open space could increase, density would increase several times as much so that the critical "open space ratio" would decline. Open space declined in-all zoned precincts.

  7. The proposal would virtually eliminate all parking requirements due to the combination of reduced standard requirements and reductions given as bonuses.

  8. The proposal contains no recommendations or provisions for expanded infrastructure to accommodate the density increases it allows.

  9. Refusing hotel developers permits to build what the zoning allows because an arbitrary cap has been reached, would be dubious legally.

The rational for permitting higher densities and generous bonuses is that this proposal will encourage redevelopment.

In a recent report put out by Waikiki Vision 20/20, it is pointed out that crowded conditions are undesirable in a resort area and that "Waikiki cannot afford to solve 'economic problems' caused by spiraling land costs through ever-in creasing development intensities. The price of creating 'financially viable' development projects may be too high: it could have irrevocable adverse effects on the resort community."

Bremner exceeded his allotted 15 minutes by possibly 30 minutes, but he managed to get most of his data across.

The workshop was well-attended by numerous members of the City administration as well as the public. The City Council will in all probability be holding additional workshops and public hearings on this issue.

Astrid Monson
Chair Planning & Zoning

February 1994 Home   Newsletters April 1994